Monday, January 30, 2012

My [Shortened] Long Run

On Saturday, I had scheduled myself to run 12 long miles. I hadn't run further than ten since Baltimore and I was a little intimidated by this. I'm a strong enough runner by now that the idea of running twelve miles doesn't scare me. But the idea of running twelve miles fast, at a pace that I know is attainable but will be much harder, scares me. At 10am, it was 39 degrees but would be 49 by noon when I finished running so I dressed up in shorts, a short-sleeved dri fit, and my arm warmers and was ready to go.

This run was wonderful. It was beautifully sunny (and a little too windy) outside, I was wearing only slightly too little clothing, I ran an unusual route, and I was very happy with my pace. Some popular landmarks which I rarely run by that I passed Saturday include:
  • The Convention Center
  • Union Station
  • Stanton Park
  • Eastern Market
  • Pour House
  • The Capitol Building
  • Air and Space Museum
  • National Gallery of Art
Other landmarks I passed which I run by often include:
  • Nikki's apartment
  • Ingrid's apartment
  • The Washington Monument
  • The White House
  • Dupont Circle
  • The National Zoo
Running in Northeast DC is a rare treat for me. It's not somewhere I ever consider mapping a run but Eastern Market just popped into my head yesterday as a good destination spot. I ended up running on some portions of the National Half Marathon course from last year and that made me happy. If my entire life didn't exist so far Northwest, I would love to live in a row house over there and I would run on those brick sidewalks all the time.

This is not Northeast DC. It is the DC where my life is. It is where I finished my run on Saturday.

At mile .74, I looked down at my watch and I was sustaining a 7:39 minute mile. I was glad to see that I could run that speed without noticing it (full disclosure: that did include a steep downhill that was probably .4 miles long) but I knew that I would need to slow it down in order to survive 12 miles. 

Coming to a long uphill during mile 2 made slowing down quick and easy but the 7:39 set the tone for the entire run. My confidence was boosted and I ran pretty fast, averaging 8:24 overall, and it didn't feel too hard. I think that my overall pace is inaccurate because I ran a long stretch under the pavilion at Union Station, screwing with the satellite to my garmin. I came out from under the heavy stone overhead at mile 5.5 and my average pace read 12:36 which was totally false. Once the satellite picked back up, the pace started to drop and I finished the mile at 8:44. Still, I am confident that I truly ran between 8:10 and 8:20.

Around mile 8, the cut and blister on my foot started to rub and hurt. I was glad I had made it that far without even thinking about it but wasn't sure how to make it another 4 miles in the pain I was in. It slowly got worse and, at mile 10, I considered bailing early. Running through Farragut and Dupont, I had to stop at many lights for a few seconds. Each time I started running again, the pain was heightened. I had been running uphill for two miles and I knew that I'd done a really good job in pushing myself so I wasn't afraid to cut it a little short. I decided to run until I hit 11.00 and then strip my shoes off and walk the rest of the way home.

Swollen feet.

I hit 11 on this lovely bridge, less than a mile from my apartment, and I hobbled over to untie my shoes. I called Josh to walk down Connecticut toward me and I started walking up the hard concrete sidewalk in my socks. I discovered that the only thing worse than running the last of twelve miles in a shoe that's ripping your heel bone apart is walking the last of twelve miles barefoot. By the time I met Josh, my left ankle really hurt. I put my shoes back on, then wimpered in pain from the blister and ripped my right shoe back off. This was obviously one of the most graceful and sexy moments in my life.

Josh brought me pants.

I admitted that running the last mile would have been much more pleasant than walking home like I did. How much worse could my foot have gotten, anyway? I will refrain from showing a photo of the blister and will, instead, tell you my plan to make it go away. I am visiting my bff in NYC this weekend and we have plans to run six miles from her apartment across the Brooklyn Bridge. I also have plans to run 4 miles with Nikki tonight. Since it's a cutback week, though, I think I'll spend the rest of the days avoiding my asics. I realize that this foot thing could be worse and I am fortunate not to have any real injuries but it is a nuissance and it will never heal if I don't give it more than a few days rest. Instead of running, I'll do yoga, ride my indoor bike trainer, and do some core and strength training.

And that is the story of my life. Happy Monday! How was your weekend?


  1. Great run, girl! That is really fast! You're going to crush your time goal! Hope your foot heals up soon.

  2. I think blisters can actually be a terrible problem! You're pretty diesel for powering past mile 8 with that kind of pain.