Last Saturday was a miserable run - it was hot, I was sick, mosquitoes were present en masse, and I wound up walking about half of my 5 miles. I felt kinda defeated.
This weekend I was supposed to for a 1 mile time trial and 2 extra miles, but chose instead to repeat my 5 mile run from last weekend. I had talked to my training buddy in Alabama and she suggested I add walk breaks into my runs as per the Galloway method. So that was my plan - take back my pride and my dignity and add short walk breaks to the run.
I woke up around 0630, fed all four dogs (yes, I still have all of them), and dressed for my run. I laced up my shoes and realized I had forgotten to pull on my compression sleeves. Crap! But I was just too lazy to unlace my shoes, take them off, and pull the sleeves on - so I went without them.
I walked outside, lathered up with big spray and sunscreen and entered my running zone. Billy Joel's "Pressure" was beating in my ears, my Garmin was on, and I was ready.
I ran down the street and finished my first mile feeling pretty good. The weather when I left the house was about 74 degrees with 91% humidity - welcome to Texas! I had thought that instead of doing a walk break defined by time I would do it by distance. So after every mile I would walk 0.15 mile.
Honestly, I think was my best run since I started training. I felt really good nearly the whole way through. There was even shade! I think I even thanked God for a stop sign at one point, just for the nanosecond of sun relief I got from it.
I started to get hot around mile 3.5 or so, and around mile 4 - I had this pain on my side which I thought was from the tag of my shirt. Turns out something happened between my hydro belt and my tech shirt, and I have a huge gash along my side from the rubbing during the last 1.5 miles of the day. Ugh!
And since I felt just that awesome - I even added another 0.5 miles. So my total run was 5.5 miles! I will say that the when I started running the 5th mile I was feeling it. So I only ran about 0.5 miles, and then walked another 0.15 miles, closing out the 5.5 miles with a 0.25 mile run back to the house.
If you look at my splits you can see that the actual runs held an average pace of 14:16, which is well within my long distance runs training pace. According to Runner's World I should be training for a long run at between 15:40 - 17:24/mile - but as slow as I am - I just don't think I could even manage that!
After I stretched and walked upstairs to drown my run in ice water I looked at the weather - in the time I was gone the temperature had climbed 10 more degrees to a whopping 86 by 0840 still with the 91% humidity. Damn!
After I inspected my new runner's gash, I noticed that my shirt had about 3 dry spots on it after running for about an hour and 25 minutes. I had a U shaped dry spot where my jog bra was, and two teeny spots over my shoulder blades - nice.
I think that this past Saturday more than made up for the two previous weeks that led me to think I must have been doing something wrong. I am not sure I want to complete a half marathon walking - I hope to be able to run the entire thing, but if adding walk breaks gets me to complete my long runs on Saturdays in the middle of a Texas summer home safely - then so be it.