It’s official – I’ve joined the club! Maggie and I ran 10 miles for the first time ever yesterday. If you had asked me just a few months ago, I never would have thought that 10 miles would ever be possible for me. It’s such a great feeling.
We ran at the Buffalo Bayou. It’s such a great place for a long run. The other option would have been a little over 3 laps at our normal park. I actually considered carrying my iPhone with me to take pictures as we ran, but it was an overcast day and I didn’t want to hold it the entire time. Someday I will need to take a camera though – it’s just a beautiful setting, and I am so surprised we have something like that so close to downtown Houston.
Although it was overcast when we started, it was humid and became sunny very quickly. It’s much more difficult to run in humidity because I can feel my heart rate rise quicker and the humidity can hinder your body’s ability to cool itself through sweating. Due to the weather we quickly discarded our initial goal of finishing in 1:45 (which would have been a 10:30 average pace) and instead decided to just focus on finishing. This was hard for me because I live for specific goals, but I think it was for the best.
The first four miles were good, all completed at around a 10:15 pace, but it was the fifth mile where the impact of the weather really seemed to hit. The bayou has quite a few hills, and it was at this point that we decided we would walk up hills. I think this strategy really helped because it gave us a brief opportunity to cool down and lower our heart rates before running again.
We also took our Gu during the fifth mile. This time we had the tri-berry flavor. This one is definitely my favorite, so I think I’m going to stick with it. The aftertaste didn’t seem as bad as the vanilla or strawberry-banana. I think that the Gu really does help with energy levels, and it kept us going after the rough 5th mile.
I ran out of water around the time we hit 6 miles (I was just carrying a 16 oz water bottle), so at 6.5 miles we stopped at a drinking fountain to re-fill our bottles. My legs didn’t really hurt or feel tired until the 7th mile. I felt like this was a good accomplishment – I felt out of breath and tired from a high heart rate much faster than my legs felt tired on this run, and that’s how I would prefer my runs to go.
I kept expecting to find more energy as we had less than 3 miles to go, but it was hard to keep pushing on. We continued to walk hills and I have to admit I would get a little excited each time I saw a hill coming up 🙂 During the last mile and a half or so I felt a little nauseous, but not nearly as bad as I felt at my last 5k race.
The last mile was really difficult. I usually think the last mile is the time to push through all the pain and give it my all, but we did walk a little hill during the 10th mile this time. We ran all-out for the last quarter mile or so, but all-out at the end of this run was not like all-out at the end of most of my runs. We finished in 1:46:16, just one minute and sixteen seconds slower than our initial goal. Not bad!
- Mile 1: 10:16
- Mile 2: 10:15
- Mile 3: 10:16
- Mile 4: 10:13
- Mile 5: 11:13 – Gu + began walking hills
- Mile 6: 10:57
- Mile 7: 10:54
- Mile 8: 10: 22 – must have gotten our second wind here!
- Mile 9: 11:10
- Mile 10: 10:37
- Total: 1:46:16 (10:37 average pace)
Since I didn’t take my camera phone on our run, we attempted to take a few pictures after the run. I’m not very good at self-portraits 🙂
To celebrate the distance, I made us some Strawberry-Almond Butter smoothies. They were a little strong on the almond butter and tasted “healthy” but it was refreshing after the long run.
In the smoothie:
- 1.5 cups light soymilk
- handful of spinach
- 1/2 cup oatmeal
- 2 tbsp ground flaxseed
- 3-4 tbsp almond butter
- 8-10 strawberries
It feels great to be a member of the double-digits club and I enjoyed that feeling all day 🙂 I also rewarded myself with some good foam rolling and stretching. I’m a little sore today, but not too bad!
How do you reward yourself after a long run?