With the daily high temperature unexpectedly back in the low 60’s it was a perfect day to take off from work with the sole purpose of running.
For several months I have wanted to just go out and run for as long as I can, but haven’t had the chance. This probably wasn’t the best time in many ways as my longest runs haven’t exceeded 12 miles since April (one half marathon in September being the exception). Also, I wasn’t sure how my toe would manage – I ran with the club on Saturday morning, getting in an early 5.7 miles before the main run, and then as soon as I started running again with the main group, my toe was painful so I didn’t continue (this is a result of last week’s black out – http://runninginnj.wordpress.com/2012/11/24/100/ – and I now have a huge burn blister right on the bottom of my big toe which has had a lot of pressure behind it over the last few days).
I went anyway, thinking I could probably get in 10 miles, and anything extra would be a bonus.
I haven’t been to Manasquan Reservoir before, but this was the view that greeted me this morning.
I’d left my Garmin at home (didn’t realize until it was too late), but I had the map my run app installed on my phone so decided to use that.
My aim was to run slowly in the hope that would allow me to run further than I have ever run before. Without my Garmin watch my pace was less visible but I started off at what felt like a suitable pace.
The perimeter trail is apparently 5.1 miles around the reservoir. I still felt great at the end of the first loop (but needed to use the restrooms so took a detour back there). I took a few photos on that first loop while running.
The second loop was also great. It felt pretty easy and I was convinced I was going to be able to manage at least 4 loops, if not more. At the end of the second loop I stopped to fill up my water bottle and grab some energy gels (leaving the timer running). I started off again, but after a couple more miles I realized that there was no way I was going to manage a 5th loop, but 4 looked like it was still reasonable. By the end of that third loop I was starting to think that if I did try to do another loop I might end up overdoing things a bit too much. My legs were hurting, and as I was getting close to where the car was parked I noticed a slight twinge in my lower back, so I called it a day.
16.04 miles in 2 hours 23 minutes (timer wasn’t stopped in breaks, but that probably doesn’t make much difference). The pace was probably too high at 8:56/mile to be able to do what I really wanted (to get to 20 miles), but even if I had slowed down, 20 miles was probably way too much of a jump from my recent efforts (and even from my longest prior run back in April, which was not quite 15 miles).
It was great to just run with no time constraints and just to run somewhere new. Another bonus, based on my mile splits, I didn’t really slow down at any point (slower miles are where I had short breaks): http://www.mapmyrun.com/workout/209626135 (mapmyrun seems to have done something odd with the average pace column so that one doesn’t seem to make sense).
At the end of the run, I walked out onto a jetty and stretched with the waves lapping at the nearby shore and around me and a perfect sky above – such a great, relaxing end to the run.