Today I ran my 12 mile long run with a friend of mine, Shirley, who also happens to be a certified running coach. And though my intent in requesting her help was not to have her run with me (since I am a slow goer) she offered to run with me on my long run this weekend to observe how I run and offer some tips. Also, as she is training for her first Ironman, she felt an easier run would be good after a tough bike ride on Saturday. I have never really run with anyone else because they usually are much faster than me, but I really enjoyed the company - and it made the run go much better!
2 hours, 28 minutes later - in the bright Florida sunshine, we completed the 12 miles. What got me through the last 2 miles was some advice from Shirley, who recommended I try to run with a shorter stride - short little steps - and just pick up the pace a bit. It turned out to be easier for me than my slower, longer stride, and seems to have good potential to be easier on my left heel, which continues to bug me on and off. I had been running at about 155 beats per minute (BPM) but I am going to try this week on my shorter runs to go with a shorter stride at around 165 or 160 - I have the BPM music I have picked up on line to help keep the pace up. I am excited that if this turns out to be easier, I will last better. My long runs are getting longer in time, and next week's 14 miles will take me nearly 3 hours to complete.
So, I feel great - with 12 miles behind me today, which is good. When I go for 14 miles next week it will be the longest run I have EVER done. A half marathon is the longest I have done to date. I will be treading into new territory, and I am excited!! I ran 31.4 miles this week so the Parrot Predictor did its calculation and it is predicting a 5:07 marathon. I am thinking that a time between 5 hours and 5.5 hours will be a good goal for me.
It's a good day to run!! :-)