Blue Friday: Best & Longest Long Run Yet!

It's not Black Friday here. Well, I suppose it is, but I've once again managed to stay away from the malls today. (Actually, I usually have to be dragged, kicking and screaming, into a shopping mall. But that's another topic for another day.)

It was Blue Friday for me. No, not "blue" in the sense of "depressed." Blue in the sense of blue. We have the most unbelievably blue sky, there isn't a cloud to be seen, and the temps are in the fifties. A perfect day for my Long Slow Distance (LSD) Day. LSD-Day comes once every two weeks, and I look forward to it almost as much as I look forward to Piano Lesson Day. This week's long run was to be 16 miles.

Sixteen miles. Sixteen is the magic number for me. I'm not sure why. But when I started running a few months ago, I thought to myself, "I wonder if I'll ever get to the point where I can just walk out my door for a little 16-mile run." At the time, I couldn't imagine it. Now I can.

And I did it. I actually ran 16.95 miles, or something like that. Not on purpose. I didn't want to run my usual loop route over and over again (it's 2.5 miles, so it makes it easy to add how far I've gone), so I decided just to run "wherever." If I was to run 4 mph, it would take me four hours. If I was to run 5 mph, 15 miles would take me three hours. I figured I would average a little more than 5 mph, so I decided to run for three hours, plus a few minutes, without stopping, then figure out the mileage afterward.

I felt great for most of the entire run. I hit the 10-mile slump (I've now run four courses over 10 miles, and I hit a 10-mile slump every time), and then I hit a real slump at about 13 miles. I didn't feel winded or anything, but my legs and right shoulder started feeling Really Tired. I also started to feel Really Thirsty. My usual route allows me to get water every 2.5 miles, but this one didn't, and I know I went too far without drinking water.

I pushed myself to run the final three miles, even though my "run" was more of a "slow shuffle." Still, I felt pretty good. I even sang Christmas carols to make the miles go by faster. When I finished, I gulped down a bottle of water, then walked another half-mile as a cool down, stopping periodically to stretch. I love stretching after a run. I usually stretch for about ten minutes.

When I got home, I rewarded myself with leftover sweet potato casserole. I would have rewarded myself with leftover apple pie, but Hub and I finished off the last of it last night. :)

My legs are tired, Very Tired, but I feel great. I burned about 1600 calories, maybe more because my route was relatively hilly. That means, friends, that yesterday's Thanksgiving dinner calories, PLUS the leftover apple pie, are HISTORY.

Two weeks from tomorrow: the Thunder Road (Half-)Marathon in Charlotte. Hard to believe it's almost here. I hope I don't chicken out.


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