I have a bunch of running goals I want to accomplish, hopefully before snow sets in this winter. Today I conquered a big one.
I ran 6.5 miles on the Rail Trail from Gardiner to Augusta today. It was awesome!
I decided I wasn’t worried about time, I just wanted to make it from end to end. I haven’t run this trail (in its entirety) since the summer before my accident. And only the once.
So my stomach was a mass of butterflies as I drove to Gardiner today.
The longest I had run this summer was 5 miles, and that was a month ago. I was truly intimidated by the length of run. The plan was to meet a friend at the other end, then have coffee and shopping before she took me back to my car. I knew that she would have picked me up anywhere along the route if it had been needed. So that wasn’t the issue, I was just concerned that it might be necessary. I had already decided that if I needed to walk, I would. That took some pressure off too. But of course I didn’t want to walk. Not to get too philosophical, but I decided the only thing I could do was take a deep breath and run one step at time.
So I went to the start of the trail, took that breath and stretched, then took that first step.
I definitely wasn’t going too fast to start, as I was worried about lasting all the miles. But I worked on getting a nice, consistent pace and kept taking those deep breaths. By the time I finished the first mile, I had relaxed into a rhythm. The nice thing about the Rail Trail is that it is a rolling path, with up and down grades instead of huge hills. And the only two big hills are coming the other way (I’ll be doing that next), going the way I was this morning meant I got to go down those hills. Gotta stack the deck anyway you can 😛
By the time I finished mile 3 I realized I could do this, and by the time I finished mile 4 I felt pretty dang good. That feeling continued when I finished and looked at my splits.
The last longish run I did was 3.3 miles, and each one of those miles was 11+. Because of that, I have been doing drills and speed workouts on the treadmill. Apparently that helped, as based on my perceived effort, I thought I was doing 11 minute miles. Turns out that I was doing consistent 10:30 minutes, and mile 4 was actually sub 10 minute.
Today’s total run was 6.5 miles in 68 minutes
I am very happy with that. And ecstatic about how very good I felt doing it. My knee did ache a bit during, but not badly enough that I felt I ought to stop, and it didn’t hurt at all once I finished, even though my friend and I went shopping so that I spent the following hours running around stores. It was a little stiff after I came home and sat for a while. I guess we will see how I feel tomorrow!