I think a lot of this process has been about learning. Learning about running, learning about myself and learning about how things work together. The last week has brought about a lot of those moments when I finally figured something out.
First, last weekend was my first Magic Mile weekend. I was not really looking forward to it since I know my time is not the best and to have it be "official" I was unsure if I really wanted to see it for real. Since it was part of the training program I decided to trust the process. The next hurdle after deciding to do this was to find a place. Jeff Galloway really stresses using a track or a specific distance path. I could have done it at school but it would mean either driving back to work or staying after (and risking having people see me doing this) or using the 1/8 mile track at Page. Unfortunately LHS track is not open to the public to use. Another option might be the Civic Center Park loop but I didn't really think of that one. The weather was warm (52) but there was a light mist and the humidity was really high. I clocked in with a 9:52 MM. According to the Galloway calculator it means I should be training at 11:52 minutes per mile which is close to where I have been (usually a little faster) but it means my body is doing something right. So lesson one: Trust the experts
Second, the last two weeks I have had a hard time with my week day maintenance runs. Between the weather, the cold, the dark and just being lazy I have only been able to do 1 out of 4. I figured that it would be fine, I have been training and those are just short runs anyway, only 3 miles or so. What would it hurt. BOY was I wrong. I think part of my issues yesterday during my long run were because I skipped the maintenance runs. Lesson two: Respect the maintenance run recommended by the experts.
Third, it was COLD yesterday. I have run in the cold but yesterday it was the coldest I have had to deal with. It was 28 with a wind chill of 23. It was sunny and nice. I had on a short sleeve shirt, a long sleeve shirt and a running jacket and I was perfect (with my headband to cover my ears and gloves). The issue that I found was I kind of forgot about my legs. I had on my running leggings but they are not very thick. Around mile 7 my thighs got really tight and I know it had to do with the cold. Then once that happened I changed my stride and next thing I knew my knees were bothering me. I have not had knee issues at all in this so I know it had to do with things getting tight. Now, you might wonder why my thighs, I think it was because they are the most exposed and in "front". No idea but I know from now on if I layer the top, I am totally layering the bottom too!!! Lesson three: Make sure to dress all parts of you for the weather.
Fourth, running in new places makes running go faster. I was unsure about where to do 10 miles. I did not want to make the loop in the neighborhood since Jeff made me self conscience about what people would think of me. So I snapped on my new hydration belt and headed up to Civic Center. The 1 mile loop was nice and somehow I thought it would be fun to do the hill during mile 3. WOW, that was harder than I thought it would be but it was fun!! I will run up there again. Lesson four: Bringing water with you lets you explore new stuff which is kind of fun!!
Finally, Powerade is not evil. I have never liked Gatorade or other sports drinks. I think they taste nasty and I cannot stomach them. Well, after 10 miles in just over 2 hours the 32 ounces of Fruit Punch cold goodness was wonderful!!! Lesson five: Sports drinks have a time and a place
Overall I am proud I finished 10 miles and at this point going 13.1 seems like no problem. I do hope I can overcome this knee thing and I do know, I will not be skipping anymore midweek runs, even if it means the dreadmill at 9pm!!!