Saturday was my last REALLY long run. I did six miles and for the next two weeks and supposed to taper off a little bit. A 5k on the 23rd and then an easy four miler(did I just call four miles easy? Me?) the next weekend. I really can't believe I have just less than three weeks until my 10k. As with my first 5k, it just seems surreal that I actually made it!
I reviewed the 10k course map last week and remembered that there are a few hills. Both up and down, but mostly down. Up until now all of my training has been on flat terrain. Not exactly a good preparation. Saturday I decided to change that and follow a course that had a few small ups and downs. YIKES!
It doesn't look like much, just a 2% grade at it's worst, but more than enough for me.
The first mile was not what I would have liked to start with. My phone was....un-cooperative. Just a bit. Okay, really, it just didn't work at all so I spent most of the time trying to figure it out. Finally, half-way through the second mile it started working and I was able to focus on my 5/1 run/walk plan. I was a little worn out mentally, but knew I had to keep going. I planned it that way. The only way to get home was to keep going.
I finally hit the hill and was pleasantly surprised that I was able to run up it. Of course I was no where near my normal pace, but I did run. I really didn't think I was going to be able to. It gives me hope. Sometimes I look at my pace and really wonder if I am making any improvement. Yes, I am going farther than I ever have before, but I still feel as if I'm not any more fit. Then something like this comes up. A few months ago I would have struggled to even walk up the hill, let alone attempt to run. It really is amazing to see what a change in my stamina running has made.
The third mile was downhill. This was also new for me. I tried to keep the pace slow, too many stories of knee injuries going down. This wasn't too bad. I began to look for the road I planned to turn on. It was on the map, it should be coming up....I saw the road start to curve up again and I knew the road was supposed to be before that. Fields and storage building but no road. Then I realized, it wasn't paved. Just a dirt road through a farm. Another first.
Dirt roads are harder than I thought. The whole mile was along this...path? The gravel seemed to slip and slide under my feet. I took it slowly, trying to keep my footing. The last thing I needed was to twist my ankle. That said, this was good practice again. I'm not sure, but I think part of the 10k will be on a road similar to this so I'm very grateful for the surprise.
The last bit was fairly flat, but I'm pretty sure my pace dropped simply because I was worn out. This was one of my most challenging runs so far, but also incredibly satisfying. It's so amazing to see how far I've come. To be able to not only run six miles, but on such a new terrain....it just makes me happy.
I don't have any splits, dumb phone, but I do know how long it took me. So,
Not too shabby. Not to shabby.
I do have a review/giveaway coming up this weekend, so keep your eyes out for that! Nice way to celebrate the 10k.