Today was my first run in my new shoes! I got a great deal on them online that even included a free running T-shirt. They are the shoes I currently run in, just a different color. These are the best shoes I've had since I started running in 2005. I'm hoping they (and their fresh, unused cushioning) help the leg pain I've been having on the right side. My doc, who is a runner himself, believes it's from a tight hamstring/inflamed piriformis muscle and I should go nuts with stretching every chance I get. At night when I'm on the computer, I sit on a knobbly dog ball and roll back and forth to help massage it. Yep, that's a mental picture you'll want to erase.
Today was also the last three-mile run of training. I won't run less than four miles again until I'm tapering my distance the week before the race. That made me feel kind of intimidated, though I know I have no reason to be. I've run longer than three miles plenty of times. Heck, I've gone as far as 16, and that was years ago before my first 25K. But knowing that the first six weeks--officially one third--of my training is over weighed a little on me. I'm now in the MIDDLE of training for a marathon. I can't let it eat me up, though. Part of what made me finally decide to run 26.2 miles is that only five runs, including the race, in the entire 18 week plan were longer than I've run before. I can handle five runs.
The weekend long runs so far have gone up to 12 miles, though I stopped at 11 that day because the route I'd chosen was just too hilly to contemplate the remaining 0.95 miles. It was a fairly miserable run and I wanted to quit more than once. But the point of training is to get *through* tough crap like that, right? Even though I walked some of it, I covered the distance on my own two feet. Small victory.
This weekend, my long run is 9 miles (a step-down week before next week's 14), which I'm hoping to do before the heat index reaches the 100 degree mark! Yikes. I'm thankful for our treadmill in the air-conditioned basement. Right now my plan is to run 2 on the 'mill, head outside for 5 miles, and plan to finish the last 2 on the treadmill again if the heat is too much at that point. Kind of depends what time I get out the door. After that we're visiting family for a few birthday celebrations. I see cake in my future!