Man oh man! Or should I say woman oh woman! I have a lot to say. As you can see, I posted the pink ribbon - the well-known symbol for breast cancer awareness. I posted it for two reasons. The first reason is because at least two girlfriends (Kim and Mendy) have asked me to do the Race For The Cure with them thus far. Kim, in particular, has become quite a runner since the last time we did the RFTC. Well, I'll be out of town on the day of the race, which coincides with the World Wide Half Marathon. I'll be running the WWH the following weekend, FYI. The second reason I posted it is because yesterday I bought a "pink ribbon" 20 oz. water bottle. I have been doing my runs with a mere 8 oz. water bottle and saw the need to bump up. I have much bigger water bottles, but they're just too bulky to carry. It's a pretty water bottle. I don't think I'm a prissy girl, but I am a girly girl (I'm proud to say). So this pink water bottle works for me, and it supports a wonderful cause. Good luck to the thousands of women who'll be participating in the Race For The Cure!
Yesterday I also purchased some new running duds. I bought some fabulous Nike compression shorts. Normally I wouldn't dare go out in just compression shorts, but these somehow are made well enough that I don't feel too "revealed." I don't like that there aren't any pockets, but I can adapt. I also got (on sale!) another Nike Dri-Fit singlet and a long-sleeved Nike Dri-Fit shirt, plus an Under-Armour tee (designed for extremely warm weather - and believe me, that's what we generally have here in Arkansas). I am a huge fan of NOT running in 100% cotton! I feel a bit hypocritical purchasing all of those "labels," because in my everyday wardrobe I do not. But, running is a specialty, and for best results I think you need the best products. So today I ran looking like an advertisement for Nike.
I woke at 6 AM and headed out the door at about 7 AM, when the sun was done rising. It was 69 degrees and felt great. I decided to do the same route as the 5-miler from a few days ago, yet, obviously, lengthen it. It was all service road for the interstate, so there were always businesses available for me to run to if I needed anything (help, restroom, etc.) I never go out anticipating trouble, but one never knows what will happen. Plus, I wanted to test that service road route because it is a contender for the 13.1 mile half-marathon course.
I first took a bite of my energy bar (a slightly different one from last week) at mile 4, I think. Just one bite. I figured I needed to spread it out a bit. I got to the 5-mile turnaround point in under an hour, which really pleased me. I found that I could run most of each mile, plus add a bit of walking, and keep the average pace under 12 minutes. For me, that's super.
The run back home was far more difficult. I polished off the energy bar around mile 7, I think. I didn't exactly "zoom" home like I thought I did last week. I seemed to be struggling to keep up the with the sub-12 minute pace. I just kept thinking "hustle up and get home." Ha! My goal, though, was to do all 10 miles in 2 hours or less. Mile 8 was the point when my neck of the woods really comes into vision, so it was a motivating milemarker. I was to the point where I had to do 12-minute miles to make my goal, which made it harder - mentally. But I thought to myself "surely you can maintain a 12-minute mile... it's just two more miles." I got to mile 9 (thankfully) and had to make the 12-minute mile (broken record here). Well, as I have mentioned in past posts, I usually speed up right at the end so I can have a "big finish." I was monitoring my Garmin and noticing a 10:30 or so pace as the imaginary finish line kept getting closer and closer. Make no mistake, I was feeling it. I knew this was all going to be over soon and I'd probably achieve my goal. Well guess what...
I did! I did the 10 miles in 1:59:33 for an average pace of 11:58. Even though I thought it was much more difficult than the 9-mile longrun of last Saturday, my pace improved. Last week my average pace was 12:11. I am so surprised that through all of the fast/slow, fast/slow I did today I had a better average.
As a side note, I did a "scientific" experiment today. As I was all suited up and ready to head out, I weighed. It seems that after running 10 miles and consuming 20 oz. of sports drink, I sweated off 1.2 pounds. Very interesting!
I need a shower like the farmland of Oklahoma needs rain (my husband is from there). I am really going to take it easy today after my early morning efforts. I hope you've enjoyed my ramblings... I created this blog so that I could keep track of my progress and try to learn from it, and also so those who know me can keep up with it all without me having to blab constantly. Enjoy your weekend!