Ahhh! Whose idea was it to run 8 miles again? Oh, yeah… mine.

Aaron and I set out for 7 miles on this cold, blustery day, and sure enough we hit a groove about a mile in. We both felt good still after 2.5 miles, so I said, “Do you want to run 8 miles? I mean, we might as well.” Done.

My left knee started hurting about halfway through and never got much better. I stopped to walk and massage it a few times, but it felt like it was grinding the whole time — ick. I hope this will get better with some rest and short, easy runs.

Navigating the stairs up and down my three-level townhouse on my worn-out legs is exciting, especially since my bedroom is on the third floor. I’ve settled on a wide-legged hobbling strategy, much like a crab walks. Now I’m all cozied up in my bed, contemplating never leaving it, let alone tackling those stairs again.

Also, my belly is full of tuna casserole (my fave), which I smartly assembled prior to the run, then popped in the oven immediately upon returning. Yum, yum, yum. After running 8 miles, it’s never tasted better.

EDIT: It’s not even funny how fast I was able to upload this run to my new laptop. Not. Even. Funny.

Run, run, drink, fail

Monday: 3 miles, 31 minutes, 10:20 pace. Big sweaty times at the gym.

Tuesday: 3.85 miles, 40 minutes, 10:23 pace. My first successful tempo run — 15 minutes at 10:42 pace, 15 minutes at 9:40 pace, 10 minutes at 10:42 pace. My right leg started to feel weird near the end, like I tied my shoe too tightly.

Wednesday: Quarterly bonus day at work! We had a party in the afternoon, and by “a party,” I mean quite a bit of food and booze at a swanky lounge downtown. Yum!

Today: 3 miles, 31 minutes, 10:20 pace. I wanted this run to be over the minute it started. My right shin and knee hurt, both legs felt like lead, etc. I blame the food. And the free booze (I had a bit).

Tomorrow: Executive decision: 5 miles (per training plan) will be postponed until Saturday; beginner yoga class will happen instead. Hopefully the shin/knee situation will resolve itself in the midst of a down dog.

On an unrelated note: Sauteed asparagus is so good. Fresh red bell pepper dipped in roasted red pepper hummus is so good. My dinner = so good.

6 miles, baby! This was the farthest I’ve ever run… and it was amazing.

Aaron and I ran along the Burke-Gilman Trail to Wallingford (nearly to my old apartment/the I-5 overpass) and back on a pleasant, partly sunny Saturday afternoon. We kept a comfortable, steady pace (10:29 average) — easy enough to chat, per Hal Higdon’s instructions — and we ran the entire time.

Just to recap: a) this was the farthest I’ve ever run; b) this was the first time that I’ve run for more than an hour; and c) we ran the entire time.

My legs felt a bit wobbly afterward, but the run felt amazingly good. Outdoor runs are far superior to treadmill runs for so many reasons, including fresh air, interesting scenery, cool breezes and a sense of going somewhere. I’ll look forward to these Saturday runs, even though they’ll be long — 7 miles for the next two Saturdays.

Not that the distance is a bad thing. I felt like I could have run 10 miles… or more. Conquering a new distance makes the 15K, half-marathon and marathon seem less intimidating.

I ran 20.5 miles this past week, including 10 miles in two days (Friday and Saturday). This is nuts. For the first time, I feel like a runner.

And it feels awesome.

4 miles on a Friday night

Guess what? Not a lot of people go to the gym on Friday night! It was the emptiest I’d ever seen it. Probably because, you know, people have social lives and stuff. So I hear.

4 miles on the treadmill in 39:54 (9:58 pace). I got SO HOT while running because the gym doesn’t have air conditioning, just fans, and I get overheated and red/purple-faced very easily. It’s extremely attractive.

I had to stop a few times just to cool down and drink some water, which was frustrating because endurance-wise, I felt fine. Since there weren’t many people around, I was also able to move a fan so that it pointed directly at me, and that helped a lot for the rest of the run.

Hal Higdon said to do this run “fast,” but I just went the fastest I could. It was still faster than my last “easy” run (10:37 pace), so I think it counts. Yup.

6 miles to do today. This will be the farthest I’ve EVER run. Whoa.

I may or may not have just finished crying a bit after reading a first-marathon story. I tear up every time I read one of these. Las Vegas 2011, baby.