As a Runner's World article once said, new running shoes still in their box have the smell of such limitless potential. Breathe it all in, then lace 'em up and head out. Yes, folks, the day finally came for me to hang up my 500+ mile pair and switch over to these gorgeous new things. I really felt like my old ones were still just fine...until I put these on. "What...what is that?" I thought to myself. "Oh, that's funny. These shoes come with arch supports. Huh." It's funny how after a while you forget what they ever felt like fresh out of the box.
And what did I do with my limitless-potential-shoes? I went out for a 16-mile long run and simultaneously explored a park (a park? Not just a park. A gigantic park that includes a golf course, zoo, civic opera, history museum, visitor's center, and something called the Jewel Box that I haven't quite figured out yet). The park is about 5.7 miles around its perimeter, so my plan was to complete the perimeter twice then do a partial out-and-back loop. Here's the breakdown on how that went.
I wasn't looking for them, but when I parked I noticed that the local chapter of the Team happened to be using the same parking lot for their meet-up spot. I sort of nervously went over and introduced myself, and MUCH to my delight found out that alumni are welcome to train with the group! No need to fundraise in a town where I know no one! I am thrilled about this. :) This week I will get in touch with them via email and see how it might work out. YAY!
Lap 1: Mile 0-5.6
My first 5 mile times are a good indication of the rest of the run:
When I started, I underestimated the heat. I passed water fountains thinking I was just fine. By the time I realized that I needed water, the only fountain I could find didn't work. I rehydrated when I finished the first loop, but it took a while to really cover.
Lap 2: Mile 5.7-11.3
Mile times ranged from 10:40 to 12:40 on this loop. I stopped as often for water as I could find fountains. It turns out that there are plenty of fountains in the park if I'd just looked for them the first time around. The frequent stops are part of why the mile times are so slow.
Lap 3: Mile 11.3-15.7
I decided to run 2.2 miles into a third lap, turn around and come back. And honestly, by this point, I cared little how much of it I ran and how much I walked. So I walked up most of the hills and ran the flat and downhill areas. And stopped for water as frequently as possible. It was slow. And hot. And hilly.
At the end, I found a snowcone stand. Perfect! So there I sat, feeling like 8-year-old Joanna with my red raspberry snowcone.
I think I'm going to be sore for a day or two from this run. I also think I need to try another 16-miler before I up the miles again. I keep reminding myself, I only trained to 16 miles before Detroit, and I only ran that distance once. And I still finished. So, even though I don't have as many runs at high mileage as I'd like before L&C, I WILL be better prepared than I was last time around. So it will have to be ok, right?
434.4 + 4.4 + 16.0 = 454.8