Not only was my first solo long run this morning a success, but I actually ran all 16 miles that I had scheduled!! I really wanted to have a good, long run today - I think I needed it mentally, considering that the LA Marathon is in just 27 days. I definitely had my doubts, though. I've never really ran more than 9ish miles by myself, so 16 seemed like it wasn't going to happen. Even as I was good way into my run, I still didn't know how far I was going to run. In the end I did all 16 though and I couldn't be happier or more proud of myself!
I decided to sleep in a bit and didn't set out until 9:15am. The weather was gorgeous with clear, sunny skies, but that also meant hot! I was pretty much drenched in sweat from the get-go. I ran from my house onto a trail on the edge of the UCSB campus, then made my way down to the UCSB lagoon. From there I ran along another campus trail on the edge of the bluffs above the beach, taking me down to Goleta Beach. All this was only about 3 miles. The majority of my run was on the Obern Trail, just inland and parallel to the coast. Lucky for me there was a decent amount of shade along the trail, and a nice breeze also picked up at this point.
When I reached the end of the trail, I was at 7 miles. I figured since I'd already ran that far, I'd go a little further and see if I could get to 8, making it an even 16. So I ran on rolling hills up to where the road met the freeway, adding on another 0.7 miles. I took a short stretch break then decided to turn around there and run the pier when I got back to Goleta Beach to make up the extra distance. It's weird, but after I turn around, my run gets easier both mentally and physically. Maybe seeing everything again allows me to know how much more, where I am, etc.? I did start to fade a little between miles 9-10, right about the time I was also on my last few sips of water. I saw some girls washing a car so I stopped and asked to fill up from their hose. Not the best tasting, but it did the trick.
Back at Goleta Beach I stopped again to fill up my handheld at the restaurant there, and then ran to the end of the pier. Man was it windy out there! By then my Garmin said 13.2 miles. I took another another short break to stretch, then headed home the way I'd came. Even with a few walk breaks I managed an average pace of 10:40 min/mi! This is perfect to get me a sub-5 hour finish at LA : )
I'm pretty sore after, but surprisingly it doesn't feel quite as bad as after last weekend's 14 miler. I've decided recently to be more proactive in terms of recovery, so after my run this morning I took my first ice bath! I don't think I've quite got the method down though since my ice melted pretty quickly and I was left with just really cold water. A couple weeks ago I also bought my first pair of the Recovery Sock, so I threw those on, too (look for a review of the socks soon! And of course, I popped a few ibuprofen. Hopefully all this will payoff and I won't be hobbling too much come tomorrow : )
Hope you all had a great weekend. I'm pretty pooped from the last 2 days of running so it's definitely time for a nap!
p.s. Official results were posted for my 5k yesterday...and although my Garmin said 26:57, my official time is 27:00. It wasn't chip timed, so I figured it would be a close call. I'm a little bummed, but in light of my run today I can look past it!