I signed up for the Hershey Half Marathon with Roger. We agreed to train together and do the half marathon together. Because of our schedule, we would do some work outs on our own, and even a few runs. But we were always clear that we would do our long Sunday Runs together. And then we got into a fight, and he ditched me for our long Sunday Run. We had gotten into a small argument before, but we still went for the long run together, but not this Sunday. I have run alone many times before, but mostly short runs and I would lie if I said I wasn’t a little nervous and scared. Roger snuck out earlier than me and left for his long run at Hershey…. So, as hurt as I might have been… I packed up my shoes and went for my long run; there was no way to make up this run later on the week. …. Those 9 miles were not going to run themselves.
I set out my clothes, sneakers and food the night before. The one thing I hadn’t decided on was the route I would take. We have done Camp Hill, Hershey, Wildwood Park, City Island and Harvey Taylor Bridge. I thought about going to Wildwood, it is one of my favorite routes to take, but I was not in the mood for doing the hills three times, since this would be a 9 mile run. So, I picked Harrisburg, and sections of the Green Belt. I parked my car in City Island, since it has a bathroom, parking and access to both, City Island, Harrisburg and The Green Belt.
I started running by the Metro stadium, went around the park, out the bridge and down by the river and back. The day was beautiful, sunny, not a cloud in sight and no humidity. The temperatures were in the high 60s when I started running, but it warmed up to 78 by the end of the run. I love nice sunny days, but they are not my favorite for running. There were other runners around, and many people taking a walk.
Running by the river was nice, the sun really made the whole scene look like a tourist poster. I ran up to the End of Shipoke and turned around to run by Front Street to take advantage of the shade by the hospital. I was feeling good, ran 3 miles without stopping, but started to get thirsty. This keeps being a problem for long runs. If I take my bottle, it ends up being annoying to have the gushing around and heavy in my hands. I looked for a water fountain, and nothing. I kept running. Could have turned to the car and go get some water, but by this point I was past the Harvey Taylor Bridge, and it would be one mile of running back. I told myself to push through, and to stop at the Sunoco by the Governor’s mansion and get some water then. And then I was in a really good stride, good speed and didn’t want to stop to go to Sunoco and get water, so kept going. About .10 of a mile I found a water fountain, when I pressed the water, it didn’t go up very high, so I had to collect it in my hand to drink it. I had as much as I could in 1 minute and kept running.
I have driven through Harrisburg many, many times… I would say maybe even thousands of times. My office used to be in Wiconisco Street, and we used to drive on Front street to go back home. In the car it looks like a long, but pleasant drive. In my mind, I would be going to the Governors Mansion, and coming back, with all my miles in… but no… I was only at 5 miles at that point, and I needed to turn around at 7 miles. So I kept running, I ran past Wiconisco Street, past Division Street, and in front of The Harrisburg Chamber of Commerce. It was wonderful! Best of all, I kept up with my pace and felt energized. The views of the Susquehanna River make this route one of the most entertaining runs I’ve had. I turned around shortly after the Jewish Center, because there was no more side walk.
After turning around, the sun had been shinning in my face for a while and I started to feel very thirsty again. I knew the water fountain was along the route, and I knew it was at least 1 mile away, so I kept pushing myself to make it to the fountain. I had more water than the first time around, paused my timer to take in as much water as I could.
The shade from the trees in Front Street felt so wonderful, after having the run directly on my face for 1.5 miles. But I didn’t want to rush to cross the street at Forester Street, so I took the river front route…. And immediately wish I would have stayed in the shade of Front Street. The run felt very hot and strong, but I pushed through. I made 9 miles right after the Harvey Taylor Bridge. I was feeling strong and also very thirsty, and my car was a mile away, so I kept running. I climbed the steep steps and went back to Front Street, and finished my 10 miles, right in front of the batting cages in City Island.
While I have to admit that I was scared at first, and nervous to run alone; I enjoyed it! In a route that Roger has refusing to do with me. It was also nice to do whatever I wanted after the run. My hip was feeling tight, so was my right ankle, so after getting my water I did some yoga in the grass and then walked around City Island, I wanted to walk more, but I was sweaty and all sorts of stinky, so I went home.
Lessons I learned from running alone:
· I am completely capable of running alone.
· Need to figure out a water solution
· Running alone lets me set my pace, my own time, and my own route
· I am very proud of myself for completing a 10 mile run!!