I left the house at 0700, ran 10.3 miles, and got back home about two and a half hours later, averaging a little less than a 14 minute mile.
That's right, I ran 10 miles today. Wow!
After about 8.5 miles, I had an epiphany. I've always known in my head that it's possible for me to run a marathon -- by sticking to the schedule, keeping up with my short runs each week, gradually increasing my long run each weekend, watching my nutrition, staying hydrated, etc. But today, at about 8.5 miles, I realized -- not in my head, but in my heart, I guess -- that it's just a matter of keeping going. I could have quit at several points along my run today, but never really entertained the thought -- I just kept going.
I felt great throughout the entire run. It wasn't until the last mile that I had to start pushing myself, and even then, I didn't have to push hard. I probably could have kept going, but I really wanted to make sure that I didn't push myself too far. I'm in a great position for all of my upcoming events, so I don't really need to push it, and I want to do as much as I can to avoid an injury.
I supplemented the last half of my run with a Cliff Shot Block every mile. I liked that a lot better than the Cliff Shot Gel I used on my last long run. Next time, though, I'll probably back off to every two miles instead of every mile.
Today's run once again proved that I love Under Armour continues to be my best friend while running. No chafing issues today. I think I'm going to have to find some Under Armour shorts now, too.
I've been home a few hours now, and I'm still feeling great -- no desire to crash on the couch or anything, so I think I'm doing a good job of an appropriate amount of exertion. I'll be out geocaching with some friends this afternoon, and I think I'll be fine with the energy needed to do that. I'm really happy with my progress to this point.
So, I've three events on my radar. Next week, I'll be running in my first event, a 5k -- the Greensboro Downtown Retro Run. I'm pretty confident about this -- my short runs are just a little bit over 5k right now, so I know what it is to run that distance. I've just never run in a group, so it will be interesting and exciting to see how that goes. Next month, I'm planning on doing the Salem Lake 10k Trail Run. Again, I've done 10k several times already, so I'm comfortable with the distance. The real short-term goal for now is the Cannonball Run half-marathon in October. I haven't run 13.1 miles yet, but I've got lots of time between now and October to build up another 3 miles to today's long run, so I'm not worried. There's another half-marathon in December that I'm considering -- the Run To Victory Half-Marathon in December, which is organized by my favorite NASCAR driver, Kyle Petty. We'll see how I'm feeling in a month or so before I commit to that one. After that, my radar is pretty clear until the 2008 Marine Corps Marathon, which is my long-term goal, although I'm sure I'll schedule a few events next year as I continue my training. At the rate I'm going, I'm very confident with my ability to be ready to run a good marathon next year.
Anyway, it's lots of fun. And I finally made a running-related LJ user icon -- thanks to yarbiedoll for taking pictures of my feet!