Today’s 10 mile run

I’m excited about how my running habit is progressing! I was averaging about 30-40 miles a week of running before we moved to Murray, Kentucky last summer. When we arrived, the overwhelming task of getting to know, love and lead the people in my new ministry assignment along with my wife’s major health concerns overwhelmed me and running was placed on the back burner.

The very habit of running that I had developed to help me deal with stress was getting squeezed out of my schedule when I needed it most!

So, now with Kim’s health concerns in our rear view mirror (prayerfully!) and with the slippery roads of winter behind us (hopefully!), I’m getting back into running. I put in 21 miles this week as I continue to rebuild my weekly mileage.

As I continue to prepare for the Murray Half Marathon on April 12th (only 20 days away), I went out on a 10 mile run today. One of the thoughts that crossed my mind as I ran was: “I can’t believe I’m able to do this! Only 3-4 years ago, I could barely run a city block or two without getting so winded that I had to stop and walk.” I privately had wondered if I would EVER be able to run … if there was something wrong with me.”

Yet, I was running a 10 mile run in a respectable time. Here’s a brief review of how today’s run played out:

I hydrated this morning by drinking a cup of coffee, 24 oz of watered down Gatorade and some water. I stopped by a store to grab another Gatorade for post-run and a bag of gummy bears to put in my pocket for the run. 

As I approached 7am when I would begin the run with Jamie Mantooth, I just didn’t feel like I was as mentally prepared as I would have desired. I didn’t have a passion to tackle the 10 miles today. It just felt like a day that I would go out and do what I had to do … hoping my body wouldn’t give out.

For the first 3 miles, I found that my eyes kept looking at my watch to keep tabs on my heart rate. I wanted to keep it sub-170. Yet, I think I was stressing myself out. I wasn’t enjoying the run. 

So, at the conclusion of mile 3, I changed my watch display to show ‘distance traveled’ and the ‘clock.’ I kept it that way for the next 7 miles. Doing so allowed me to simply get into the run and do it according to ‘feel.’ I noticed post-run that when I stopped stressing over my watch, my pace picked up significantly and my heart rate elevated only slightly.

Somewhere around the conclusion of mile 7 or 8, I was feeling really tired! Yet, as I turned north onto 641, I was able to run the downhill slope that leads up to the Walmart entrance with a reasonably strong northern breeze pushing me from behind.

Murray Half Marathon Route (April 12, 2014)

I fought through the last couple of miles. My body wanted to stop but my mind wouldn’t let it. I noticed after my run that I was slowing on the last couple of miles but that’s OK. I got it done.

Here are my paces per mile:
Mile 1  –  9:52   (168bpm)
Mile 2  –  10:05   (168bpm)
Mile 3  –  10:36   (166bpm)
Mile 4  –  9:46   (171bpm)
Mile 5  –  9:52   (172bpm)
Mile 6  –  10:09   (171bpm)
Mile 7  –  10:02   (173bpm)
Mile 8  –  9:44   (165bpm)
Mile 9  –  9:58   (173bpm)
Mile 10  –  10:17   (164bpm)
Last 1/4 mile  –  10’36”   (166bpm)

I’m looking forward to training for the next couple of weeks and then taper the week of the race. I don’t think I will be able to beat my last half marathon time/pace (2:04:18 / 9’30”) because my fitness isn’t nearly what it should be. Yet, I hope to give it my all and try to come as close to a 2 hour finish time as possible.