6.46 miles today. I was supposed to run 5.5, but I planned out a 6, and ran a bit further than I planned. So technically, as of today, there’s no doubt that I can run a 10k, because I just did it.
I ran in Lower Huron Metro Park, a strip of forests and greenspaces lining a road along the Huron River. There’s a 4 mile bike trail (part of a long bike trail that chains together some of the SE Michigan Metro parks) that Swem and I stepped onto this morning. Steph dropped us off at the entrance, and we ran the length of the park, doubled back and did halfway back up to Bemis road. Feeling unsure if I had gotten my whole 6 miles, we jogged out to the guard shack at the Bemis road exit. According to this route on gmap-pedometer, that was 6.45 or 6.46, depending on closely I nailed where we started out today.
Doing that in 1:22:02 means that not only was this my longest run ever, it was also my fastest long run ever, clocking in somewhere around 12:45/mile. I’m sort of swollen with pride right now.
A number of factors helped me out. Having a partner keeping pace (and motivating me to step it up just a notch) was huge. The day was beautiful; I haven’t been doing this long, but I know I could not have asked for much more perfect weather, sunny, cool but not cold, crisp. The park trail is an immense relief after so many road runs (especially my harrowed pace run on Friday). And last of all, I got my hands on some Gu!
I had my first taste of it ever, 47 minutes into todays run. We didn’t have any water to sip along with it, which I think would be an improvement, but overall it was palatable, and honestly after 45 minutes of running, it was a godsend. The orange flavor I slurped up reminded me of a candy from my childhood, a much less engineered, but in its way similar, concoction called “Squeeze Pops”
Of course squeeze pops are just red colored and flavored corn syrup, and not highly engineered space food like gu, but I have a feeling I’ll be thinking basically the same thing every time I gobble one.
So credit goes to you, Brian, for helping me get through this one, and for being with me when I knocked out this milestone. My distance runs should stay pretty easy from now on, and 7 miles on Nov. 7 won’t be hard at all. And if I can get up and run after Friday night, I can probably manage to run a few days after my return from Mexico this November. Thanks for the inspiration and the encouragement, friend!