(No, not that number)
But in the running community, it’s all about the numbers. How miles did you run on the weekend long run? How many times did you lap around the track? How many hill repeats did you complete? What is your marathon pace/goal/personal record?
For me, this is my week summarized in numbers:
- 3 miles on the treadmill
- 5 1200 meter repeats on the track
- 5.5 miles completed with a friend
- 16.75 miles accumulated on Saturday
Saturday’s long run had the group running 14 miles from the store and then on the Custis Trail in Virginia. According to some trivia provided by a running mate, the trail opened in the early 80’s and connects the Mount Vernon Trail to the W&OD Trail. It is a hilly 4 mile paved trail and it gets it name from the fact the when anyone runs or bikes this stretch they always want to Cus’ T’is Trail!
The last part isn’t true (it’s really named after Mary Custis Washington), but the rolling hills make for a challenging run. Much of the path takes runners up and down, making for a killer workout on the quads and calf muscles. For the first seven miles, I could feel the impact of the elevation on my legs, but, perhaps because I knew what to expect, the return to the store felt more comfortable.
Up until Saturday, the most I had run in one stretch had been about 13.1 miles. I have done that four times by finishing each of my half marathons. Going into this past SLR, I was both excited and nervous about how my body would feel during and after the long distance. Because I ran to the store, the end of my 14-miler meant that, in total, I had completed 15.5 miles. And to my surprise, I still had enough energy left in me to run back home.
During the hilly course, me and two other women averaged a sub 9-mile, and we even picked up the pace in the latter half of the run. Our pace is right on par with my goal to complete a sub four-hour marathon. Amazingly, I was even able to speed up during the final miles to my apartment. Perhaps it was the rain, but as raindrops began to fall hard during my last half mile home, my legs picked up the pace even more, getting me home with a personal record clocked on my Garmin: 16.75 miles.
Had it not been for the pouring rain and rumbles of thunder, I would have gone for that last .25 mile just so I could see “17” light up my watch. Nevertheless, in 2.27:58 minutes I completed my longest run to date. But that number won’t stay in my record books for long. With each coming week, my mileage only increases, ultimately setting me up to reach the most important number of all: 26.2