I Just Ran 8 Miles for the First Time (OMG)

I ran 8 miles on Saturday. Me. I did that.  And it was totally easy…. well, maybe it wasn’t that easy (at all).
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I finally went running outside for the first time since the beginning of July and I guess the freedom of not being tied to a treadmill sparked a little something inside me because I ran the first mile way too fast. For the next seven miles my legs rudely reminded me of my mistake.

Towards the end of mile 3, though I had slowed my pace, my heart was still pounding, I was out of breath and really thirsty. I decided at that point to incorporate some 1 min run / 1 min walk intervals so I could get my body back in check. I knew if I didn’t do something I wouldn’t be able to finish the 8 miles, so my pace for mile 3 took a drastic hit, but I did get everything under control.

Physically my body returned to a fairly normal state (for someone who is running), but mentally I was wavering around a little bit. In the end I just told that little voice to STFU and I went on my way! 

Actually, I just kept repeating one of my favorite quotes from Scott Jurek’s book “Eat and Run.” In Chapter 8 of the book Scott is getting ready to run his first 100-mile race and expresses some concerns about it to his best friend and pacer, Dusty Olson.

Scott and Dusty Olson

Dusty pacing Scott.

Dusty says, “This is just a 50-mile race, then another 50-mile race after. And you get stronger the longer you run.”

Obviously the 50-miler part doesn’t apply to me, but I do like the quote “You get stronger the longer you run.”

I don’t know if that is true for everyone, but it is pretty applicable to me. Anything under 3 miles and I’m  just getting warmed up (physically and mentally), but something always clicks around 3.5 miles and this little dance party goes off in my head and I start to really get into the run.

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That isn’t always the case but it has been lately, so I’m rolling with it.

As I was approaching the end of mile 8 I started an internal evaluation. I was really happy that my achilles wasn’t bothering me at all and my right hip wasn’t tight either! My quads were feeling a little sore and tired and my legs felt kind of heavy … the more I thought about them the sorer and heavier they felt.

BUT as I was wrapping up the last quarter mile the idea that I should maybe go an extra half mile just because crossed my mind. I mean, why not

I’m sure I could have done it but my running coach’s plan has yet to fail me and she only had 8 miles on the cal, so I called it a day.

I am pleased that I contemplated going for some extra mileage though. That must mean physically and mentally I feel capable. After the 7.5 mile run last week I wrote in my log to my coach that I thought I could have easily gone another mile.

Today, given the heat, I think I probably would have only been able to go another 1/2 mile while staying positive. I’m sure I could have gone a full mile extra but it wouldn’t have been pretty.

I’m really looking forward to hitting the next big milestone of 10 miles (DOUBLE DIGITS!)! 

Also, I’m probably getting ahead of myself here since I haven’t yet completed my first half, but I’ve already begun looking at marathons for 2014 and Portland looks like such a good option!

portland marathon finisher medal 2012

It takes place in the fall, but apparently sells out really fast. Last year all of the general registration tickets sold out by January! I feel silly signing up before I have a half under my belt, but provided the Fort Lauderdale 13.1 goes according to plan, I will probably sign up right after.

2014 race plans… HMMMM…

Is it too early to be thinking about 2014 races?

How did you choose your first marathon? I’ve read a bunch of lists and really like the sound of Portland…

6 comments

  1. Jennifer, thefinalforty.com

    AHHH, CONGRATS! Venturing into “virgin” running territory is always very exciting. What a great accomplishment! Also…it’s NEVER too early to be planning your upcoming race schedule, believe me! My first marathon has to be Disney, of course, but I think you’ll just kind of know which one is right for you. 😀

    1. Kristina @ Blog About Running

      Thank you 🙂 I haven’t been able to stop thinking about the Portland marathon so it looks like I’ll be venturing out of Florida for my first – ah!

  2. Ali @ Hit the Ground Running

    You’re flipping amazing, girl!! Way to eat those miles for lunch!!!!

  3. Karla Bruning

    Congrats, Kristina! You are doing so well and you’ve come such a long way. I can’t wait to see you toe the line in your first half. It’s not too soon at all to be thinking of 2014 races, but def run your first half before you register for Portland. I picked the NYC Marathon as my first because it’s my hometown and watching the race was what inspired me to run a marathon in the first place. There was no doubt for me that NYC would be the one. Go with the race that inspires you and if Portland it is, then so be it!

  4. Kristi Raz

    Hey Kristina! Congrats on your longest run!!! Isn’t it an amazing feeling?
    As for how I picked my first marathon (coming in 3 weeks…just writing that puts knots in my stomach) I picked the Toronto Waterfront Marathon because it is in October (I am counting on cool weather) and because it advertises itself as being a flat race. I figured flat would be an essential for my first 42.2 🙂

    1. Kristina @ Blog About Running

      Hey Kristi! Thank you, I have been riding the high all week and am SO ready to tackle 9 miles this Saturday! 🙂

      Great reasons to choose Toronto! I checked out a bunch of races and am gonna go with Portland because it’s mostly flat and the weather will be cool (plus their finisher medals are consistently awesome, haha)! Good luck in your marathon and let me know how it goes!!

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