• Those Middle Miles

    August 29, 2013

    I did it! I ran 12.5 miles this morning! Yeehaw!

    When I headed out to run this morning, the weather was cool and dreary, but it made for great running weather. I mapped out a 5-mile loop that started at my house and finished at KFIT where I met Kerrie. She kindly offered to keep me company during some of the miles on my long run.

    cameo weymouth

    The best running motivation: Marylou’s iced coffee! (I might need to get one this afternoon!)

    marylou's coffee

    The first several miles of my run were pretty uneventful. I listened to Songza, zoned out, and trucked along.

    • Mile 1: 9:40
    • Mile 2: 9:24
    • Mile 3: 9:11
    • Mie 4: 9:07
    • Mile 5: 9:22

    photo (5) (450x600)

    At KFIT, I grabbed some water and ate a packet of GU before running with Kerrie.

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    Kerrie let me dictate our pace since I was running a lot of miles, but I didn’t want to run too slow since I’m sure she wanted to get a good workout. I told Kerrie to run ahead if I was running too slow, but she stuck with me the entire time.

    • Mile 6: 9:06
    • Mile 7: 9:02
    • Mile 8: 9:00
    • Mile 9: 9:03
    • Mile 10: 9:13

    Somehow, I managed to keep my pace around 9-minute miles, which is really good for me considering the middle miles of a long run are always the hardest for me. Physically, they’re tough (my back, my legs, my hips, oh my!), but, mentally, they always crush me. It’s so defeating for me getting to mile 7 or 8 and knowing I still have 4, 5, or 6 miles to run. It was nice to have a running buddy to keep me going when those middle miles got tough.

    When we made it back to KFIT, I said goodbye to Kerrie and started out on my way home. Not even a mile later, I took a serious digger and fell hard mid-run. I must have been dragging my feet and shuffling along because my sneaker snagged a bump on the sidewalk, and I went flying… into a pile of dirt. Seriously. What timing! I guess it was better than falling on concrete, but I was soooooo dirty!

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    I took these photos after I brushed myself off and ran 2.5 miles home, so you can imagine how dirty I originally was. I was such a mess! Haha!

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    • Mile 11: 9:57 <—fall
    • Mile 12: 9:31
    • Mile 12.5: 4:29

    Total: 1:56:08 (9:17)

    I actually had 11 miles on my training schedule this week, but I ended up running more miles than I originally planned. I ran a little over 5 miles before I met Kerrie and then we ran about 4.5 miles together, and I was still 2.5-3 miles from home, so I just kept running. I figured I’d need to run this distance at some point or another, so I just kept trucking along.

    photo (8) (450x600)

    After my run, I stretched, showered, ate lunch, and then iced my calf while I relaxed on the couch with Murphy. I don’t know if I have shin splints or what, but the outside of my left calf is so sore after that run!

    photo (2) (450x600)

    Questions of the Day

    Have you ever fallen during a run? (Today was actually my first!)

    What’s the toughest part of a long run for you?

    How do you mentally prepare yourself for those middle miles?

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    { 110 comments… read them below or add one }

    Lindsay August 29, 2013 at 7:21 pm

    Nice job on the run!! Bummer about the digger. I’ve never fallen on a run before *knock on wood*. But that’s actually the reason I hate treadmills..for some reason I always feel off balanced or like I’m dragging my feet on them. That would be soooo embarrassing!

    Reply

    Lea August 29, 2013 at 7:37 pm

    Last December someone ran an extension cord over the sidewalk for Christmas lights. It wasn’t flush to the sidewalk; a complete trip wire. I was running around 6am in the dark and I went flying. Bloody and bruised, my phone banged up, I hobbled home. Told the home owner later what a terrible trip hazard he had created. The next day it was once again across the sidewalk so I unplugged it and chucked it back in his yard.

    Reply

    Inez August 29, 2013 at 7:40 pm

    I always love scrolling through your photos and then reading the post… but I had some hesitation ’cause MurphDog looked like a hairy beer belly for a second. I fell running a charity 5k with children all around me. Their laughter made it much brighter and less embarrassing.

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    Christine August 29, 2013 at 7:40 pm

    Congrats on the long run! That is awesome! I was going to run this morning (I live in MA) but my running partner had to cancel and I chose to sleep in, hehe. Hoping to do 10 on Saturday! Is it possible you hit your left calf when you fell, it was kind of dirty in your photo?

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    Anna Lynn August 29, 2013 at 7:41 pm

    This post has made me so excited to run long distances again! I’m 14 weeks post shoulder surgery and just starting to get back into running.

    Sorry about yourfall! Once, I fell half a mile from home at the end of a run. Straight up face planted onto the concrete and scraped up my hands and knees. Unfortunately my roommates weren’t home so I had to walk home. I was more embarrassed than hurt but I do still have a cute scar on my knee!

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    Caroline @ Broccoli Hut August 29, 2013 at 8:25 pm

    I have definitely fallen a couple times during runs. I think all of them were due to an uneven sidewalk (and me not paying attention!).

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    Alison @ Daily Moves and Grooves August 29, 2013 at 8:27 pm

    Awesome run! Sorry to hear about the nasty fall though :(

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    Jamie @ fitfortherun August 29, 2013 at 8:38 pm

    Awesome job!! I’ve never fallen (knock on wood) For me the toughest part is definitely the first couple miles

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    Tempie @ The Texas Peach August 29, 2013 at 8:38 pm

    I’ve actually fallen twice while out running. The second time I really the hit the pavement hard, right at a busy intersection. Lucky me, an audience! Bruised my shoulder and my ego just a little bit. :)

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    Amy @ crazysweatymommy August 29, 2013 at 9:05 pm

    The hardest part is my mind–I think, “Oh man, 10 more miles” I’ve been trying to break them down into smaller increments

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    Tina August 29, 2013 at 9:10 pm

    That’s what I do, and it definitely helps! :)

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    Nicole August 29, 2013 at 9:21 pm

    I fell a few times running…either scuffed the sidewalk or over my own feet…Who knows! It happens so fast before you know it you’re on the ground! To keep my mind off any of the miles I run during training, (I’m a long distance runner- training for my 5th Back on my Feet Ultra Marathon) I look for money on the road and pick it up. I keep track of it for 1 year. You would be surprised at how much it adds up! One year I found over $100! Little did I know I was a paid athlete! :) It makes the tough miles way more exciting!

    Happy training!!!!

    Reply

    Lucy August 29, 2013 at 9:21 pm

    I fell during a run once. A loose pebble threw me to the ground on a dirt trail. Twisted my ankle, started to walk back, but felt fine so I continued my 2 miles instead, with blood running down my leg. Still have the scar. Ankle went stiff 3 hours later and hurt for 3 days. Worth it!

    Reply

    Alex @ Kenzie Life August 29, 2013 at 9:29 pm

    Sorry to hear you fell! I so wish I could get my runs down to 9-minute miles. I haven’t been running even a year, so I guess that comes with time and training? Hopefully? :)

    Reply

    Danielle August 29, 2013 at 9:48 pm

    It was so nice reading your post today because I actually took a digger on Thursday on my 12! mile run… I was only 4 miles into my run tripped on stone and went right down on concrete..

    I always say, that was probably my 7-8th time falling while on a long run, you aren’t a hardcore runner until you fall on a long run. One time I did it at mile 2 on a 20 mile run and had to make a pit stop at museum of science to clean off the blood on my legs…

    See, so now you are a hardcore runner and it means your endurance is even tougher! Good job!

    Reply

    Tina August 29, 2013 at 9:53 pm

    Haha! We’re hardcore! :)

    Reply

    Laurin August 29, 2013 at 9:58 pm

    Oy! I ran my first half-marathon last fall, and during my first “very long” run (very long for me, at least!) – 7 miles – I fell HARD on the concrete sidewalk which just so happened to also be under construction. I beat up both my legs pretty badly and had to stop at the nearby gas station to clean up the blood for about thirty minutes. Needless to say, I only got 6 miles in, and that was the worst part in my mind – I was only one mile away from my dorm, but I just couldn’t manage it!

    Reply

    Nicole August 29, 2013 at 10:04 pm

    I had fall last winter–not because of ice though! I tripped over a curb, landed hard and then kept rolling. Two cyclists stopped to make sure I was okay. I was mostly really embarrassed, and annoyed that my favorite pair of tights ripped on the asphalt.

    For long runs, I try to save my music for the tough miles, instead of popping headphones in from my first step. That way, the music is fresher and helps distract me when the miles seem to drag on.

    Reply

    Kim August 29, 2013 at 10:07 pm

    OMG! I had the worst wipe out at mile 10 last Sunday. I was bleeding from my shoulder and both legs. Knocked the wind out of me! It was so bad that my daughter started crying when she saw me. Still sore from fall and spotting some major wounds. Finished mile 11 though:)

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    Courtney @ Don't Blink. Just Run. August 29, 2013 at 10:10 pm

    Yikes! At least you fell into something fairly soft. I have yet to ever fall *knock on wood*.

    On a side note, I can’t believe The Cameo is still open! When we were kids and would go for the $1 movies we called it Sticky City.

    Reply

    STUFT Mama August 30, 2013 at 1:28 am

    I have to zone out during those middle miles. Oh they are tough. :) Way to hang in there. Love the coffee motivation. :)

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    Christina @ The Beautiful Balance August 30, 2013 at 1:40 am

    Awesome run! You should totally do a giveaway for Marylou’s coffee ;)

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    Tina August 30, 2013 at 6:16 am

    I have one planned for National Coffee Day! :)

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    Tara | Treble in the Kitchen August 30, 2013 at 5:04 am

    I HAVE fallen during a run….luckily no serious injuries, just a little embarrassment :) To prepare for my middle miles, I just have to make sure that I have a great playlist or pod cast to zone out to! Good job at 12.5 miles! Not easy!

    Reply

    Lisa @ Exercise eat repeat August 30, 2013 at 6:57 am

    I once tripped on a tree route running to the start of a run and landed flat on face infront of about 30 people. Not my finest hour!
    I find middle miles hard and flick between I can do this to I can’t do this but somehow I can do this always wins!

    Reply

    Suzanne August 30, 2013 at 8:03 am

    Glad you’re okay! I’ve fallen twice, once caught a curb and just got scraped up and this past April tripped and ended up with a nasty high ankle sprain…it’s still healing!

    I generally stick to 5 miles, congrats on the 12.5!!

    Reply

    Krystine August 30, 2013 at 8:40 am

    Tina, HAD to leave this comment. I’m a nurse on an orthopedic floor and was training for the Quincy Half marathon in March. My ankle was bothering me and the docs said running in the cold weather on top of not stretching before my runs put me at risk. During those long 9 mile runs even a slight trip over a twig could do it for ya! He also said running on the same side of the slopping road (furnace brook pkway) can aggravate your hips. Love your blog! And murph

    Reply

    Candice August 30, 2013 at 8:48 am

    Great mileage! Yes, I have fallen many times while running (weak ankles)

    What gets me through a long run? what helps me finish a marathon? POSITIVITY and thinking about things one step at a time or one mile at a time.

    I love how much conversation you develop on your site! great job and inspiration for me as I build my own.

    http://www.allthingsyogi.com

    Reply

    Krystine August 30, 2013 at 8:52 am

    Tina, HAD to comment. I’m a nurse on an orthopedic floor and tweaked my ankle while training for the Quincy Half last march. The MD said running those long runs in cold weather on top of not stretching prior to had put me at risk.. Even tripping over a little twig could do you in. He also said running on the same side of slopped streets (furnace brook pkway) can aggravate your hips. Good luck! Love your blog and murph :)

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    Ritsa August 30, 2013 at 8:54 am

    Im having the same issues with my calves. Both calves are sore on the outside. My right is way worse! I have been foam rolling, stretching, and icing. Hope it feels better soon!

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    Melisa August 30, 2013 at 9:04 am

    I fell twice in the same week and tore open my hand on both falls. Nothing like a nice fall to change you from a hero to a zero.

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    Chelsea @ Chelsea Eats Treats August 30, 2013 at 9:30 am

    Great job on your run!!! I can’t believe how quickly you’ve been improving. Keep it up! I hate the middle miles too. I have a 9-mile run on the schedule for tomorrow, and though I know I can do it just fine (I’m training for my second half) it’s been a while since I’ve conquered that distance and I’m a little nervous. I’m sure it will be fine, but those middle miles sure are tough! It’s definitely a mental game.

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    Nichole August 30, 2013 at 9:41 am

    Ugh I fell during the JP Morgan Corporate Challenge with all my co-workers there to witness! I added like 5 minutes to my end time because I rolled my ankle and had to walk for a bit after. I showed up to meet the group with a bloody knee! Soooo embarrassing! Coincidentally, another person in our group fell and walked too so I ended up being second to last place on our team. But after that I decided I was not running in Boston anymore! Boston streets are hazardous! (PS. I have fallen walking briskly in Boston three times too so that added to my decision!)

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    paj August 30, 2013 at 10:11 am

    A few weeks ago I was trail running and my foot caught a tree root. Cut up my knee and shin when I fell, plus I was sore on my left side for days. Spectacularly dumb move, but trail running is so much better mentally for me than running roads or long distances, so I’ll stick with it.

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    Jen @ Chase the Red Grape August 30, 2013 at 10:16 am

    Oh dear, I hope you are ok and you didn’t hurt yourself or have an injury after your fall. I bet a huge Murphy cuddle made everything better when you got home :-)

    Hope you have a good weekend!

    J x

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    Livi August 30, 2013 at 10:35 am

    ah I totally agree…. first few miles fly by, and the last 1-2 are like a victory lap but… the middle 4, 5, 6…I have to amp up my tunes when I’m in the stage or I lose ALL motivation!

    Reply

    Nikki @ grab your kicks August 30, 2013 at 11:58 am

    I try to think about how many miles I’ve already accomplished, that helps to keep me going. I haven’t personally fallen, but I saw a woman last training run fall pretty hard. Took me by surprise to see her fall, but she was okay. Scary!

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    Sara Flynn @ Zero to Sixy August 30, 2013 at 12:40 pm

    Wow 10 miles, great job! I never have fallen when running… I have come close though. I would say the hardest part of my runs is probably the middle as well! Normally a good song will get me through it. :)

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    Tina August 30, 2013 at 12:43 pm

    Don’t forget about those 2.5 miles after the 10! Those were the toughest for me! Haha! :)

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    Amelia August 30, 2013 at 1:28 pm

    Nicely done! And I don’t just mean falling into a pile of dirt. ;) I break my miles up to make them go by faster. It’s all mental, right?

    Do you ever listen to audiobooks while you run? I’ve tried podcasts a few times. It’s not get-up-and-go music but if it’s interesting, it keeps the time going. Also, I listen to a morning radio show and it’s really entertaining. Makes the time speed by! The I Heart Radio app is great for listening to radio stations.

    Reply

    Jessica @ FromtheKitchentotheRoad August 30, 2013 at 4:19 pm

    I fell once while running last winter. Some ice snuck up on me and I went down hard. I almost fall all the time but I manage to catch myself before I got the ground. I don’t know how I have managed to not cause myself some serious injury.

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    Bobbie August 31, 2013 at 10:14 am

    I just took a digger last week .. On the road.. Ouch! Scraped up my knee pretty bad and ripped my tights :( also bruised my ego a little since there was a line of cars waiting at the traffic light!

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    Bobbie August 31, 2013 at 10:20 am

    Oh and strangely enough the middle miles don’t get me .. It’s the last mile .. EVERY time! I just hurt for that last mile… Pretty sure it’s all in my mind so I try to notice how my body actually feels and that helps.

    Reply

    Sally September 1, 2013 at 10:11 am

    I had a major wipeout rollerblading by myself when I was in college. I skinned up my hands and knees and had to limp back home trying not to cry in front of everyone. Another time, I was jogging with my dog and he unexpectedly turned around and I tripped over the leash and fell. It’s humbling, but happens to everyone at one time or another!

    Reply

    Jen September 3, 2013 at 3:14 pm

    I had to laugh at myself Sat morning. I had read this post and thought to myself how lucky I’ve been not to fall while training for my first half marathon. I started out bright and early Sat morning for a 10-mile run and didn’t even make it a mile before I face planted and majorly scraped up my knee! oy… definitely watching where I run now!

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    Michelle September 3, 2013 at 8:37 pm

    I have fallen more times than I can remember. Seriously, I am a klutz. The most embarrassing was when I fell about 3 miles into my first marathon, in front of a crowd of onlookers. I could hear the collective gasp as I went down. Lol. I popped up and bolted, ignoring my bloody knee.

    The hardest part of long runs? Dwelling on how many miles are left! I try not to focus on that. Physically it gets hard if I start having GI issues.

    Reply

    Britters September 6, 2013 at 2:58 pm

    First fall: Uprooted pavement in the first 1/2 mile of my early morning run. I FLEW and landed flat on my face, skinned my knee. Ran 7 miles before returning home. #LikeABoss

    Second fall: Also within the first 1/2 mile. Tripped on a wire that holds up those annoying political signs that didn’t have the sign attached anymore. Fell into a giant bush in front of tons of cars on a main street. Classic.

    Reply

    Catherine September 7, 2013 at 8:58 pm

    I always trip and fall in the same place in the park I run it. Or right when I say to myself…”Oh I’m so hitting the groove.”

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    Peach September 9, 2013 at 10:28 am

    Catching up on your posts and congrats on making it through the 12.5! Nope, I haven’t fallen on a run yet but I’m sure it’s inevitable! Glad you’re okay. :)

    Reply

    Nicole September 15, 2013 at 7:53 pm

    Awesome job on the run. I am training for my first marathon next Dec. Running half that sounds tough! My big fall: I was trail running with my dog and hit a rock. All of a sudden I flipped head over heels and landed in the dirt. My dog was looking at me like I was crazy for already taking a break so soon into the run..lol.

    Reply

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