This weekend I welcomed in fall with apple picking, a trip to Wilson Farms (<—LOVE this place!), homemade apple pie, warm hearty meals, shopping for fall clothes and boots and long runs. This weekend was my last long run for the B.A.A. Half marathon.
All week I’d walk outside at lunch and take in the cool weather and sunshine and psych myself up for my 12 miler. To be honest, I wasn’t really looking forward to it so it took all week to psych me up. I was more in the mood to sleep in, drink coffee and relax. But Michael made an 8:30 tee-time with a friend to play golf so I had no excuses to postpone or skip it.
The alarm went off and Michael got up to get ready. I reluctantly followed suit to make my oatmeal. And then Michael told me it was raining. Raining?! Really?! This was not the long run I’d envisioned. So I proceeded to procrastinate. I changed the sheets on the bed, started laundry, picked up the house and by then it was almost 8:30. Ok. Time to go. No more procrastinating.
I set off for my run and settled in to a pace. I was ignoring my Garmin because I couldn’t imagine the pace was good but it felt good and that’s what mattered. I had my loop all planned out- 3 miles to the lake, 2 laps of 3 miles each around the lake, 3 miles home. Mentally this run was easy. Then the Garmin beeped, mile 1 done. I couldn’t resist and looked at the pace and was content with what I saw.
12 Mile Long Run
The 3 miles to the lake flew by and I wasn’t hating the drizzle and cool air. It was actually peaceful and calming. The path around the lake itself was flat and I just settled in. The people walking and other runners were motivating to me and I felt my pace pick up. The Garmin beeped and I was surprised to see a sub 9 min/mile! I cruised, trying to keep the pace. The people watching was awesome. Truth, I love checking people out when I’m running. I love hearing bits and pieces of their conversations and guessing what their story is or where they might be from. It’s a fun game to me and it passes the time.
I was loving running around the lake, mentally it was easy and my pace was quick. I knew the 3 miles home would have a good uphill and part of me wished I could stay and finish the final 3 at the lake but I had to run home. I pushed the uphill, determined to keep up my sub- 9 min/mile pace. I told myself “3 and done”. It was a good little mantra. For as good as I felt, that final mile was hard. I was tired and I knew I just wasn’t used to a sub- 9 min/mile pace but I was happy. Happy for a quick pace, happy for running in the drizzle, happy to be closer to race day.
I love when you have a great run AND your race bib and packet comes in the mail on the same day! A sign of a good race to come? I sure hope so!
B.A.A. Half Marathon Bib!
Point of this recap: sometimes the runs we dread the most will be some of our best not only mentally but physically too.
Random side note: I thought about this for a good mile and half on Saturday. And then again on Sunday. I love running, I love fall races, I love training for fall races. I love that final long run before my fall race. Why? Because I love winter and winter follows fall. I love not having a training plan, running less, and feeling my aches and pains from weeks and months of running during the spring, summer and fall fade away. I love hiding in the warm yoga studio. And I love sleeping in, hiding under the covers, drinking coffee and relaxing on cold, snowy winter weekends. Except of course if you’re training for Boston. What can I say? I am a New Englander and love my seasons. Even the ones that are dark and involve less running.
Sunday I was up early again for my first practice as Coordinator for Team in Training! The ladies running the Tufts 10K met for a 5 mile run. I went to introduce myself and join them for the run. I was surprised to see a few ladies from the Boston Team last year and loved meeting some new faces! This is definitely one really fun part of my job!
I felt pretty good but my legs were a little slow and sore. I kept it light and easy and held a solid recovery pace of about 10 min/mile.
The highlight of this weekend was getting 17 miles done. It’s nice to go into the week being “up”. I have a 5 miler planned for Thursday again but would love to make that a 6 or 7 miler. I’m going to try to get all my runs done in the morning this week and start to shift my routine so I’m not sure I can fit that in before work. We shall see how it goes!
How was your long run this weekend? For you fall marathoners how is your taper going? Do you look forward to winter like I do? Tips for getting 7 miles done before 7 am?