Last weekend I did my longest run ever. EVAH! Until last weekend I had only ever done a half marathon. This time I was doing 14 miles. Wowza! I was a bit nervous about it but I knew that my coach Laurie would be with me so she would tough it out with me.
I met the team at Valley Green near Forbidden Drive. Coach Glen told us what the plan was and I was a bit surprised that he wanted the people doing 14 miles to run out 5, then come back to the meeting spot, then run out 2 and come back. I wasn’t really happy to do that and I was hoping that I could talk Laurie into doing something different. As soon as we started out, Laurie told me we were going to go out to 6 (where the other water stop was supposed to be) and then head back. The we would head out for one mile and back. I was much happier with that plan.
This was one of the nicest days that we’ve had at Valley Green. It was relatively dry and not too cold. Many of the practices that we had there last fall were right after or during the rain. It was also nice being on a dirt trail instead of pavement.
We reached our first water stop at 2.5 miles and the mentor had some extra small water bottles for everyone who was planning on heading to the next water stop, which was apparently supposed to be in 4 miles. We were doing a good job maintaining our intervals and I was feeling amazing!
Just after 5 miles we ran out of the dirt trail and we were on a paved trail that followed the creek. It was a really pretty trail! We figured we had about 15 minutes before we hit the next water stop. Well, after about 20 minutes we still hadn’t reached the water stop. It turns out that the water stop was around mile 6.75. We went another 1/4 mile out and then turned back.
It was then that I remembered that I had my phone and it was time to start memorializing this run for my blog! So here you go!
I think this picture was near mile 7.5.
See how beautiful this trail is? It’s amazing to think that this is in the middle of one of the largest cities in the country. Valley Green is part of the Fairmount Park System in Philly. There are parts where you could easily get lost and not see civilization for days (or at least a few hours)!
Heading back up the lower portion of the train was a bit more challenging because it was a bit hilly, but nothing like the hills in Valley Forge. Since we were maintaining our walk/run intervals, we had several up hill runs. Boo! But we survived!
I was very thankful to see this sight and to be back on the dirt trail again. It also meant that we only had that much left to do!
I couldn’t believe how amazing I was feeling still. I mean, we were almost at 9 miles and I still feeling good, like I had, well, at least another 4 miles in me!
There are a few small inclines on the dirt trail, but before I knew it we were hitting the bridge and then we saw the 4 mile marker!
That called for another celebratory picture!
Yup! Still smiling!
After this, we hit the water stop one more time and Laurie’s sister was there waiting for us. She stayed with us for about a mile and then ran on to finish her miles.
In the last 2 miles, the intervals were getting harder, but Laurie kept me from skipping them and I was able to finish strong!
My thoughts? It was great to reach a new high mileage. I can’t wait to see how my body reacts to doing 16 next week.
I am a bit nervous. My ankle starting bothering me this week and I had trouble finishing my 12 miles this weekend. I made sure to put ice on it when I got home and when I described the symptoms to my best friend, she said it sounded like tendonitis and suggested that I treat it with an anti-inflammatory and see how it feels. So I started treating it with Aleve today and it is already starting to feel better.
I know not to take Aleve on the days of my long runs so I’ll need to take Tylenol on those days, but hopefully this will be all it needs and it won’t get any worse!
Anyways! Next week is the Sweet Sixteen!