Most of you know that I've started running. First, lets just clear something up. No, I am not training for a triathlon; not now, not ever. Well "ever" is a very strong word, but lets just say at no point in the foreseeable future. I can assure you that at no point have I ever gotten off my bike and thought to myself "I think I'd like to go for a run now." Or, even moreso, "I really wish I had gone swimming before doing this." In fact, it's usually the opposite. I usually get off my bike and think to myself "now would be a great time to go down to Barton Springs and just float in the water." Again, not swimming, floating. So in summary, no, I am not doing a triathlon.
I am, however, training for a race called the Army 10 Miler. It's a 10 mile race (go figure) that runs through the monuments in Washington DC. I went last year to support Jeremy and thought "why not, I can do this." That was 9 months ago. Now that it's only 3 months away, I'm starting to reconsider why I decided to do this. However, I have started to make progress.
Last weekend I raced in the Lunar Rendezvous in Clear Lake, TX. My 5k time was my best yet, at 3.14 miles in 30:14, for a 9:44 average. I'm quite happy with that, and even happier that I managed to avoid pretty much all side-stickers that I normally experience around mile 2.
Since I was feeling so great coming off that run, I decided to start increasing my mileage. At this point I had already done 3 "5 mile" runs (really more like 4.8 miles) around town lake, but I also knew that if I want to make it 10 miles in October I need to step it up further. So, yesterday, I decided to run 6 miles. Yea, I don't know what I was thinking...
I woke up and was already feeling sore from the boot camp workout the day before. I knew it was going to be rough. After 15 minutes or so of stretching (so important), I put on my ipod and I was off. My usual goal when doing more than 3.1 miles is to run the 5k as fast as I can (without dying) and then continue on taking fast walking breaks when necessary. I completed my 5k part in something around 31, and at this point knew the next 3 miles were gonna be brutal. I was tired, sore, and ready to stop. In fact, at one point, I'm sure my legs had an argument with my brain about what exactly was going on. But I stuck with it. Walking at times (especially between mile 4 and 5), and running when I could. Somewhere around mile 5.5 I decided that it doesn't make sense to run just 6 miles, when running 6.2 miles would put me at the 10k mark. And lets just admit it, saying you ran a 10k sounds much more impressive than saying you ran 6 miles.
So after mile 6 I kept going. At this point pleading with my legs and explaining to my body that we only had .2 miles to go. Unfortunately, that was a lie. See, at the 10k point, I was still .2 miles from the car. So what choice did I have. In a half walk/half jog at this point, I made my way back to the car for a total of 6.4 miles in 1:14:00 (approximately) or 74 minutes. That's about 11:50 average, which gives you an indication just how slow those last few miles were.
Never mind the time though, this was BY FAR my longest run ever. I can't say it felt great, because really, it didn't. But I was happy with myself for having gone so far. My legs were in pain for the rest of the day and I'm pretty sure I consumed all food in sight. It's amazing how hungry you get after a good hard workout. But now I'm sure that I can at least make it to the 5 mile point during the Army 10 Miler in the required 75 minutes and hopefully finish the race in about 2 hours. That would be 10 miles at a 12 minute average pace. We'll see if I can make it. At this point, I think it's just time to keep training.