I had my most successful long run thus far today! 5 miles were on the calendar and my goal was to run in 1 mile increments with .25 mile walk breaks in between, five times. Because of my struggles with pace and poor form in previous runs this week, I really wanted to focus on doing well at this run. I read a few articles before heading out on long runs to remind myself on how the run should go. I knew I needed to put a lot of effort into maintaining a slow pace that allowed me to finish strong without any huffing and puffing, but I also had to concentrate on keeping good form at that pace so that I didn't end up with leg cramps.
Well, I succeeded on both counts! During my first increment I decided to keep running to 1.25 miles because of hill location. I actually felt strong enough to maintain that ratio through the whole run, though, and I ended up with 4 1.25 mile running increments instead of 5 1 mile increments. I was so excited! I checked my pace with Toby frequently and tried to stay around 11:40. Pete told me on the run this week when I had such horrible form that it looked like my legs were closer together than usual. So today I listened for my pants rubbing against each other and if I could hear it, I adjusted my form. It seemed to work well! I also paid close attention to how my feet were hitting the ground and pushing off evenly from both feet instead of favoring the left.
During the last .25 miles of the run, I felt so strong that I sped up on the last leg! I wasn't huffing and puffing, my legs were tired but not in pain or cramping, and I just felt amazing with the accomplishment. I finished in 1:09:49, with a total of 5.75 miles including the walk breaks.