Stepback week: 15 miles

Since I arrived in Reno on Wednesday evening, things have been pretty crazy! I have tons of photos from our adventures, but that will be in a separate post because this is Running Wifle, not Adventure Wifle!

I vowed to still get in my long run for the week despite the fact that we had our parents to entertain. It proved to be pretty easy since it was a step back week and I was scheduled to do 15 miles (as compared to the 18-20 I have run the last three weekends). It is much less mentally daunting to plan on 15 rather than 20!

I woke up yesterday just after 5 AM and dragged myself out of bed to do my run. I had a bagel and a banana that I had stolen from the previous day’s breakfast buffet, made some coffee, and watched a gorgeous sunrise out the hotel window! I finally got out the door just before 6 AM and was proud of myself for getting going before the sun would be too intense.

Unfortunately, I didn’t really consider that Reno is in fact in the desert, and that before the sun comes up it is cold. In packing for the trip, I was focused on the high temperatures of the day, and only packed shorts and tank tops to run in. I couldn’t feel my hands for the first few miles, and when I passed a reader board that displayed the time and temperature, I saw that it was only 47 degrees out! Not the most pleasant way to start off, but still better than running with the sun beating down on me!

Running in a new city can be tough, especially when you head out for a long run. We had found a path that ran along the Truckee River through downtown Reno, and I saw on a map that extended quite a ways so I planned on running on that for the most part. Since I had never been along the whole thing, though, I didn’t know that parts of it were under construction (i.e. missing entirely) so I just sort of winged it after the first 7 miles. It’s a scary feeling to realize you are about 10 miles into your run and aren’t sure that there’s a very direct path back home… I was pretty worried that my planned 13-15 miles would turn into 18 really fast! Luckily I had my handy-dandy iPhone that the Hubble insists I carry for emergencies, and was able to turn the run into an exact 15 mile loop!

I completed the 15 miles in 2:23, which was a 9:32 pace overall. I had the goal of maintaining a 9:30 pace originally, but given how tough my other runs in Reno were for me, I decided I just wanted to make it through. I was very happy to see that I was close to my goal- I think my body finally started adjusting to the altitude! I think it also helped that I started out quicker than usual so that I could keep warm, and was able to finish before it got too hot out. By the time I finished, it was nearing 9 AM and was just starting to heat up outside. Perfect timing!

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