Friday, for the first time ever, I ran 17 miles. 17.03 to be exact. I’m still going to post a recap of all of last week’s training, but I felt like this run deserved it’s own separate post. I ran with my two favorite Phoenix runner/bloggers Nicole and Stacey, and we started at the lovely hour at 4:30 am, which meant falling asleep well after 11, I woke up to my alarm going off sometime that started with a 3. My first night before a new distance in over 6 months brought back all the feelings and craziness I would get during PF Chang’s training. Anxious, restless sleep, nerves, and dreams of worst case scenarios. Somehow I still woke up with a weird amount of energy, and was excited to get running!
Stacey arrived at my house at 4:30 and we began the 1.5 mile run down to meet Nicole at Starbucks. From Starbucks, we headed down to the canal and just kind of strolled along. Our pace was slooooooowwwww for the first several miles. My mind was going back and forth between “This pace is so nice! It genuinely feels easy! I can keep this up alllll day.” and “OMG you’re so slow. PICK UP THE PACE!!!” Luckily, we were all smart, straight A running students, and we just let it be easy, knowing we had a long way to go.
Mile 5– 11:03
Along the first few miles we chatted, and made a running friend along the canal that ended up sticking with us for about half a mile or so before picking up to his actual pace, which shockingly was not an 11 minute mile. Finally, I started to feel warmed up at this point. The weather was perfection–the sun was barely coming up, it was in the high 70’s with a nice breeze, and I was feeling pretty optimistic about the run. We started to pick it up a little and slowly find our way closer to normal long run pace.
Mile 9– 10:32
At mile 9.25, we reached our turn around point. I started to get really excited knowing we were turning around and more than half way through! It seemed like the end was actually in sight (even though it was almost 8 miles away), and I started pushing to pick up the pace. I was getting into the groove, and feeling really great.
Mile 12– 10:00
This is where things started to get tough, and also where I started to get some serious runner’s high. It was a combination of really starting to feel the run, but also being so freaking excited about running. I had run without my music up until this point, but as my legs were starting to feel tired, and sweat was starting to drip excessively from my body due to the now 80 degree with full blazing sun weather. It was amazing how much more helpful my music was having saved it for when I really needed it.
I started singing along so loudly at the top of my lungs, dancing around, and acting a total fool. I started thinking about how far I’ve come, and how in less than a year, I’ve gone from a 3 mile PDR, and here I was about to complete 17. I started t get all sappy about this marathon crap, and almost cried in true emotional silly Ari fashion. Apparently being ridiculous, emotional, and singing badly while running lead to really excellent paces…
Mile 15– 9:36
This is where shit got hard. My legs were exhausted. I was feeling overheated, and tired, and my ankles were really started to hurt. In fact, my whole body ached. I leaned over to stretch while waiting for a stoplight, and legit almost just fell on the ground, but we were all determined to finish this run strong, and thankfully, when my attitude and mental state took a turn for the less than happy, my amazing friends were right there to pick me up, and encourage me until the end. How do people do this crap on their own?! Seriously.
Mile 17– 9:11
And just like that, all 3 of us achieved a distance well above our previous PDRs. There was so much love and sweat outside that Starbucks.
17 down. 9 to go. Onward.