10 Somewhat difficult miles

On the road to 26.2, one of the first stops is mile marker 10. Five or six years ago, I was running about 6 miles a day during the late spring to early fall. Back then I had the advantage of working within close proximity of a very accessible route. A runnable route was a very nice perk of working downtown. One that I sorely lack out in the suburbs of Mason. That isn’t to say there aren’t any places to run, that would be wrong. There just are too many places where the speed limit is too high and the sidewalk non-existent.

Enough about that though, let’s talk about running 10 miles. It’s still rather cold, so this run was inside and was at the gym I frequent. I chose the gym over the home treadmill because the ones at the gym have a nice fan to keep you cool. Like the 5k, the 10 miler was a slow one at 5.5mph. That gave me a per mile time of just under 11 minutes a mile – which is far too slow. My usual outdoor pace is somewhere between 6-6.5mph or 8:30 – 9 minutes per mile. Clearly I have work to do on the speed front. Let’s stick to distance.

10 miles isn’t quite half where I need to be. Next week I hope to get either 13 or 16 miles in and hopefully they’ll be outdoors – though weather in the Midwest is nothing if not unpredictable. At less than half, I am a bit concerned that I was hitting heart rates of 150bpm by the end. My “power band” is typically around 138bpm. If I stay there I can run until my knees just stop working. Any sustained activity over 150 and I have trouble keeping breathing in line and things stop being fun.

Something surprising about the 5k was how difficult a run it was. Several times I was bargaining with myself to start walking for a bit – though I never did. I did not get sleep the prior evening, so I’m sure it’s a contributing factor.

A quick aside, the 10 miler was the 2nd longest run I’ve done outside of the half marathon, so that’s something. The first 5 miles were pretty uneventful. Six and seven were mostly bargaining. I started breaking down the run into just the next mile. Then as mile 10 got closer, it was the next half mile, or next quarter mile. Anything to make what’s left seem attainable.

With less than a half a mile left, the treadmill automatically went into cool down. Apparently at the gym, you cannot be on a treadmill longer than 100 minutes. So… I jumped over to an adjacent treadmill and finished up. This is why I mention how important it is that I find a route outside.

Speaking of outside, outside of speed, my biggest weakness now is handling elevation. I’m just not great at it. Running to Nine Giant a couple of weeks ago required multiple times to stop and walk – even though it was only 2.2 miles each way. Clearly this is something I can solve, I just need to find the right route. So off to Google Maps.