As the first official day of my two months of abbreviated marathon training, I tackled ten miles. Had my doubts, since I haven't run that far in a month, but what the hell. Slow and steady, slow and steady.
And it turned out all right. This was a good run. I got out a little after three and started jogging. Took my time, stopped to stretch a couple times in the first few miles. Warmup up slowly and never pushed the pace beyond a 10:30 mile or so. (I really need to get a sport watch I think, if my pacing is to be anything more than a guess.)
First three miles sucked, of course, as they almost always do and I kept telling myself to hang in there, the running would get easier. Problem was, I was having shin splints and that worried me. Stretching helped somewhat, but it wasn't 'til I stopped a second time, out on the path beside the bay, that I figured it out. I introduced a new stretch that closely resembles the pointing toes of ballet dancers, only I roll into it from my regular hamstring stretch. That and slightly tightening my laces seemed to help and by mile four, I was having no more problems.
I turned around at the Verazanno bridge and headed back. The whole path along the bay has been rebuilt, by the way, and no longer has dirt trail, but is all fresh asphalt. Very pleasant to run on. Had pleasant weather to run IN, too. Could not have ordered a better day for a long run if I'd tried.
I've never done thhis as an out-and-back before and it MIGHT be shorter than 10 miles, but not by much.
I ended the run by picking up the pace for the last mile. It was remarkably easy to do so, even after nine miles. I was having some left ankle pain at the point, but nothing that affected my gait, only enough to remind me to ice once I got home. I finished the run feeling good, damn good. I'd like to feel that good at the end of more runs, I tell ya. In fact, I'd LIKE to feel that good running Houston - it's really the goal there. I got to thinking that, after all her perfect training, this must be similar to how NYFlyGirl felt running the marathon last weekend. Smooth, confident, energy to burn, pace controlled, footsteps precise. More please! After this run, I almost can't wait for next weekend's 14 miler.