Yesterday I went out for my first long run of 8 miles for my upcoming April half. (Looking back I"m not sure why i thought 8 would be a good place to start.....) I was joined with two friends and we were running "the pike". A hilly country road that is gorgeous to run on but a killer. It was a little too ambitious of me to tackle this road and that many miles considering I haven't run over 4-5 miles since the half marathon which was the beginning of November. I have still been running but not any long distances. The first mile felt great and my two running partners even asked what had gotten in to me because I was being quite speedy. The first couple miles did feel great, then about 2.5 the hills started to take control and my body started feeling it. We decided to at least go to 3 miles, then if we wanted to go to 4 we would go on. We got to 3 and decided to keep going. i got to 3.5 and announced I was going back. I was having to walk more than what i had planned and just couldn't handle the extra mile.
With 2.5 miles left I tried the new gu I had picked up before Christmas - peanut butter!! I should love peanut butter gu. Next to chocolate, peanut butter is the best thing ever. So when GU came out with peanut butter flavor I was ecstatic! I let the girls running with me have a taste before I ate it. I noticed it was a lot runnier than the chocolate. I didn't like that! I love the taste, dont get me wrong but the consistency was too thin. It coated my mouth and was harder to swallow I thought. I'm going to stick to the other flavors that are firmer.
After I gu'd I hoped it would give me some more energy to make it back to the car, but at that point it was too little too late. I was spent and walked quite a bit of the way back. I even cut it a little shorter and skipped part of the neighborhood that we go through to get 6.65 miles total instead of 7. I did more miles than I had in the past month and even with a lot of walking on the way back to the car, i finished with a 12:59 average pace for the entire run. (my half pace in nov. where i ran 9, walk 1 was 12:53) so when thinking about that and how much I walked i am pleased with it.
next week we are going to tackle 8 again. but this time in town on flat roads. our plan has us doing 2 long runs of the same mileage back to back, so the plan is to do it the first time on the flat roads in town and the second week do it on the pike.