Three. That’s how many walk breaks I took during my 10 mile long run this morning. They were all one-tenth of a mile in length and they happened at 2.9 miles, 4 miles, and 7 miles.
I am usually not a fan of walk breaks. When I have to take one I feel like I am a failure and I also feel like I’m cheating in some way. However, when I am running with someone else and they want to take a walk break I always welcome the break. That makes no sense. I also know it makes no sense that I feel like I have failed when I have to take a walk break. But that’s exactly how I felt when I looked down at my watch at 2.9 miles, hung my head in defeat, and took my first break. But here’s the thing. After my watch beeped for 3 miles, I started running again and I felt 100 times better than I had 2 minutes ago.
When I got to 4 miles I chose to take another 0.1 mile walk break. I didn’t necessarily feel like I needed one, but I thought it might help me mentally. And it did. I started running again and hit the halfway point feeling strong. I took a double latte flavored Power Gel (more liquid than the Gu, so it was easier to get down) and headed back down the trail.
I chose to take a third and final walk break when I hit mile 7. Again, I felt like it gave me the mental break that I needed. After one-tenth of a mile I started running again and finished up the last 2.9 miles of my long run. And guess what? When I finished I didn’t have any negative feelings about having taken 3 walk breaks during my run. I felt strong and accomplished, and I think my run went a lot better because of the breaks.
I don’t plan on taking scheduled walk breaks during the marathon in November, but if I have to take them every now and again to get through a long run in training I am okay with that.
Other random things about today’s run:
1. It was a glorious 52 degrees when I started out. It was still 100% humidity, but with a temperature in the low 50’s it didn’t feel muggy at all.
2. I am convinced I saw a baby black bear in a tree just after mile 3, and it scared the heck out of me. I heard a heavy scuffling up in the trees and I looked over and I swear it was a black bear, about the size of our puppy (who is 90 lbs.), that was crawling down from the top of a tree. I haven’t heard of any bear sightings near the trail, but this did freak me out and it stayed with me for the next 2 miles. The thing I was most concerned about is if it was a baby, there’s a good chance mamma was somewhere close by. (Note: After telling Barry about my possible bear sighting, he says that’s probably exactly what it was)
3. I got that song ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart’ stuck in my head for the last 3 miles of my run. Except the only line I know is “there’s nothing I can say, it’s a total eclipse of the heart.” So I had just that one line repeating in my head over and over again for three miles.
Do you take walk breaks during training runs? Anyone use the Galloway Method for racing?
Have you ever seen a bear up close (zoo’s don’t count)?
How is the weather this weekend where you are?