Those Middle Miles

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

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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.

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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!

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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?

114 Comments

  1. I fell once during the first mile of my run around my neighborhood. Got some nice road rash and sat there for a while contemplating what to do. I was far enough from home I could’ve called my husband to pick me up and cried, I could’ve walked back…while crying, but I decided to stop being about to cry over a little scrape and finish my run. I made it but then my leg was pretty banged up and swollen… after some RICE i was ok but it really did suck running with a throbbing leg. I’m just glad no one saw me! I tripped on the smallest curb of sidewalk known to man!

  2. I fell in Charlestown on a cement that was uneven. I scraped my knee and decided to run back because it was faster than walking. I almost fainted from the heat and being hurt when I got back. I had a big old bruise and a huge cut. I’m glad you didn’t get hurt! I’m so impressed with the mileage- go foam roll it out later 🙂

  3. Awww I’m so sorry you fell! Glad you didn’t seriously hurt yourself.
    Last year I had my first fall while training for the NYC marathon. I was feeling tired and dragging my feet and tripped over uneven sidewalk and right in front of a busy gas station! I wasn’t hurt as much as scared and shaken up. Most of my runs are along the road so I kept thinking “what if I would have fallen into a car…” or worse. Yikes! Now I try to be very conscious of my steps when the fatigue sets in.
    Anyway, great run and keep it up!! 🙂

  4. I live in Baltimore, and do most of my runs on the water of the inner harbor. It is a huge tourististy area so it is always pretty busy. One day last summer while training for my marathon I was running down there and took a very big and dramatic fall (over nothing). Thankfully I didn’t fall in to the harbor, but I did bite it in the middle of tons of people. Everyone was so nice and many people came rushing over to make sure I was ok. I had skinned knees and hands, and some how managed to chuck my ipod like 10 feet away, but mostly I was just mortified. I got up and tried play it off like nothing happened, but then realized people were looking at me funny because i was bleeding down both my legs. Looking back it is pretty funny, but at the time I felt like a complete and total spaz.

    Love your blog! Are you training for a specific race?

    1. I live in Baltimore too (suburbs now though) and for the past few years running through the harbor on the promenade was my regular route. Miss it!!!

  5. For me, the beginning part of my long runs are the hardest. It is before I’m feeling warmed up, so it takes so much effort to get through the first two or three. Then when I’m warmed up, I get into a nice groove and can run forever!
    I fell on a trail run and busted up my arm and knee pretty bad. Now they’re just cool scars, but it was pretty gross as it was healing.
    And maybe that calf hurts because it made impact when you fell?? I dunno ;P

  6. Great work on your run today – looks amazing! I’ve never fallen during a run, but I have three friends that it happened to, all within a week or so! I think that is quite the odd coincidence. This post inspired me a little to get back into gear after hurting my back. And now I want to go home and lay on the couch – its dreary and rainy in my town (perfect lazy excuse!).

  7. Poor thing!!!! I’ve not only fallen once, but twice! The first was a bloody mess, knees, elbows, knuckles….my ego! Scratched my new watch, said a really large bad word mid air and laughed later as we continued our run. The second I rolled my ankle off a curb and fell to my knees! The interested thing was, I was on the same route where I fell the first time. Glad you are Ok…great run, you continue to inspire me!

  8. I fell during my first half marathon. I was at the 13th mile marker, and something in me just decided to sprint, and I slipped on an empty water cup randomly in the road and slid a few feet on my back. I jumped up immediately and ran for the finish line to where I was met by medics. I ripped up my back on the pavement pretty back but I got extra cheers from everyone that saw!

  9. This post is so timely! Falling is just awful. I actually took a really bad fall on the sidewalk on Tuesday during my morning run (1.25 miles into a 12.5 miler). Knees scraped with giant goose eggs, and palm scraped raw and dripping blood. I put a picture on Tuesday’s blog post to show off my war wounds. My knees are still sore.

    I had a similar pain in my leg a few weeks ago, but it was on the outside of my left shin and eventually started creeping down into the top of my foot. It took 5 days of icing 4Xs a day, Advil, massage, and compression socks for it to go away. I took 3 days off of running and that helped too.

    I hope you feel better soon!

  10. Honestly, the first few miles of a long run are the hardest for me, b/c I still feel like I have soooo far to go! Once I hit the half way mark, i trick myself into thinking i am “almost home!” At least I’m heading home, which is always mentally easier! I am trying for 10 this weekend and more afraid of the mental part than the physical!

  11. Oh my gosh, I thought that Murphy was your stomach at first (like you were lounging in your sports bra and pants) and my first thought was, “Wow, Tina has a really hairy stomach.” Oops! I have fallen off a treadmill before…maybe that’s why I don’t like them 😛 The toughest part of a long run is definitely the mentality of the first mile for me and the last few miles. Sometimes breaking up my run into smaller segments (mentally), helps me out with those middle miles.

  12. I fell on a run once. And while laying on the sidewalk a woman *Literally* (and I do mean literally) walked over me to continue down the sidewalk. Turns out I had a broken arm.

    BUT it makes for a great story 🙂

  13. Great job! How good does it feel to lay down on the couch after a long run?!?!? I hope your calf feels better soon…I am always icing something or another after my runs :-/. I have fallen one time and scraped up my hands a little bit…and my palms were so sore for days!

    I think the end miles are the worst! I know I’m so close, yet so far away!

  14. I’ve never run more than 16 km (10 miles) and that was last Monday when I injured my foot. No falling just Morton’s Neuroma…only starting to feel semi normal again. Well done to keep on going! Hope your leg feel better soon! And awesome time!

  15. my doc told me that my arch support was not supporting right if the outside of my leg was hurting like that. He said there is a tendon that runs down the side of the calf and under the arch. Perhaps that is it?? i got new orthortics and bang I’m all good now.

  16. Totally ate it on a morning run before work one time. Luckily it was about 6am and the world wasn’t around to see my very graceful tumble. I couldn’t help but burst out laughing it must’ve been a pretty funny sight. Couple minor scrapes and another bruise to add to my already suffering pride (thank you college) and I was good to go.

    Kudos on the run, though! I’m training for my first full marathon and so far so good, but I do get sore on the outside of the right shin though.. Weird.

  17. I’ve fallen while running in the winter, there was freshly fallen snow on an icy patch and I went down hard on my knee. I was hurt, but more upset that I ripped my pants!

    Maybe your left leg is sore because you fell on it? The pic you posted showed dirt on your left outer calf/shin.

  18. OH no, glad you are not seriously hurt. I wonder if you landed on your calf and bothered it/or pulled it when falling?

    Love that Murphy is right there to console you : )

    I have yet to fall (big fear of falling and hitting my teeth on the ground!). I have seen so many peeps trip and fall during the start of races, I pray it never happens to me!

  19. I just ran my first half, so I’m fairly new to the double digit runs! During training this summer, though, I realized I kind of love long runs, which still shocks me haha. The hardest part for me is usually before the race starts — like the anxiety knowing I have however million miles to start. I also try to pretend I’m running two different runs — like if I’m doing a total of 10 miles one day, I get myself excited I’m at 2.5 miles aka half of the first part, and then stoked I’m at 5 miles, half of the whole thing, etc.

  20. I haven’t ever actually fallen, but I did somehow manage to trip over a wire hanger once. Of all things! It actually really hurt because it jarred my hip flexor. Congrats on making it thru your long run though!

  21. I bit it once at mile 3 of a 12 mile run. Just tripped over nothing at all and went flying. Tore up my hand pretty well, but my options were either to run 3 miles back home or continue on, so I just tied my long sleeve shirt around my hand (I’d already taken it off anyway) and continued on. I felt pretty badass afterwards, and I still have a little scar.

  22. Congrats on the awesome run! Those were solid splits!

    I know Ive fallen before when running, but I cant remember when.

    I loooooooathe the first 2-3 miles of a long run. It takes me awhile to warm up and feel like I can really start running. Once I get past those it is typically smooth sailing.

  23. I’ve fallen 3 times that I can remember (they’re memorable from the 2 scars and 1 pair of ripped spandex). The first time I was looking for my mom who was running behind me, veered too far to the edge of the sidewalk and tripped over a sprinkler. The second time my calf charlie horsed and I went down (on a rock of course!). And the third time I was turning off my ipod at the end of my run and tripped over an uneven sidewalk in the last step!

  24. I have actually never fallen…KNOCK ON WOOD! I was thinking that as I read about your fall, that is such a bummer! Glad it wasn’t too bad.

    On one of our long runs during training for my last 1/2 my friend almost went down on a lifted sidewalk like that too, she kept herself up though, phew!

    During training with TNT for my first 1/2 my Dad was training with me and our coach had us run hills for practice on the steep levee, my Dad fell on the way down! It was crazy thank god he was ok after that one, sore but ok.

  25. OMG I fall ALL the time. Recently we had a WOD that was Run 1 mile, 30 burpee pull-ups, Run 800, 20 burpee pull-ups, Run 400, 10 burpee pull-ups… and I ate it HARD on the concrete about 400m in to the first mile. This was not even close to the first time that’s happened (I am a big foot shuffler…) and I was determined to finish the WOD but that meant I had to do all of those burpee pull-ups with skinned knees and hands! It was not one of my better WODs to say the least!

  26. I fell once and it was around a bunch of cars at a light! I don’t know if I tripped or what, but I flew into the street, ripped my leggings, landed on my wrist and cut myself, and also scratched up my iPod. I’m sure it was very entertaining for all the people in the cars next to me.

  27. I think I’d pick the dirt over the concrete! On Sunday, a guy who was oblivious to the world because he was on his phone cut me off during my run. I bit it and took off all the skin on my knee and palm. It was so bloody I had to call my boyfriend to come pick me up and bring me home so I could clean up, bandage it, and go out to finish my run.

  28. I fell on a hike with my brother once. We seriously were less than 5 minutes in when I thought I would be funny. As we were walking I threw my hands up and yelled “I LOVE NATURRRRRRRRRR!” That’s the moment I tripped over a medium sized rock and face planted the dirt. My knee was bleeding and everything. We finished about 6 miles that day and I will NEVER live that moment down!

  29. I LOVE all these comments. I seriously thought I was the only person, nay, grown adult to fall while running.

    I majorly tripped on a crazy LA sidewalk one early morning before work. No one saw, but I ran the 2 miles home (faster than walking) where my husband had to help me bandage up both knees, elbows, and palms.

    Raw palm wounds are hard to bandage and seriously inconvenient!

  30. I don’t think I have ever fallen during a run! Knock on wood! Although my sister feel walking off a curb AFTER a half marathon haha we teased her for weeks (she was ok!)

    For me, the first mile is the worst. It’s always so hard to get in a groove and I usually find that once I’m in it I’m good to go.

  31. Ouch–that def must have hurt! Good job on the long run though–that is awesome that you did it.

    I don’t think I’ve ever fallen hard or bad to remember…but I am sure I’ve fallen while running before!

  32. Those middle miles are brutal- way to go for powering through! I’ve fallen several times because during the week I often run before the sun rises… Dark+still half asleep = likely to fall! No bad ones though, knock on wood!

  33. I just got back into running three days ago and already injured my foot so badly that it hurts to put weight on it. And that was only on a mile and a half each day, so massive props to you and your 12.5, even with the fall!

  34. My shoe lace loops were so big that my foot got caught up in a loop and I fell face first onto the trail. It hurt but I couldn’t help but laugh (who does that?!). And since then, I always double knot my shoes. Always.

  35. I took a glorious spill on my first 3+ mile run when I started running again last march. I was on the very last block of a 5 mile run and I went down pretty hard but also maybe it wasnt that bad because Im a total wuss and I may be playing it up a bit. But I had scrapes.

  36. Wow! Sorry about your fall! I have never had that happen to me on a run, but I have been chased by several dogs. It really freaks me out! I usually psyche myself out too much for the long run. It is never as bad as I think it is going to be.

  37. I love when I end up running longer than anticipated. Way to go on the long run! I haven’t fallen running (yet), but have heard some pretty nasty stories. Glad you’re okay!

  38. I swear that I went on a falling streak that lasted about a year. Every crack in the side walk would be a face plant. I once fell and scraped my hands so badly that I had to wear bandages for a month!

  39. I fell last summer while running along the Charles River. There was this circular piece of wire just sitting on the sidewalk that I didn’t see and my feet got stuck in it and tripped me. I chipped my front tooth and broke my elbow from bracing my fall. I was also still 3 miles away from home. I didn’t have a cell phone or money with me so I just ran home. I’m pretty klutzy in general, but I think that was my most klutzy experience ever.

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