Bumper stickers coming your way - Karen, Abby and Andrea. Send me an email with your address to mail it to - tosha25italia at yahoo. Thanks for commenting!
Today's long run turned out to be super! I was debating my plan all week. My goal was to run 9 minute miles. If I ran with the group or my fast friend from swimming, I'd be tempted to go out too quickly with the faster people to get done faster. If I ran a slower pace, I'd probably be impatient and disappointed. I opted to run by myself - it's been so long since I've done this for a long run, and I was kind of nervous at to what pace I would hold on my own, not being motivated by a group. I decided to do a similar run to the group run last weekend with some hill training and out and backs. At 7am, I headed out to do a loop of Valley Forge park - great hill practice for the 1/2 I'm doing in 2 weeks. My first mile was 9:32 and I was like, oh great, this is going to be a long morning! Then I got into a groove: 8:42, 8:50, 8:43, 8:47, and 9:06. I don't know what was up with the last mile there, I felt like the GPS was wrong, I didn't feel like I slowed down!
I thought about doing one more loop of the park, it was such a gorgeous morning, but I opted to head back to where the bike path is and look for the group that arrives at 8am. My running group offers long runs starting at 7 in various locations and shorter runs at 8am always at the bike path/running trail. The running trail was too soaked to run and the group was out to do 7 miles - 3.5 out and 3.5 back. I wasn't hugely excited about this, but I knew once I got to 3.5 I would just have to turn around and go back, so it was ok.
Most of this group is training for Broad Street as beginners, so I was in the front. There was a pair of runners who took off running probably 8:15s but I kept my pace even and ran 8:57, 8:49, 8:52 and then started to fade. I was picturing a cup of gatorade and water and knew I had not drank enough water! I didn't carry it with me and my goal was to get to the finish where there would be cups of water and gatorade! I was fading - 9:06 then 9:05. Then I could see a shadow of another runner behind me - I didn't hear him, but I turned my head to see a guy with the barefoot shoes on. He was my GODsend! He said I was his fish and he was chasing me down for miles... and that he was going to run with me for a bit. I ended up trying to stay with him as much as I could and finishing with him. He kept me strong - 8:56, 8:30 and 8:48 for the last half mile. I finished feeling great! I am excited for this half marathon, I feel like I just need someone to run with me for the last 5k! I think that I can definitely run around 8:45 pace, but I think my goal might be 8:30. I think I can do it! The only negative was I had some calf and knee pain around mile 6 - and my calf still is kind of tight. I guess stretching?
13.47 miles 1:58:55/ 8:49 pace
I wish I took pictures but I was too focused on keeping my pace! It was a gorgeous morning!