This past Sunday was a big mileage marker for me. It was my first run past 13.1-ish miles. And as I talked about in why I decided to run a marathon, it's a distance I never thought I'd run. And now I've done it and I'm going to be running even more miles past 13.1. I actually enjoyed running 14 miles. Yes, it was challenging. Yes, I was a gross sweaty mess afterwards. But I enjoyed running it. It's becoming more and more apparent that long distance running is what I enjoy. Getting out there for a couple of hours is what my body enjoys, even though I'm speeding through it.
I headed out at about 6:45 a.m. and got parked and started my run by about 7:15 a.m. One thing I'm going to think about it getting out there to run a little bit earlier. Yes, it means I'm going to get up earlier but the temperature rose about 10º while I was running and I finished it at 80º. Hence the giant salt crystals on my body. I know it's not going to be a whole lot better as we get more into summer in Minnesota but the less heat I'm running in the better. And it will still feel amazing on race day with a start in the 30s and finishing somewhere in the 60s.
For this run, I didn't listen to an audiobook. Instead, I worked my way through my backlog of podcasts since I had just over 3 hours in my queue. I think it made a huge difference to be listening to different things throughout my run rather than the non-fiction audiobook I've been listening to. I'm going to try an audiobook on an upcoming long run but it will probably be the next book in the Outlander series which will still mix it up with different POVs changing throughout my run.
I think what also helped with this run is that I was running a new-ish place. I ran along the river from St. Paul to downtown Minneapolis (and back), which I haven't done in one shot before. I've done parts of this route with different races but I didn't really remember running them. I love running along the river and it was gorgeous running in downtown Minneapolis. It also helped that I got in a lot of people watching in downtown since there was always people around me.
I did get a little lost on this run. Well, not lost since I knew where I was in a general sense but lost because I ended up going down a path that didn't lead where I though it was going to go. I ended up on Nicollet Island instead of running along the river so I didn't get to run across the Stone Arch Bridge like I planned. Next long run I'll be switching up my route so I'm going to the opposite way.
Originally, I had planned on heading to the gym to foam roll before heading home but I nixed that idea at about the halfway point. I was way too gross to go anywhere in public plus I knew I would just want to get home after I was done. I drank probably about 18oz of water along the run and had a Gu but mentally I was done. I had packed a smoothie and water in a cooler for post-run (best idea I've ever had) so I just chugged down my smoothie on the drive home.
I foam rolled as usual, with Vinnie circling me wanting to sniff but not wanting to get that close, and then hopped into a cold bath. With my running clothes still on. And Vinnie decided to join me since I left the bathroom door open. But it felt really good after my run once I got over the initial shock of the temperature.
I'm really excited to see how my future long runs go since I'm just adding on mileage, both weekly and to my long runs. So far, I'm not feeling too sore the days after it but I'm sure that will change as I keep on adding more. I'm hoping my sleep gets a little bit more regular too. I napped for about two hours after my long run and ended up going to bed at my regular time, but woke up at 2 a.m. and couldn't fall back asleep quickly.
How did your first runs longer than 13.1 miles go? Any tips for me?