I got the two hours done. It was easier than I thought it might be and seemed to go faster than I thought it might too. All those weeks of pounding out the miles endlessly on the treadmill made the first half hour go by without my even being aware of it. The second half hour was almost equally as easy. Then I stopped to get water, refuel somewhat, and off I went for the next hour, although this time bringing water. The next 30 minutes was okay, although I did start feeling the pain somewhat, but by the time the next 30 minutes started, I knew I was on the downside of the dreaded two hour run, and it was only a matter of sticking it out for 30 more minutes.
I was very fortunate to have some of the best weather I can remember in a long time. The temperature when I started was about 45 degrees, but sunny, and with the promise of reaching the 70s later in the day. I only hesitated a moment in deciding what to wear, and I feel I made the best choice for me. I had decided if it was 45 or higher, it would be shorts and a jacket. I decided too on a short sleeved shirt, figuring if I needed to take off the jacket I still would have something on other than a singlet type shirt I wear at the gym. And for me, without question, gloves. I can't survive with cold hands, and while my hands tend to sweat excessively, they still get cold. But still, I wasn't surprised to see many out there with either just a short sleeved shirt, or none at all (men of course!), and a few women in sports bras. I don't care, I need some covering.
When picking my route, two things presented themselves late in the week: (1) Earth Day doings at the park and on the trail by the river and (2) a 10 mile race most of the people I wanted to avoid would be at. Since I did not want to run behind the garbage trucks and volunteers out cleaning up the riverbank for Earth Day this year, I decided to avoid the park. Instead, I parked by the Y and ran loops from there, both out to the park and back and another route north of there and back. All the miles would be on sidewalks, but it had to be done. With this in mind, I did not do a measured route but just went for time. I figured my ego did not need to be disappointed if I did not make my 11 miles this week. I just really needed to get in the 2 hours.
I also did not have to worry about the usual park crowd, since most of them were at the race. That meant I did not have to get caught up in chatter or risk someone faster than me wanting to tag along. I really wanted to go it alone. Earlier in the season, this 10 mile race was in my thoughts to put on my schedule. It worked into my plan to train for and run a 25k in May. But after my dad died in February, things fell apart for a while, and while I probably could have run 10 miles, this race has the reputation of being hilly--5 miles of rolling hills out and 5 miles back, there is no up, and some of the rollers are more than that. Added to that, its a fast crowd that does this race. The last time I ran this a few years ago, my time was 1:39 and I was one of the LAST people to finish! That was better than a 10 minute pace (just barely) and yet I was almost last. There was no way I could come close to that kind of time today, and I knew it. Again, my ego just didn't have it in me to be followed by the ambulance.
It was amazing how much easier/faster the whole thing seemed compared to the boredom of the treadmill, yet the treadmill is what got me to where I am, so I can't totally complain. For me, the two hour mark running is a milestone in many ways. I feel that after two hours, I can accomplish anything. I also feel that at two hours the fat burning starts and endurance kicks in. It was just the monkey I needed to get off my back, since I have to now admit it has been at least 11 months since I have even attempted anything over a one hour run. I was making half-way decent progress up to last fall when I had the accident, and then had to totally rebuild again. So I was thrilled that I could do this again.
And I will say I didn't run the entire time, but I did keep my walk/run ratio the same throughout--8 min. running, 2 minutes walking, and even threw in a couple of extra minutes at the end where I misjudged the distance to get back to my car. My legs aren't in too bad of shape either, although I was pretty slow getting ready after and trying to get around for a while so I could go to the soccer game on time. Then I met my friend at the gym and went over a weight routine with her, so I'm guessing that helped loosen me up more. I don't feel too bad at all, other than my heel being a little sore, but totally manageable--at least I can walk! Nothing a nice glass of wine won't fix! I'm indulging tonight.