I did 9 miles yesterday afternoon... on the treadmill. I'm getting over yet another sinus thing, and really thought I'd be better off on the treadmill in the air conditioning than running outside in the humidity and heat. I think it was the right call.
For nothing but my own record, here are my mile times, followed by the 16 minute/mile "scoop time" for the race:
This weekend's run was actually supposed to be 11 miles. It's the last long run before the race, and I'm guessing the 11th mile is so that a normal beginner runner would know that they have enough in the tank to complete the whole route on race day. Unfortunately for me, I had a problem I haven't had before: I completely ran out of gas. In fact, I came dangerously close to passing out in the shower after I quit. I'm fairly confident that if I had stayed on the treadmill long enough to complete the 10th mile I would have passed out...and wouldn't that have been embarrassing?
Believe it or not, I am very happy with my results for a few different reasons.
1. The new shoes are a God-send for my toes. I didn't get any new toe blisters, and my toes didn't feel like they were being crushed.
2. The duct tape over my existing blisters didn't completely hold, but I got through the run. I didn't wash my feet before putting on the tape, and didn't use powder or antiperspirant to keep my feet dry, so I think if I do that I'll be golden...or at least silver (har har).
3. My lungs still aren't at 100%. Of course, there's no guarantee they will be two weeks from today (!), but if they are I'll be able to push a little more.
4. I screwed up my meals yesterday. I had a smoothie for breakfast, and a pb&j sandwich around 10:00 (plus a quart of Gatorade) and started running just about noon. I run with a little bag of Craisins, but I was trying to be discreet with them in the gym, and only ate 1/2 the bag before I gave up. According to the calorie counter on the treadmill, I burned about 1,000 calories, which was more than I had available to burn. On race day, I'll be having a big bowl of pasta for lunch and then probably 2 peanut butter sandwiches before the actual race starts.
5. They are allowing spectators into Champion Stadium at the sports complex, and we run around the field there between miles 6-7. I'll be disappointed if I don't make it that far (so Scott can take a tiny blurry picture of me), and elated if I make it to the finish line. Based on yesterday's times, I would have been scooped after mile 7.
6. I haven't had a good run since my 5-mile long run 2 months ago. I was sidelined by 2 colds, plus countless blisters and other assorted foot problems. None of my old problems came back to haunt me yesterday, and the new problem was really just poor pre-planning. Worst-case scenario, the water stops have some "gu" available. I'd prefer to stick with what I know won't bother my stomach (btw, I CAN NOT drink anything but water while I'm running...sport drinks, even watered down, are like ipecac for me), but I'll do what I have to to not lose my steam like I did yesterday.
7. We've been out of the gym for more than a month (see point 6, plus vacation), and I've been running at home in the mornings. We'll be back in the gym on Monday morning, which will allow me to push a little harder on the treadmill AND give me the other two days to work on weights. I know I'll do better if I can get a little stronger over the next 2 weeks.
I wish the race was an extra 2 weeks away. I really feel like if I had one more long run I could fine-tune the rest of my issues and be completely prepared for race day. However, I'm going to follow the program and do a 3-mile run next weekend and give my muscles (and blisters) more time to heal.
I give myself a 25-50% chance of actually completing all 10 miles on race day. People keep saying "think positive" and other helpful platitudes, I think because they think I'm discouraged. Really though, look at how far I've come in the past six months. I'm freakin' doing this, and really? That's still awesome.
Oh, and one other thing to note: I got on the scale at the gym yesterday before my run, just to see what sort of weight gain happened in my month out of the gym. It turns out I was still losing. I'm down 21 pounds! It's been 20+ weeks, so it's not really a drastic loss, especially considering how much I still have to go, but it's still going in the right direction.