Monday, July 30, 2007

12, I mean 13-miler

Saturday was our second double digit run. It was HOT HOT HOT. And sticky, and humid. Storm clouds hovered over us through our entire run, which we were all secretly hoping for. This run was tough. Especially, considering our minor setback early on in the first 5 mile loop. It was supposed to be a 4 mile loop, but we missed the turnaround. Oops. We had run that loop before, so we just assumed it didn't change. So our 12 miler became a 13 miler.

I'm concerned I'm starting off a bit fast. By the end of that first five mile loop, I was exhausted. My legs were heavy, my body drenched, and my spirit flagging. My running buddy, Allison, even toyed with stopping and picking up again on Sunday. We pushed on knowing we would be mad at ourselves for stopping and we weren't gonna want to run any more the next day. We started walking a bit around mile 7. Just a couple quick breaks up hills. We kept pushing, but stopped when we needed to. The coaches are so supportive, always telling us to walk hills if necessary, so we took their advice. I'm not sure if it's the best method of reaching a faster pace (obviously, it's not), but our bodies really could only do so much. We carried on this way for the middle part of the run. We definitely ran the majority, but took more walk breaks than either of us were accustomed to.

As we were at about mile 8 or so, I ate one clif-cube thing. Whether just mental or physical, that one little cube got me going again. It gave me a little bit of hope for those longer runs, knowing I can rely on gels and gel cubes for a little energy boost. Funny how I forgot all this over the span of a year? Other than that one cube and a few jelly beans from the next water stop, I stuck to just tons of water and gatorade. This was my first run wtih gatorade and I think it actually works (go figure).

Rain threatened our entire run, but the downpour didn't start until about 3/4 of a mile from the end. I was completely soaked - squishy shoes, shorts I could ring out (although I suspect you could have wrung them before it started raining. sorry, that was sick).

Despite really trying hard to be tough, this run kicked my ass. I blame the humidity for much of it, but I would be lying if I said I wasn't losing my confidence. I could really use a good, long run after these two rough ones. There's always next week, and the week after, and the week after...

And for my own personal accounting:
Weekday runs leading up...
M - A Reservior loop with J
T - A 4-miler with C
W - Off
Th - A 4-miler with C

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Double Digits!

This week marks the first with a double digit run! I went white-water rafting this weekend, so I had to get the run in during the week. It's been sticky and humid all week, so I opted to run before work rather than after. I got up at 4 am (!) on Wednesday morning and found the air just as sticky and gross as it was the night before. Nooo! I can run in 30 degree weather much easier than 80 degree weather. But, I woke up that early and was set on getting that run out of the way.

I ate a piece of break and PB and set off on my run. I was planning on doing two big loops - my usual Elizabeth Park look and then a Center loop. It was pitch black out, so decided to run the EP park second. I was feeling good and warm for the first mile just getting into the run. By the time I got to Whitman I was drenched. I kept pushing thinking I just needed to get more warmed up and that I would get used to the heat. More than the heat, I just felt sticky and that the air was too heavy for my lungs. I kept pushing, but was taking water breaks frequently. By the time I reached Mountain, I was mentally breaking down, and my mind only thought of how much longer I would have to keep running - still over an hour at that point! That and just keeping my eyes peeled for sprinklers to run through.

Halfway down Farmington, I gave up. I was gonna keep running, but just home. I was more than halfway done with my water and just couldn't keep cool. I was dumping on my head and the sun wasn't even up yet.

After running through the Center, I found a cluster of sprinklers that I ran though. I started feeling a bit better and when I passed my turnoff to go home, I decided to keep pushing. I may not be fast or that great a runner, but I think I've got heart. It takes a lot for me to give up. Anyway, I kept pushing and the run got better.

When I was in EP, I was about to run out of water when I saw an entire gateway of sprinklers. I ran through them and spotted a water fountain. Perfect luck. And a great spirit boost. I kept trucking and finally finished the run up. My clothes were soaked through. Nice! But, I felt good by the end and probably could have kept running if I pushed myself (by I did my 10, so I was happy). I hope I don't have to get up that early for a run for a long while - I was practically delirious for the first few hours of work.

Some numbers from the run:
Miles run - 10
Sprinklers I ran through - at least 6 or 7
Bunnies spotted - 2
Rigamortous animals - 1
Times I mentally gave up - 85
Times I gave up - 0!!!


Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Long Hill Rd. Training

I should have known when the coaches gave us our direction cards with a bulk of the run on a road called "Long Hill Rd." that Iwas in for some trouble! Okay, I'm being dramatic, the run wasn't so bad and I finished the 7 mile run in 1:06. Not bad at all! It's actually kind of fun picking up the mileage. Last year, I followed the more aggressive NYC Marathon training schedule and it kicked my ass from the start. I feel much more comfortable with this build up, comfortable enought that I'm eager to start some speed training. I'd really really like to finish this run up with a 10 min/mile pace = finishing time of about 4:20, but that's not a feat I'm counting on. With my 5:02 finish last year, that would be more than 40 minutes off my time! Also, i'm already concerned about my hip. The achyness is back and I don't want to aggravate any old injuries. Better to play it safe than have to take a few weeks off.

Anyway, Saturday's run. The weater was perfect running weather, chilly at the start, sunny, not a cloud in the sky. The area we ran was pretty boring...started in downtown, turned down a sidestreet and ran in some neighborhoods for the rest. Some pretty houses, but no trees for shade or anything. Oh, and the hills were a challenge on the way up. As it was an out and back, it was a nice downhill second half, though. I ran with the two girls from last week along with another girl in our pace and we chatted the entire time, so we couldn't have been that bad off. Although, I must admit the last half mile was pretty quiet. :)

I ran this morning with Christina and hope to get in another run on Thursday am with her. Tomorrow, I'm thinking of going for a 7 miler at the reservoir. I kind of miss running alone - how weird is that? It's just nice to have that time alone dedicated to just my thoughts and my iPod. Or the sound of my feet when my iPod's out of juice, which happens too frequently.

Not too much on the docket for the 4th tomorrow. Hopefully I'll get a run in early, then we're going to a party at David's, then relaxing a bit before we go back to the grind. Oh, and a neighborhood parade! That should be entertaining at least.

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