It’s the weekend so I did a long run. Or, I did a long run cuz it’s the weekend.

So maybe right now I’m just a weekend blogger. But that’s ok. I can live with that. Better than nothing, right?

Well, this week I had a few good runs and one really yucky “I hate running” run. It happens.

On Monday, I did a 4 mile run with Jaqueline and Becky. Jaqueline and I picked up Becky in running group and enticed her to run with us, and it couldn’t have been more awesome. A match made in heaven. Three peas in a pod. And so on. And we rocked that 4 mile run at a 10:45 average pace. Woot.

But on Thursday, the weather heated up a bit and my leg was hurting and we had a tempo run. And I went out way too fast on the tempo portion, with an 8 something minute mile pace. Then I slowed down to about 9:45, which is what I wanted. But then it looks like I got faster for a bit in the 8’s.. and then just plain died. The last 5 minutes of my 15 minute tempo section were all over 10 minute miles. FAIL. And oh man, I felt like shit. Blech, blech. Those are the runs that make it seem like my goal of a 2:11 half are laughable at this point.

The long run today semi-redeemed it though. We did 9 miles. Obligatory map of where we went in Vacaville, courtesy of Le Garmin:

This was a hilly route. Preparing us for the hilly half, or so they say. 😉 The first part on Vine started out with a big hill right away. Then we did some rollers, some more rollers, some flat, up a big climb and back down, some more rollers, and back home. It looked a little like this:

Now, the first half of the run, I was struggling. Who knows why, it could have been the wine, the cupcakes, or the 6 hours of sleep I had last night. Whatever the reason, miles 1 – 5 were rough. Miles 4 and 5, especially so. But Becky was my inspiration, I couldn’t let her down! I kept on truckin’. But after taking a Gu right around mile 5, I felt better and stronger. The last 4 miles felt WORLDS better than the previous ones.

End result? An average page of 11:36/mile. Which I say is pretty darn close to the goal average pace, and that should mean my goal is within reach. I hope. But I really have to start nailing the speedwork.

And possibly laying off the wine and cupcakes.

Best 8 mile run so far!

Today we tackled this route:

With a little bit of some rolling hill action:

Ok, kind of a lot of rolling hill action. But we knew we wanted to keep it to that goal 11:30 pace. Jaqueline and I were joined by Becky, and the three of us were a little team, with a cruising speed of around 11:00 most of the time. The hills slowed us down, but the downhills we were flying!

We took one walk break, right at the midpoint – 45 minutes, 4 miles. We each took a gel and downed some water before getting going again and really tackling the bigger hills that were in the second half.

And amazingly, amazingly, we came in under pace:

Average pace for the whole run was 11:13! We are awesomely impressed with ourselves, because it felt AWESOME. I was not dying. I was not feeling like I needed to quit. I was just cruising. It was a perfect runner’s zone.

Now, the shins are not too happy with me. I did my Monday and Wednesday midweek runs, but had to get some emergency ART on Thursday and skip the speedwork on Thursday night (I did a 35 minute walk instead). And as I type, I’ve got a compression thing that holds an ice pack on there. I’m really trying to take good care of it. But with a little ibuprofin before the run, it was completely manageable the whole time. Hopefully I can get it sorted out soon.

But for now, I’m just going to revel in that amazing 8 mile run. What a great start to the weekend.