My terribly awesome 9 miler last weekend

Nothing about my weekend went how I expected. I had a huge to-do list, and I planned to accomplish most, if not all, of it.

As you may recall, I had decided to switch up my long run so I could run when it was sunny and warm. That didn’t happen. I was going to make up some speed work at Unite on Sunday. That also didn’t happen.

Saturday I was just exhausted. I still can’t explain what was happening, I just could not get enough sleep. So I decided to let my body have its day, and vowed I would get it together for a good run.

So I made sure I was extra hydrated before I went to bed on Saturday night, and planned my breakfast and outfit so that I’d be ready to go.

I was feeling a bit better on Sunday morning, but reminded myself of my goals, and set out, despite the chilly temps.


I admit, I’m not great with going as slow as I’m supposed to for my long runs. Partially because my training plan has a lot of easy runs, and I’ve been worried about actually being able to sustain my goal pace for a half-marathon. But on Sunday I decided, even if I wasn’t going my true LSD pace, I needed to work on negative splits, because I have a terrible tendency to go out way too fast, and slow down over the course of the race. While this can still result in a PR, it’s not a smart way to race.

The biggest issue with my running recently is that my lower calves are dying. I know they are super tight, and am trying to roll, massage, and just generally trying to loosen them up. I hate to admit it, but I may have to give up my favorite work heels for a few weeks.

Anyway, back to the run. My calves were super tight, so starting slowly wasn’t a problem, and as I was running, I was not feeling like I was running fast. I also started to worry about the fact that mile 12 of my half marathon has a 14% grade hill for the entire mile. Yeah, exactly.

So, although it’s not the full grade, I’ve started to run the hills behind the Philadelphia Museum of Art at the end of my run, and forcing myself to run it. It is hard. I’m not sure how I’m going to handle mile 12. As me again in a month.

As I came to the end of my run, I checked my Garmin and had to look back through my pictures because I thought (and confirmed) I’d run those 9 miles at PR pace. While it was tough, I wasn’t dead; I was sore, but not so sore I couldn’t get the rest of my weekend stuff done. I am progressing, and even though it’s tough, my hard work is paying its dividends.

Advice for my Mile 12 hill in Pittsburgh?
Advice for my crazy tight lower calves?
Have you trained for negative splits before?

9 thoughts on “My terribly awesome 9 miler last weekend

  1. I suffer all the time from tight calves… and finally got some different shoes to wear to work and it has made a HUGE difference. As the woman at the shoe store reminded me, I’m in those shoes for most of the day, and they are probably what’s causing most of my problems. Also, compression socks after runs (I like the suggestion of sleeping in them too!) and “walking the dog” (stretching your lower legs gently in downward facing dog) help a lot!

  2. When you are foam rolling are you rolling your leg up and down the foam roller or side to side?
    I recommend side to side.
    I always aim for negative splits, so I make sure I start slow, and then at the half way mark pick it up, and pick it up even further on the home stretch.

  3. Nice job on running at PR pace! Tight calves are a killer! I try to stretch mine as much as possible standing on a step or curb, but it’s definitely hard! Sometimes just hanging out in downward dog and jogging your legs a little helps.

  4. Sadly I have no good advice for tight calves. Mine have been flaring up post-Shamrock. I ran outside last night and ended up walking home the last 3/4 mile because they were bothering me…and since I’m not on any sort of training plan right now, it really doesn’t matter!

  5. ranchcookie

    Oh I’m sure in the anticipation you will fly through that hill! It’ll be a mental game for sure but just keep telling yourself this is the last mile I can do this!

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