Sunday, August 25, 2013

First Legit Long Run (and Week in Review)

104 miles
5 doubles
20-mile long run
2 runs in Maine

On Saturday afternoon, Jordan and I were working an in-store event at Maine Running Company in Portland. We'd been there since the previous day and were planning to head home later that evening. Around 3pm, I received a beseeching--one could say desperate--text from Kim essentially asking if I could drop everything and hop in the car to Providence for a long run. Now, aside from the logistical impossibility of that actually taking place immediately (Portland being the exact opposite direction from Providence), I had also been tentatively planning to support some friends and race the inaugural Level Renner 10k the following morning. Admittedly, having done no recent speedwork and being a little low on my weekly mileage, a Sunday long run would actually make better sense if Kim could postpone her ambitions until the next morning. Still, making the drive down 95 was going to take a little convincing...

What can I say, she knows how to lure me in.

Flash forward to 9am on Sunday, and Kim and I were downing our homemade lattes and loading up her car to head to the Lincoln bike path. We planned to park there, run an hour or so warmup along the flat out-and-back path, then jog over to Lincoln Woods for a few rolling loops in the hilly state park. After that we'd run back to the car, assess our progress and then decide how much (if any) to add on at the bike path again. Though the sun shone brightly and temps were already creeping into the upper 70s, the humidity was ridiculously low (I think the dew point was in the 40s) and we had plenty of drinks and gels stashed at the car. Though I hadn't attempted a 20-miler since Philly, I was excited to give it a go.

The run started out tentatively, with our first few miles well over eight minutes apiece (yup, we're 30) but then the pace began to naturally progress. By the time we reached the undulating rollers of Lincoln Woods we decided to continue pressing. (Hey, if you're already dying from charging up and down the relentless hills, might as well keep the pace honest and make the terrain go by quicker!) When we returned to the car we'd already eclipsed 17 miles and probably would've been content to stop there, but when Kim suggested we push through to 20 I reluctantly agreed. To be honest, I actually felt quite good until the final 10 minutes, when my legs suddenly realized they hadn't been moving at a decent clip for this long in quite some time. I was thrilled to stop the moment we reached 20 miles, but satisfied with how strong I'd felt for most of the run. Maybe my fitness isn't so abysmal after all!