I went out today for my long run, a scheduled 15 mile run and a new longest distance for me. I was fresh back from the running store and I picked up a pair of new shoes (a birthday gift from the wife) as well as a few other running items and another pair of running shorts. My wife calls the shoes weird because they have an offset lace pattern that, instead of running the laces down the middle of the top of the foot, starts at the middle and angles down towards the big toe. Apparently, this is supposed to help me run more naturally. I'm not one to spend a lot of money and these shoes were by no means cheap, so I was a little nervous.
I got up in the morning and weighed myself, up again thanks to the devil incarnate (the Cheesecake Factory) where I got my dinner last night. I put on the new shorts and shoes, got dressed, and headed out the door with two water bottles today. My runs are getting to the point where one bottle is not enough for the time and distance I am running. I wore one of the bottles and put the other one in the bed of my truck, planning on doing a loop back to my house about half way through the run.
I took off on the run and was noticeably slower. The shoes I was wearing were heavier than I am used to and I was a little worried that these expensive shoes were going to cause me some problems. I kept running and, at about the 5 mile mark, a funny thing happened. All the little aches and pains that have cropped up on my runs disappeared. I notice my running gait was a little better and my times started getting faster every mile from that point forward. Most importantly, my knee that I was worried about felt 100% and didn't ache at all.
I kept going, getting a little faster each mile. I crossed the half marathon mark at 2:07:24, not my fastest but still a very respectable time. Most importantly, at that point during my past runs I was completely spent, but this time I was still going strong. I kept going and ended up completing the 15 miles in 2:26:06 averaging about 9:44 per mile.
I came home and cleaned up and I feel great right now. Don't get me wrong, I can absolutely tell I ran 15 miles today, but all the little physical concerns that have been popping up are gone. Maybe it is just that I am better conditioned now than I have ever been in my life, but I think the new shoes custom fit for me and my running plans really helped me pull this off today.
Today's run was the longest run I will be doing before my first half marathon race in exactly two weeks from today. I am so excited and I cant wait. If I could go back in time 9 and 1/2 months and tell the 325 pound couch potato me back then that I would be running a half marathon in October and be 90 pounds lighter by then I never would have believed it.
Thank you to everyone who has supported me on this incredible journey. When I cross the finish line in San Jose in two weeks you will all be part of that tremendous success.