The farthest I have ever run happened on a Monday night.
Last night I did my Long Run which was supposed to happen on Sunday. I didn’t run at all on Sunday, though, since I did an 8+ run with Santiago on Saturday (which is normally a day off) and practiced taiko for 5 hours afterwards. Instead I went hiking which was super relaxing and refreshing.
This put me in a position to do my long run on Monday after work. Not an ideal time or day for me. But it had to be done, since it’s in my training program, and it had to be 16 miles.
I seriously was dreading it all day. I was having anxiety about it all throughout work – partially a good thing because I made sure to keep hydrated since I sweat out every drop of water in my body during Sunday’s hot, humid hike. I even had a nice pasta dinner on Sunday night, which I finished for lunch that afternoon. Still, 16 miles is a daunting amount, considering I almost passed out after my 13.1 trial run. I made up my mind to not let my pace or time bother me, that the goal was simply going to be to run the outer loop of Central Park twice (12 miles), and the inner loop once (4 miles). I was also a tad worried about being in the park too late, there are still some seedy bums there, but I did a little internet research and many people said they felt pretty safe since there were a lot of other runners and cyclists out there at all hours. I went to the UWS and changed into my running clothes and said “Just do it!” (heh)
Before the 16 miler I was smiling! Afterwards, I was smiling...inwardly.
Low and Behold! I did it. I need to download my splits when I get home but considering that I was not pushing myself at all for speed, I finished at a pretty good estimated time. I ended up doing it at an average pace of 10:13 per mile, and in total, I did 16.4 in 2:47:47.
I will say that the first loop around was pretty “eh” – probably because I was so anxious that it was ‘only’ the first 6, that I had 10 more to go even when that was done, and I was stiff from sitting around my desk. The first half of the second loop went much better, since I was warmed up, I knew that by the time I would finish, there would only be 4 more to go, and I bumped into a friend I hadn’t seen in a long time who ran with me for a few minutes to catch up. However, it was getting pretty dark and near the end of the loop, I needed water badly so I drank up a flood at the next water fountain.
The last loop was definitely unpleasant. Here is where sore shins and stressed knees started whining, telling me I was crazy and it was late and I wasn’t going at a good speed anyway so why bother, etc. I shut them up and kept chugging along. I know a lot of runners make a strong finish in the last 3 or so miles, but I have not mastered this yet and although I would get waves of smooth running, every now and then, it really felt like I was clomping along without much control over my feet. I’d try to overcome by straightening out my arms swinging and running more on my toes, but if I wasn’t concentrating on this, it would all go to shit. Oh well. Not the strongest finish, but I finished! And the lady at the bodega was nice enough to open my beverage for me since I was too sweaty to do it myself!
I have to say, Central Park in the evening was very pretty. The first hour was a bit too hot and humid to enjoy but dusk was gorgeous. After around 9 though, these mythical night runners and cyclists did not seem to be out in full force. There were not many people around and I kept looking behind me to make sure I could see at least one other person around….but in general it was pretty desolate. I was glad to be out by 9:45pm, because by then, I could only see 3 people in the whole area.
Longest run of my life (so far) completed! Yay! Taking a break today and watching a movie with my feet up!