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At Christmas I was typing out my 2013 in Running post, and wrote that my 7 miler for my fall half marathon had been my favorite run of the year, followed by my 7 miler from my spring half marathon training. I went back and looked at 2012, and again a 7 miler had been my best run. Interesting trend, right? I’ve had plenty of other good runs, but each of these stands out as a really fantastic run. I guess my body likes the distance?

On Saturday morning I set out for my 7 miler for this training cycle, and I was hopeful that it would also be as fantastic as my other 7 milers. The first mile was ROUGH. Most steps I took hurt, and I could tell I was just slow and achy. (sidenote: I’ve started to realize that it really does take me 2-3 miles to really loosen up. This must be why I didn’t love running when I’d try to do a mile or two at a time!). By about mile 2 or 2.5 I felt myself loosen up a bit and felt myself hit a flow.

I ran past my car at mile 3.66 and paused my watch to drink, eat, and take a salt packet. I’m trying to get my body used to ingesting more salt on runs, both to help the POTS and the leg cramps I seem to get during half marathons. I stopped for maybe 2 minutes, then kept going.

I had planned to stop at exactly 7 miles, but I was feeling so good and was so enjoying the moment that before I knew it I had hit 7.5 miles (although, according to my garmin, I was at 7.7– was my Runkeeper app or the garmin correct? If the garmin is correct, then my pace per mile is definitely lower- hmmm.)! I’m pretty sure I had a smile on my face for the last bit of the run, and it felt pretty effortless.

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I felt like I paced myself relatively well. My 2nd or 3rd mile tends to be my slowest mile, and I definitely maintained a good pace for the 2nd half of my run. I can’t complain too much! Most of my runs past 5-6 miles involve my IT bands hurting, but this run didn’t at all! No body parts really hurt, although I noticed that, just like last week’s run, my left calf muscle felt a little tight around the 3-4 mile mark.

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Jillian Michaels kept me company… or, at least, her podcast did 🙂 I came in and stretched, foam rolled, did a plank series, took an ice bath, showered, and ate a delicious breakfast! I went to Cracker Barrel with co-workers at the end of the week, and had one huge pancake left. I also had some hashbrowns, so I warmed them both up and covered the pancake in pumpkin butter! Delicious! I followed my run up with some time in the kitchen making root beer float cupcakes!

So, yet another 7 miler complete, and it was, as the others before it, really wonderful. These are the runs that I’m thankful for in life.

Now it’s your turn to share! Do you have a distance that you really love to run? What’s your favorite post-run routine or meal?

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