Sunday, October 10.
I had a big run planned as in: this is the big run before the actual big running event next weekend in Hood River, Oregon. I was a little nervous because aren't we all nervous before a test?
I did everything I usually do before a long run: ate well the night before (no alcohol), got a good night's rest, got up two hours before my run to have a substantial breakfast (not too much, but good nutrient dense food -- as Brendan Brazier would say -- to sustain my run).
Running map is a website where I usually map out a route to match the distance that I need to go. The scheduled run for the morning was 17 k. I started to map out a route, but because I prefer to go out and make it up as I go along, I scrapped the running map ideas and went with a run that could take me where I'd like to go. The important thing was to run somewhere around the 2 hour mark.
You have to understand that since the pneumonia silliness, and the time off due to my Achilles injury that my running pace has slowed quite a bit. Normally, I would be able to know exactly how far I've run by simply knowing the time I've run, but recently my pace has slowed considerably so I'm not quite sure how long it takes me to run a km anymore. It's varied lately, and I've done a lot of running at the gym without measuring distance so I'm running in the dark, so to speak.
I loaded my water bottle with my Vega sport drink and set out. I do hate carrying a water bottle, but it's essential for the long run.
It was sunny and just the right running temperature. I started out slow, holding back my pace knowing I'd need it in the middle of my run. I felt good. I ran towards the Pitt River area, taking a nice back route that weaves through lots of little streets. I reached the DeBoville Slough and ran about 400 meters of the trail before I realized that I really should be heading towards home. There are some nice park trails in that area that are quite flat so I ran that circuit, and then hit my wall at around the 1 h 20 mark (note to self: good time to have a few medjool dates, or a whole food energy bar on me for the actual event. Quick energy). I struggled a bit, took a two minute walk break, and fought through it. Before I knew it, I was back to my rhythm and maintaining a good pace.
Along the route, I decided to run to the Whoville central station where all of the city buses converge, and then I could hop on a bus to avoid the hill home, but by the time I reached the station, I was worried that I probably hadn't run far enough and I wanted to keep going to be sure that I ran 17 k.
I was getting close to home, but would still need to catch the bus. I stopped on one of the trails that runs along Scott Creek and felt that I was finished. When I checked my watch and it said 2:07, I knew I was finished, and had definitely covered the 17 k. I called db to give him the heads up, and he offered to pick me up so I wouldn't have to endure the long, long, oh so long walk up the hill.
Once at home, I mapped my run that revealed I had gone over the 17k, and had actually run just over 20k! 20k is almost the half marathon distance (21.3k). Hmmm. The funny thing was that I really wanted to keep going on my run, but I was afraid of overdoing it. At least I can be sure that I'll be able to go the distance. I'm definitely excited now!
Columbia Gorge in 8 days!