I was hesitant about biting off more than I could chew, since the most I've done since getting sick was a short 2 miler on Friday, where I had to walk a little due to a coughing attack. I promised myself that the 3 weeks off was like a very thorough tapering, and my body should totally be able to handle double digits, so I set my sights on 12 miles.
With this winter training, and Ed being out of town, I felt little motivation to start early, so I had a leisurely morning, fueled with low fat nutrigrain waffles
You see, I've been using Mr. Potter to help me through my long runs, and was at the end of book 6.
However, I knew what was left on my ipod wouldn't be enough to get me through today, and I had misplaced the charger, so I couldn't add anything to it. I toyed with the idea of going without, but I just didn't know how I would do. Thankfully, I realized that Ed's very old ipod was still in working order. So, I charged it up and added the end of the 6th book and the first 3 discs of the 7th on the ipods, and loaded up my wink hydration pack that I now needed to bring to carry this pretty cumbersome but very happily brought piece of technology.
The wink hydration pack ended up being great choice - I carried more water, the food was very accessible, and it really didn't feel that cumbersome. Plus, I got to be very entertained throughout my run.
I headed out from home and headed on the Los Gatos creek trail, towards Los Gatos.
The first 5 miles took me to the end of the pavement, and I ventured from there onto the fire trail. I'll admit, sometimes I'm scared to go on the trails solo, but this is really a very safe and well populated stretch, and honestly, it was my favorite part of the run. After I got out to 6 miles, I decided I could go out another 1/2 mile and make this a 13 miler instead. Of course, this meant I had to go up a massive hill, which I *almost* ran all the way up but had to walk at the very end. Still, I got to the top, and soon after, I hit 6.5 miles and headed back.
Those next 1 and a half miles were the most enjoyable of the whole run. I was honestly shocked when I saw that I was at mile 8, since I felt like I had just hit 6 miles. I really need to run on trails more...
My legs started tiring out around mile 9, but not horribly so. I had been very good about my fueling, eating 2 shot blocks every 2 miles and a salt tab (electrolyte pill) every 45 minutes.
Around mile 11, I started wondering if maybe I could stretch this run to 14. Yes, I was tired, but not as tired as I had been on my last long run. I decided, though, that I shouldn't make that decision until I was almost home, to make sure I wasn't overly optimistic.
As I reached the outside of my complex, I was still feeling good, so I went out around the neighborhood for another half mile, and then, finally headed home.
Two hours and 40 minutes later, I had finished my longest run in over 2 years (and possibly in 5!). Finally, I feel like I'm on my way to being ready for my race. Next week, Ed and I are going to head to SF to retrace my old training grounds for 16 miles!!! So happy and excited to be doing a very long run :).