But that's what I did today!
After a yummy breakfast of cinnamon roll, I did a little stretching and hit the pavement. Eight miles, and almost two hours later, I was back home, feeling good. I was tempted to add another mile to the run, but I restrained. I let myself push it the last two long runs, but now my long run is getting long enough that I really need to pay a bit more attention to a reasonable training schedule and not over-extend myself -- risking fatigue, injury, and all that. So I quit at eight.
I came in, uploaded my GPSr stats to the various programs I'm using to track my training, and played around when the programs and the data some. I have lots of fun analyzing that. My pace was slower than I would have liked (14:22), but that was completely avoidable -- I didn't stretch enough before the run, and I spent the first half mile going slower as I fiddled with my water bottle belt (it kept wanting to slide too far down, be too loose, and bounce too much). I probably could have easily regained five minutes due to that, maybe ten. I'm not concerned, though -- as it is, I'm extremely happy with the rate I'm building my endurance, and I'm happy with my speed. Besides, the more I do this, the better it's going to get. I've got plenty of time to improve my time.
The more I run, the more I want to run. With this post, I'm no longer going to be applying my marathon tag to entries like this, because I don't really think of myself as training for a marathon right now -- I think of myself as being a runner. I've decided to sign up for a 5K sometime in the next month or two, and a half-marathon in October. So, yeah, these are all things that could be training for next year's marathon, but really, it's just me running.
Underarmor is my new best friend. At the suggestion of several friends, I picked up an Underarmour compression shirt last week. Today was the first day I wore it -- I was really looking forward to it. I didn't need the NipGuards at all. I'm definitely looking forward to continuing to use it on my long runs. I've got several other basic running shirts (they were on sale at Sears last weekend, actually). I wear one of them over the Underarmour, and I wear just that on my short runs. That's definitely a much better option than the regular cotton t-shirt I've been using. Better management of my perspiration, more comfortable, etc. I'm really happy with my equipment.
This was also the first run that I had anything other than water for the run. At about mile 5.5, I ate an apple pie flavored Cliff Shot. It was pretty good. Weird texture -- I'll have to get over that if I want to keep eating those on runs. A few other people have suggested a few other options for in-run nutrition, so I'll be experimenting. I also think I'll experiment with gatorade (or some other sports drink) instead of (or in addition to?) water.
Working up gradually to these long runs is definitely the way to go. It's really amazing to me that I ran as much as I did earlier today, but I'm not exhausted or anything. I expect I'll feel great tomorrow, too. It's really cool.