I went into my Saturday long run a little apprehensive. This was the run I had bonked on the week before, and with time running out on my training schedule, I felt a lot of pressure to complete the run. I already know I might be undertrained for the race, but there's very little I can do about that now.
I opted to suit up with my camelback, so I would have plenty of water, and was carrying two Honey stinger waffles and a packet of Gu, just in case. I was not going to be under hydrated/under fueled this time.
The Camelback took some getting used to, I kept pulling too strong on the "straw." I also kinda felt odd running with a pack, I'm not sure if the weight of the water affected me or anything, but I definitely must have looked silly all geared up like I was.
Once I turned onto the canal path at mile two things got hard, fast. They're doing a lot of construction along the first stretch I run along, and so the area has been clear cut. Nice open field for wind to whip across. I spent the better part of mile three fighting the wind. I tried to let it slow my pace, so that I wasn't burning myself out, but I know it took a heavy toll on me.
Somewhere around in here it started to drizzle.
Mile four was perhaps the most enjoyable part of the run. I had "settled in" and the wind had either died down or was being blocked by foliage. The drizzle was on and off, but I didn't really notice it. I was feeling good, and had to work at not pushing my pace for this mile.
Somewhere around mile five I started having a hard time. Not super hard, but I was definitely feeling it. I think there were a lot of mind games going on, since this was the point where the wheels started coming off on the run last time. I tried really hard to just focus on the part of the run I was running right then, and not let myself think about how far I had come, or how far I had left to go. I remember there being a bit of wind around here too, and having it really slow me down. I think the downhills were really rough on my knees around here too. My legs were tired so it was harder for me to absorb the impacts on some of the steeper downhills.
Mile six was a blur, it was about the same as mile five, with me just trying to keep myself running at a decent pace. Head down, push through it, don't think about last week.
Mile seven felt marginally better than mile six. I turned off the canal path and onto the roads for my last leg, and even though there was a bit of an uphill I was feeling better, having passed the point where I had stopped to walk for the first time last week. I had a short stop at a light and I think that recharged me a lot.
By this point I had consumed one entire Stinger Waffle and had started in on the second one. I have no idea how much water I had drank, but I had been sipping off the camel back the entire time.
I wasn't feeling awesome during mile eight. At some point the drizzle had returned, and I was starting to get really damp. The wind had also started to kick back up, and almost this entire mile is run uphill. I was just slogging away, keeping my legs churning when about halfway up the hill My husband did a drive by on me, beeping at me as he flew by. This picked my spirits up a lot, and got me out of the bad headspace I was getting into. By the top of the "hill" I knew I was going to finish out the run.
The last mile was alright. I was definitely tired, and definitely not feeling awesome, but I wasn't in trouble. I had to really push on the last uphill of my run, but once I was up that hill I felt alright. I finished out the mile and ran a short bit further, to finish out at a nice obvious road intersection (so that later I could easily figure out how accurate my run distance was.)
All in all it was a redemptive run. I'm now confident that with adequate walk breaks I will be able to at least finish the half marathon I've registered for. I'm not sure I'll have a great time, but I'm relatively sure I'll cross the finish line.
I've got a few more weeks to make sure of that.