Longest Ever Run (for me)

 Sober me at the back. (everyone else is pretty drunk by this point).

Sober me at the back. (everyone else is pretty drunk by this point).

Bit late on this one but it has been a busy (ish week)

However, on Sunday I ran my longest ever run of 11 miles, but before we jump into the actual run let’s go into some background on how I’ve ended up here.

I have my first half marathon in Derby on 3rd June, I started training for it back at the start of the year when I was comfortably running 5k but struggling with much above that. I’ve followed a couple of training schedules but seemed to have found my own method. Essentially, I am upping my long run mileage by 1 mile a week so before this 11 mile run I had done the 8,9,10 mile runs. But the 11 miler seemed mentally more difficult for some reason.

I had planned the route the day before and found a nice route mixing canal and parks to break up the monotony of road running. On the Saturday we had some friends over for a pizza and games night, while they were drinking cocktails eating pizza being the party animal I am, I was eating fish and drinking water.

So the morning of the run came, the anxiety and nerves were there, I woke up had my breakfast and ambled around the house finding things to do. I told myself “I’ve run 10 miles before, stop being so worried” (obviously I still worried), however, I put my shoes and headphones on and went out the door.

 The Route

The Route

The 3 miles were tough, the thought of doing 11 miles at that point felt like it was just going to be too far and I wasn’t sure I’d be able to complete. Miles 4-7 were better, I had found a pace I was happy at and just kept plodding along. I was starting to feel blisters forming and they were growing ever more painful as I took each step, I tried to take my mind off the pain by concentrating on my breathing which worked (for all of 30 seconds mind you!).

Miles 7-10 were good, it was the part of the route I knew the best and involved running through Cannon Hill park and down the Rea Valley route which I always enjoy. They were pretty uneventful to be fair, apart from my stomach churning from the energy gels that is.

Then came the last mile and the worst part of the run, THE HILL, I knew it was coming (I had planned the route obviously). The blisters were hurting a lot by this point and I felt like giving up after pretty much every step of this hill, but somehow, I managed to make it to the top!

Once the dreaded hill was over I was on the home straight through Highbury Park and onto Kings Heath high street and that was it.

I’d done it, 11 miles and I’d made it through without collapsing, and there was a full English breakfast and my hungover friends waiting for me at a café!

What have I learned from this run?

  • Invest in some blister pads (a necessity for my future longer runs)
  • Good podcasts make the run a little bit easier, thank you Bad Boy Running
  • As it says on the pack, energy gels are good for my energy. But as it doesn’t say on the pack, they are not good for my stomach.
  • But most importantly:

I CAN DO IT, NO MATTER HOW HARD IT IS PHYSICALLY I WILL FINISH AND MY LEGS WON’T JUST FALL OFF!

Now onto the 12 miler this week (maybe).