Double-Digit Long Run — October 30, 2021

I haven’t run this far since September 2019, more than two years ago. Getting an 11.0-mile run done this year was a big boost to my confidence. Especially, since I have been struggling to get to 8.0-miles for quite a while, with all that left Achilles fun that has plagued me since March.

Actually, the plan today was to run 8.0-miles, and I would have been thrilled with that. Especially, with the light rain, temps in the lower 40s to start, and using a pair of shoes I hadn’t run in for a while.

However, when I decided to take a left instead of a right and misjudged how far that choice would be, it changed the run a lot. Probably a good thing in the long run. 🤪

I like to run from the yurt parking lot at Quarry Road because there are so many options about where to run. Plus, it forces me to add about 2.5 (maybe a little more) miles onto any run that I do, so I drove into Waterville.

The dirt road gives the legs a chance to wake up a bit before I get to the tar. Today, I headed out and turned towards Colby (no, I didn’t run up Mayflower Hill) and turned onto County Road. I ran through the undulating road back towards Colby. I had intended to head over to First Rangeway and then head back to Quarry Road via Silver Street, which, I figured, would be at least 8-9 miles.

As usual, I had to find one of those brown boxes that I noticed at Colby while driving in and stopped for a bit. When I got started again, I turned left back up towards Washington, which added on a bit of extra distance and my “favorite” hill.

When I got back on the road, one of the Colby runners went by in shorts and a t-shirt (yes, he had on running shoes) and just floated along. Yep, I was pretty envious of how natural a stride he had and how without any effort he was pulling away from the old plow horse that was plodding along behind him. Before that, I thought that I was running pretty well.

Oh well, I was never a beautiful runner, with a flowing stride anywhere, but in my imagination.

I kept plodding along, keeping my pace easy and consistent.

When I got over on Gilman St. and crossed the Messalonskee Stream bridge to go up that little bump, I heard another runner call out “Hey Harold”. It was Brian M. and he was moving right along. I had put my head down and was working the hill and hadn’t noticed him.

I was actually focused for a change, and I waved and said “Hi” back. Then I watched him run for a short way. He is another of those runners whose form is one that I envy, and when I checked Strava, he was going significantly faster than me. He is only a few years younger, but a lot better runner, and it shows by just watching him in motion.

This is also where I started to get tired, I was 8.0 miles into the run and the body was entering into territory we hadn’t been in for a long time. I kept the same effort level, but I was slowing down.

Along the MST, I saw this older couple walking towards me, each with a cup of coffee in their hands. By now, I was quite thirsty and imagined how nice it would be to grab one of their coffee cups and run off with it. However, I got back to reality, knowing that would get me in all kinds of trouble. Instead, I waved and said “hi” as I passed them, without them realizing how close they came to losing a cup of coffee. Hehehehe

Going back into Quarry Road was just get it done. I was tired, the left Achilles was just starting to get grumpy. Then my old nemesis the right hip reminded me that we don’t just jump into running long distances, we need to do more of a progression to get higher mileage. It told me in no uncertain terms that the 3.0 extra miles were all that it was going to tolerate, without getting rather upset.

When I got back to the Yurt, I still needed 0.2 more to make 11.0-miles. So, I kept going straight and almost made it to the yellow signs when the watch went beep and I stopped.

This run was a huge confidence builder, where I did a little progression run for miles 4-8 and still managed to finish fairly well.

I ran in the Reebok Floatride Energy 2s that I had stored in the back of the garage for a couple of months. I don’t like running in the GlideRides on consecutive days, and I really didn’t feel like wearing the Ikoni’s this morning. So, when I did my morning routine, I also brought in the E2’s and figured that I knew they would work for the 8.0-miles I had planned.

They are not the newest or greatest shoes that everyone raves about, but they are comfortable and didn’t bother me at all on the run. In the light rain, they provided good traction, except on the white painted lines on the road — not much grips that stuff well anyway. They were the perfect choice for my run today.

It was an excellent run on a not so nice day. However, it appears to me that I tend to do just fine on those kinds of days…once I get going.


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