(written Friday 9/11)
I was really surprised by today's long run. Other than the fact I took Daisy on a terrible detour from our usual route that caused us to walk up a steep, rocky, rooty incline...until we hit mile five, I was feeling remarkably well.
It's funny because we usually take a route that is different than the one I've always taken when I run solo. Today I convinced her we needed to take my route because we had planned on running eight miles and my way would loop us around to the very start of the trail, allowing us to never leave the road. (Whereas the route we usually take would put us on the road, then back on trail....which seemed harder to me.)
Naturally, since I was trying to get out of the harder route, we ended up cutting some off the trail, making us have to add on more at the end....and making us have to navigate the worst part of the trail.
On the section of trail that I usually just hate, the first time around I was "fine". I kept thinking that I still had like five miles to go so I couldn't mentally give in to trail-hate at that point. When we got to the trail head, I stopped us long enough to take a gel (that I probably didn't need, but did it anyway)...and then we were off again.
At about mile five, I started struggling. "That" section of trail was coming up and I was already dreading the extra we were going to tack on to get in a full eight. So I walked a little bit....BIG MISTAKE. From then on out it was tough. What was so bad was that I knew every time I walked I was making it that much harder on myself. And yet, I couldn't make myself just keep running.
We were headed to a certain point and planned to turn around and run the "six minute" stretch back to the cars to finish up our eight....I was walking, Daisy was running up ahead of me. I had decided in my mind that I would let her turn around and then when she got back to where I was (only a very short distance behind her), I would turn around (short) to head back with her. Ah, but she knows me too well...she stopped at the turn around point to wait on me! RATS. But, from that point I didn't walk again.
The thing is, our average pace was 11:47--even with all the walking I did at the end. What felt like (at the end) dragging butt, was really not bad at all. I'm getting faster. That's the only explanation for how it felt. I think that's why my favorite part of the trail comes just after that horrid incline--because it's downhill from there. Relatively speaking, going through the hard parts make the other parts "easy"...but if I were to stick with "easy" all the time, that would be the baseline. That's why speed work and hills are such great work outs.
Well...thanks for stopping in, come again soon!