long runs and progress

Since Tower of Terror, I’ve settled down a little. I don’t want to say I’ve become complacent, but I just feel more … I don’t know… prepared?

Remind me of this post in a few weeks when I am getting ready for my very first ever (OMG!) half marathon.

Now that I have an official ten miler under my belt, I have some more confidence. I made it to the finish, without embarrassing myself, and I want to do more. Go farther. Be faster. I feel more comfortable that if I need to skip a run because I’m tired/not feeling well/hurting/busy, it’s not going to completely derail my training.

The pressure is still here, but it’s a different kind of pressure. A more enjoyable kind.

My heel was feeling a lot better on Saturday, so I got up and headed out, getting some miles in by the light of the moon, and continuing on through sunrise.

The weather had taken a turn for the colder. A week prior, the temperatures were in the high 70s early in the morning, but the cold snap meant a drop to the 50s. It took me a few minutes to pick something appropriate to wear. I settled on capris and a long sleeve shirt with a hood. I wanted to wear one of Mr PugRunner’s big sweatshirts, but I was under the impression that I would warm up along the way, and then be bogged down by the extra fabric and weight.

Honestly, I should have taken it.

It’s becoming clear that I am part reptile. I am happiest on a warm rock. While the rest of the running world yearns for cooler temps, I’m apparently built for summer. Don’t get me wrong: my legs work faster when it’s cooler, but breathing hurts, my ears sting and my fingers start to go numb. And this is only in the 50s! Gloves are in my future. And an ear warmer.

Oh, another (embarrassing) thing? The cold weather makes me have to go to the bathroom. Every. Ten. Minutes. Super inconvenient, no? I definitely need to manage my hydration exactly right this winter.

So the plan was ten miles. I made it just over two before I had to turn around and hit the loo. Annoying, but I got right back out there and started on the next eight.

All in all, it was a great outing. Even though I was pushing for distance, I kept an eye on my split times. While my 5K was slow, I shaved about five minutes off my 10K time, and came in a full six minutes under my official Tower of Terror time for the same distance. It’s such a great feeling to see my progress in cold, hard numbers. For a while, it felt like I was just getting out there and running without any growth or development, but now I realize that couldn’t be farther from the truth.

I was all smiles when I finally made it back into the (warm) house.

I’m maturing as a runner in other ways, too.

For one thing, I find myself really watching my form. From photos, I see that I run horribly pigeon-toed, and I am making a conscious effort to straighten my feet for efficiency. It’s uncomfortable but not impossible or harmful, and it’s little tweaks like this that will help me continue to evolve. I am going to a running form clinic in a few weeks with Kristin and I am really excited to see what they have to say about improvements I can make.

I also find that I’ve fallen into quite a groove without music. I bring my iPod with me, but since it’s incredibly early and dark when I start my runs, I don’t use it in the beginning, and by the time it gets light enough for me to feel safe plugging in one earbud, I am doing just fine and don’t want to upset the apple cart. In a million years, I never thought I would run ANY distance sans the distraction of some tunes, but I actually don’t mind it. I almost kind of prefer it. It’s like I don’t even know myself!

Even though I’m still a little nervous, I’m getting really excited for the Space Coast Half. It’s just such a huge goal for me, and it’s really right there, within my grasp. It’s mind boggling how far I’ve come in less than a year.

Are you a summer runner or a winter runner? Or somewhere in between?

Anyone run in a Snuggie? (Asking for a friend).

What are some improvements that you notice about yourself as you evolve in your running journey?



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21 Responses to long runs and progress

  1. Darlene says:

    Like you I prefer summer temps but run better in the cold.
    Darlene recently posted…Mentoring and a Day on the FarmMy Profile

  2. Kathy says:

    loving the cool weather.. congrats on longer runs… I always sweat like a mad woman on my runs.. accomplished 5.3 on Saturday and that was long… doing a 5 miler this weekend. Can I wear a tutu even if I walk just a little? that is my questions… how do you feel about costume outfits for races..? I am anxious to do a few more miles on my weekend runs. πŸ™‚

    • runswithpugs says:

      I sweat, too! I just freeze and sweat. It’s bizarre. Congratulations on your 5.3 and good luck this weekend!

      As far as costumes? My philosophy is you do you. I think the only time I will be able to wear a tutu is in a color run or similar. It would annoy the snot out of me if I was actually running and trying to meet a time goal. I am so envious of these people who can wear these awesome costumes and still run circles around me, because I can barely tolerate my garmin and a headband, let alone some of these amazing creations.

      Whatever you do, rock it!

  3. Stephanie says:

    If you can run ten you can run thirteen! I’m excited for your half – it’s such a great feeling crossing that finish line! As for the cold, I’m like you in that I need gloves and ear warmers (before I need a long sleeve shirt). However, I’ve learned to love running in the cold. Breathing gets easier as time goes by and you adjust. And if you need to, run in that snuggie… Work it! πŸ™‚
    Stephanie recently posted…Walkin’ on Sunshine with GORUCK LightMy Profile

    • runswithpugs says:

      This is what they tell me, but man, my brain just can’t make that 3 mile jump. Well, it’s happening whether I’m ready or not, so I better be ready!

      I hope I do adjust! Just gotta keep trucking!

  4. Terikay says:

    You will see loads of people in snuggie type outfits at the start line of race. They’ll toss after the start and most races will donate the “toss-away” clothes to charity. You’re rocking it! Keep it going.

  5. I like these fall temperatures here in Melbourne, but they’re still in the low 60s when I get out there. I’m cold when I start, but love to see that I’m “faster.” I made a lot of progress this summer, though, and was happy with my ToT time, so I’m excited to see where I end up for the Princess Half! I’ve also become a little more complacent with my running since I’m not training for anything currently. I want to run ZOOMA, but am having trouble finding someone to split a hotel with me!!
    Rachel @ Undercover Diva: A Sitcom recently posted…Tower of Terror 10-Miler Race Photo DumpMy Profile

  6. I’m pretty sure I’m buying a snuggie for the pre-race waiting time at Space Coast.. and I’m blaming it on you! πŸ™‚
    Kristin @ A Mom on the Run recently posted…Five Things FridayMy Profile

  7. I hate hot weather running. I prefer cool enough for capri’s/tights and long sleeves.
    Amanda @ There Are 2 Sides recently posted…Monday’s MotivationMy Profile

  8. I’m an early winter runner. Mid 40’s-50’s is perfect for me. Once it starts getting into the 20’s and my eyelashes freeze together, I get a bit cranky. I don’t really have much of a choice but to love the winter running temps here. You’re going to rock that half! I’ve never gone at or above mileage for a race, and I think I like it that way. The unknown and fresh legs are great motivators.
    Ashley (@FiddleDeeAsh) recently posted…Marathon Monday: Week 7My Profile

    • runswithpugs says:

      A lot of people have been giving me similar advice, but my brain can’t wrap around it. I feel like I need to do more than the mileage in advance of the race, so I know for a fact I can do it.

  9. It’s good that you live in Florida (it was 22 degrees when I woke up on Saturday)! I prefer shorts and a singlet until the temps drop below 45, but I need gloves when it gets below 50. I look ridiculous!
    Debbie @ DebRuns recently posted…Marine Corps Marathon(s) RecapMy Profile

  10. DragonLady says:

    I prefer spring and fall when it’s not too hot and not too cold. I hate running when it is hot and when it is cold. But I think I do better in the heat because the cold aggravates my condition. (I have asthma.)

    Good for you on setting your sights on a half!! πŸ™‚
    DragonLady recently posted…“Love never ends.”My Profile

  11. Brianna says:

    I’m a “somewhere in between” runner. I have loved the slightly cooler Florida temps lately. I’m so happy I found your blog! We have a lot of the same interests. πŸ™‚

  12. Diana says:

    I run best when it’s a bajillion degrees. Yesterday it was only in the 50s, which previously has not bothered me, but I think because I’m not used to it yet this fall, it bugged me. Or maybe it bugged me because I haven’t run in 2 weeks so my body was just going to find SOMETHING to complain about when I forced it on a short run. LOL
    Diana recently posted…The Storm Before The CalmMy Profile

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