Half Marathon Training: Week Six

I finally ran outside!  Twice!

Nine miles was the long run this week.  Three times as much as my long runs used to be.

Tanna and I ran outside for a four-miler on Saturday and a nine-miler on Sunday.  It was unbelievable.  If you had told me at the beginning of the year that I would be able to run nine miles straight I would have been really surprised.  (If you had told me that when I was in college I would have laughed and made a sarcastic comment).

I think running outside was easier.  I wasn’t running in circles and I wasn’t running in place.  There were some hills but, luckily, when there are ups there are also downs.  Breathing the fresh air was nice and it got me thinking about spring (maybe a little too early).

I do recommend, however, thinking about a place on your outside route that you may be able to stop and pee if need be.  Two miles into our run on Sunday I realized there was no way I was making it another seven without relieving myself.  Unfortunately for me we were on a straightaway out in the open with snow-covered fields on either side of us.  I’m not shy so I squatted behind a guardrail and ruined two people’s day as only one car drove by.

The last mile was absolutely the hardest for me.  This time is was more so that my legs were tired whereas last week, the eight miles, my cardio felt like the issue.

I am learning that this running thing is going to be more mental than anything.  Our bodies are amazing things and they can do much more than our brain believes they can.  So it will be a matter of the mind as we reach ten miles this Sunday and onto the 13.1 in April.

Thoughts on running outside:

When running outside (especially in the spring in Maine) don’t wear your favorite running sneakers: they WILL get muddy. Thankfully I realized this BEFORE we went outside and my bright orange Nike’s are safe.

If you’ve got the money (or a birthday coming up) invest in a distance watch.  I’m not even sure that’s what these are called but Tanna has one and it tells us how far we’ve ran and at what pace we are running.  It is much better and more accurate than a stopwatch and having to drive around in your car marking out miles.

Enjoy the fresh air, especially now, we’ve all been cooped up inside for far too long!

Don’t forget what I said about a designated potty break spot.

Wear something on your ears.  Saturday (the four miles) I didn’t and my ears paid for it.  On Sunday I wore a headband and felt much better.  Same with cold gear, gotta keep warm but you don’t want to be wearing a bulky sweatshirt if you can avoid it.

Smile.  My boss tells me that he doesn’t understand why people run because, “every time I drive by a runner they aren’t smiling, why do it if you aren’t having fun?”

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Danielle Clark

About Danielle Clark

I am 28 years old and for 5 years out of college I played basketball for a living. I was a professional basketball player in Europe so I spent most of my years there and came back to Maine for summers and a couple weeks at Christmas time. I thought my years there would open my eyes to what I want to be when I "grow up." That didn't happen. I have discovered, however, that I just have to try something. Just do things and toss myself into them. I have currently tossed myself into being a college basketball assistant coach and one on one reading tutor. I grew up in Corinna, Maine and have been a resident Mainer. I love sports, reading, writing, cooking, baking, watching movies... everything. I have lots of hobbies and not enough time in the day!