Today has been a great day! I accomplished my goals at the Medoc Ten Miler this morning. Now, I'm on the sofa and will be napping as soon as I type this. Score!
This was a race of many firsts for me: first trail race, first time going 10 miles, first time at a race less than ten miles from my house (that was incredible), first race medal and first time at a race with a marathon (so inspiring, don't know that I'll ever be at a point where I can do that, but I loved seeing those guys/gals today).
Honestly, for the first time I felt like a REAL runner while out on the trails today. Not because I ran the entire way or because I was blazing fast: big NOT to both of those. But I really felt like I was the exact place I wanted to be and I just felt "right."
It was tough but I had a plan/goal in mind and I stuck to it. Since this was my first trail race and I knew the rocks, roots & hills would be much tougher than the paths here on the farm, my very conservative plan was to run 4 minutes/walk 1 minute. My time goal was 2:30 or 15 minute miles ... yep, I'm still very, very slow but I'm getting better.
When I came home, Will asked me "did you win, Mama?" My answer: "yeah, I did sweetie" because I did exactly what I set out to do. I finished in 2:28 something (forgot to stop my watch when I crossed the mat). I lost a couple of minutes sometime during mile 5 because I backtracked and was convinced I'd gone on the wrong trail because the flags were placed a farther apart than they had been everywhere else. There weren't too many people behind me and I was by myself most of the time except when some of the fastest marathoners passed me on their next loop.
I had a great, great time! It was so much fun and I loved every minute of it (yes, even while struggling on those steep stairs at mile 8 and during mile 9)! I'm absolutely convinced now that if I can finish 10 miles at Medoc, I can definitely do 13.1 at the Roanoke Canal Trail Half Marathon in March. I'll hopefully be running at a faster pace by then, too.
I've been looking at some online HM training plans and I've found a novice plan that I think will work for me. It's scheduled to begin the week of Thanksgiving. I'm ready to start now! But that's just the "high" from today. I'll just stick to doing easy runs 3 times a week between now and then. I'm also going to focus on losing about 10 pounds in the next 5 weeks. That will definitely help, too. I know my weight works against me and makes running harder than it needs to be. Sigh ... it's a lifelong battle that's just really, really hard.
The Canal Trail HM should be easier than today's ten miler. The Canal Trail is mostly flat and isn't rooty and rocky like Medoc's trails. Medoc has some steep ups and downs in sections, too (well, steep for northeastern NC). The good news is that, like today, I'll be guaranteed a PR since it'll be a new distance for me!
I guess that's it for now. This sofa is very comfy and I've earned this nap!
Mile 1: 12:06
Mile 2: 15:59 (includes a stop by my car to drop off my sweatshirt)
Mile 3: 15:48
Mile 4: 15:12
Mile 5: 16:32 (includes the backtrack to confirm I wasn't off the trail)
Mile 6: 13:52
Mile 7: 15:04 (ate 1/2 granola bar, steep stairs at the very end)
Mile 8: 13:56
Mile 9: 15:29 (more steep stairs)
Mile 10: 14:11
Chip time: 2:28:13.9 / 14:50 pace