Nine miles is in the books.
I followed through with my plan tonight to head over to the YMCA to get my run in. I went over to the facility on the other side of town, the one I normally don't go to. It's the fancy new one. And it has a running track suspended above the gym. And since I couldn't imagine pounding out 9 miles on the treadmill, that's where I went.
I had a plan. Start the run on the track, see if I can get at least half of it done and then head downstairs to the treadmill where I could entertain myself with the U.S. Open while finishing up the run.
A mile on the track, if you ran in the outside lane, was 11 laps. Easy enough to keep track of. When I got there, a bunch of ladies were just getting done with their walk - which was nice since they were walking four wide on a track with three lanes. That wouldn't have been easy to navigate around. Otherwise there really weren't many people using the track. Just me, a man who walked for about 20 minutes and a woman who started running right before I left.
So I started running. And as usual, I started too fast. But it didn't seem fast. Felt pretty comfortable actually. But I knew that fast first mile would come back and haunt me later. As I was running, and keeping track of lap numbers in my head, I decided to aim for 5 miles on the track, leaving 4 miles for the treadmill. But you know what? I was still feeling pretty good after 5 miles. So I kept running. Threw in a couple of short - half lap - walk breaks at miles 5 and 6 and ended up doing 6.5 miles (72 laps) on the track before heading down to the treadmill for the last 2.5 miles of my run.
Between the track and the treadmill I made a pit stop in the locker room to fill up my water bottle and down a mint chocolate GU.
I stepped on the treadmill, found the U.S. Open and started running. And immediately I thought to myself, I should have stayed upstairs and run in circles for the last 27 laps. That treadmill was brutal. I swear, it was the longest, most painful 2.5 miles I've done in my life. I was running slow. And the walk breaks? They were getting longer. And I felt like everyone - all 6 people left in the cardio room at the YMCA - was looking at me and thinking I had no business trying to run. Granted, they didn't know that I was already on miles 8 and 9 of my run.
But run I did. Kept alternating between a walk, a slow shuffle and some little bursts of "speed" (if you could call it speed). And I was never so happen to see the odometer flip over to 2.5.
Done. The 9-miler is in the books. And looking at the splits, I'm fairly happy with them:
12:33 (little bit more walking here, I was starting to get tired)
11:47 (half mile on the track, half mile on the treadmill) *
Looking at the times, even though I struggled a bit, I think the run/walk combination I was using in the later miles was working for me. I have a feeling that considering the lack of training I've put in for the upcoming Fox Cities Half Marathon on September 19, I may use the run/walk method. And I think I still may be able to put up a somewhat decent time. And not kill myself.
* Miles on the treadmill