The yin and yang of this cranks me up.
Last fall I went on long runs with my friend Meghan. It's been a lot harder to coordinate our long runs this winter, so it's usually just me on a hot date with the treadmill. Between iTunes and college basketball, I stay entertained. BUT entertaining yourself for a 6-8 mile run isn't really the same as 10 miles.
Last night the sales manager at the gym came and ran next to me for miles 2-4. Can we say: GOD SEND. This was not planned, but he wanted to talk about work/sports/life. Honestly, we could have talked about anything. He jokes around a lot like me. And for those two miles I took a break from my iPod. When he finished his two mile run he told me
"Have fun with those ten miles dude"
and I, PRAISE GOD, only had a 10k left to do on my own. I do six mile runs on my own all the time. I told myself "You've got this."
I started the run out at a pace of 5.7 (or 10:31min/mi) just to be sure I wouldn't cut this run shorter than 10 miles. After the first hour (5.77 miles) the treadmill stops, so I used that for my Gatorade chug (And to blow my nose.)
Side note--Sometimes I make fun of things I see at the gym on twitter. It would make my day if someone tweeted: "Just saw a girl at the gym run for an hour, stop to blow her nose and cough, then she started running again?! What the hell?" I guess I'd have to find it too...
Anyway, I maintained the speed of 5.7 until I reached 8 miles. I then sped the treadmill up to 5.8 When I was almost to 9 miles I put the treadmill on 6.1 and started gradually picking up the pace. I know I was running at 6.5 my second to final lap. The last lap I finished with a sprint.
I completed 10 miles in 1:42:38. That's a personal (training) best for me!
Some additional thoughts are that I probably have it in me to pick up the pace a little earlier in the run than I did. And I'm not so sure why I've avoided doing more than 10 miles pre-half marathon. It makes so much sense to do more.
And (WARNING: I'm going to get sentimental here) the online blogging-running community has proven to be a huge motivator this time around in my training! I'm pretty much flying solo. Not discussing my training with friends much. I started this blog for a documentation of what it looks like to casually train for a half marathon, not thinking I would get encouragement or regular followers. So a final thought I have is, IF you are secretly reading this AND secretly thinking about running a race. Start a blog as you go through the process! I might just stalk you...)