My 'not so slow' Long Run (my 100th blog post!)

It just occurred to me during my run this evening! This post will be my 100th since April 24, 2011. I am not sure what one 'does' to celebrate this milestone, but I am excited that I have been disciplined enough to keep the blog (and my health journey) moving forward for almost 1 year.

When I started this, I wasn't even sure I would have enough to 'say' to maintain this 'diary of effort'. Not to mention that people like you would find my postings helpful, funny, or even inspiring. I am truly thankful for everyone who has encouraged me, gave me a kick in the pants when needed, and stood by me for the past two years (and one year via this web site).

Thanks for sticking by me, and I promise to keep moving forward! Together, we will reach our goals and celebrate a long, active, healthy life!

The Not So Slow Long Run

This morning I woke up feeling terrible. My entire digestive system was on strike! Friday night I went with a friend to see the new "Wrath of the Titans" movie in 3D, and the theater is one that serves a full menu of entrees right at your table during the movie. Of course, the options on the multi-page menu are filled with amazingly tasty items that defy all laws of healthy nutrition.

'Full disclosure' demands that I tell you that I had a "Whoopie Goldburger" which was a 1/2 lb Angus burger with BBQ sauce, cheddar cheese, onions, etc. with fries. Plus, my friend and I shared some nachos with beef, cheese, jalapenos, and guacamole. About the only good thing I had was several tall glasses of water. Oh my gosh!! I hadn't eaten something like that in two years! I was so tasty!!

But by the time the movie had ended, I knew I had made a big mistake. Did I mention it had been two years since I had eaten like that? I felt bloated, full, and uncomfortable the entire drive home. Well this morning, that feeling was still there but add to it a little nausea. I am never going to eat that junk every again!

There was no way I could go out for my 10-mile run that morning. I wouldn't have made it 20 steps before getting sick. So I slept instead until I had to get up to attend a meeting from 10am - 3pm. The lesson from my story: stick with the healthier eating habits that you have been cultivating over time. Once your body starts to crave good food, it will rebel against you if you feed it too much JUNK!

After the meeting, I came home feeling okay. So I decided to go ahead and do my 10-miler before the daylight left for the evening. I had about 2.5 hours of daylight left. So I got dressed and headed out, wearing my new Newton Distance shoes. I was a little worried about taking them on a 10-mile run, but with my Half Marathon four weeks from now, I felt I needed to see how a Long Run in them would feel if I planned on wearing them for the Half. I only have one more Long Run before I start my Taper, right?

Note: common wisdom when running in minimalist shoes is to VERY gradually increase your mileage in them over time (in months) in order to avoid injury to your calves, achilles tendon, and arches. I have been following that rule with my Instincts all year, having gotten up to 5 miles per run in them. So I felt that I could manage things with the Newtons (and if I had a problem, I would just stop and walk back).

I took a new route today, running from my home all the way (5 miles) to my church in town. I brought my church key with me in case I needed to call home for help (or more likely that I would need to use the bathroom). I don't think I will be running to church to attend services on Sundays though (not sure the congregations wants a sweaty, smelly person in the pew next to them. Hahaha).

The run to the church was really nice (and uneventful). I started off with a 5-minute warm-up walk, and then started my run. I passed by my son's Middle School at the 5K point, and then kept going to the church. The temp was about 54 and the weather was perfect. I just loved it! And the shoes were doing just great. I was running in Zones 2 & 3, and I really wasn't feeling like I was exerting a lot of effort. But the watch was telling me that I was running fast (for me anyway), faster than my usual Long Run pace. In fact, I found it hard to slow down in these shoes. They felt so comfortable at the average 8:32/mm pace I was maintaining.

I reached the church and then headed back home. The run home took a slightly different path just because I missed a turn. Oh well, it was no big deal. I was feeling fine. In the end, it didn't really impact my overal mileage. I came in right where I wanted to be. I reached my house, where I started my 5-minute cool-down walk.

When all was said and done, I had covered 10.15 miles in 1 hour, 32 minutes -- a 9:03/mm pace. If you exclude the two walks, the distance is 9.58 miles at an 8:32/mm pace! Wow! This certainly DOES NOT qualify as a Long Slow Run! My coach will be happy with the time but chastise me for not running 2 minutes/mile slower.

But one thing is for sure. If I can continue to run these paces, I will have an amazing PR experience at the Illinois Half Marathon on April 28th. And THAT will be a real joy!

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