Last week came a big milestone for me: the furthest I’d ever run without a walk break. This week, I knew I had to get in 10 miles before starting my “mini taper” for the Jungle Run Half Marathon in two weeks. I also wanted to keep the momentum of the past few weeks going by seeing if I could continue my “no walk break” runs, with my eventual goal being able to run an entire half marathon without a walk break (I do, however, still want to do run/walk for the full marathon–I need all the help I can get there ;)).
I was feeling very nervous about attempting this for a 10 miler, especially on a trail which is fairly exposed in some parts and has historically been run on some scorchers. Fortunately, the weather was on our side and the morning was crisp and cool, so right off the bat, I had a good feeling. Still, nothing could really allay my nerves until Juana and I started running.
And before I knew it, a mile had gone by, then two, then three… And I was feeling good! Really good! By the time we hit the halfway mark, I was feeling as though I could conquer the world–or at least keep running for another 5 miles.
When Juana and I came in for the finish–and at this point, I have to confess, I was a little tired–I couldn’t believe when I looked at my watch and saw that I had shaved off 12 minutes from my last 10-mile time. 12 minutes!!! And the best part? I felt great!! Yes, I was tired in that last mile, but the runner’s high that hit me when I was done was like no other.
I haven’t had a run this good since the magical 20 miler I had at Natural Bridges two summers ago. They don’t come along every day, but when they do, oh boy, they are gems.
Thank you, thank you to Juana for keeping me going, to Steve who ran with us part of the way, to the volunteers who manned the water stops, and of course, to the coaches who have taken this meek wannabe runner into a “real” runner at last!