Sunday afternoon, I headed out for what was supposed to be a 15-mile long training run. The weather couldn’t have been more perfect – 65 degrees with a 40% humidity and sunny. I set out to not do what I did during my last half marathon – I was dehydrated and well under-prepared for my last race and paid for it dearly (update to come). Stopped by my closest REI and stocked up on fuel. Since the GU gels made me sick twice before, I decided not to use them. That was until I saw the salted caramel GU and since it is the hype around the running world, guess what I did? I picked it up! Stubborn, hard-headed child I am…
Drove to a park, not too far, which offered some pretty stellar views – Philadelphia skyline, running around the river watching people rowing and sailing, all in all, a beautiful, perfect setting. Each loop around was approximately 3.85 miles, which was great because if I needed to get back to my car for whatever reason, it would be within reach.
Warmed up with a speed walk for about 5 minutes, then started to run. I’m following a Jeff Galloway/Hal Higdon marathon training plan hybrid (customized to work for me and accommodate my races in it) and using my Gymboss, I started running 4:1 intervals. The Galloway program suggests running your long runs at 1-2 minutes slower than marathon pace and running at 11:15 mm was still too fast. I always set out to run fast at the start, completely ignoring what I preach regarding negative splits: First mile: 9:07; Second, 10:15; Third, 10:45 and so on.
I ran in my gorgeous peacock bordeaux sparkle skirt and received multiple compliments and thumbs up from none other than guys!
Mile 7 and I was slowing down a lot! Didn’t help that I got lost and started to panic a little. Got back on the loop and stopped by my car every time I made one whole loop. Stopped for nuun, for water, for fuel. Every time that I stopped, it made my legs hurt more. I took longer breaks than I wanted to, and it just made things worse. I wish that I would have continued with the 4 to 1 run/walk intervals as planned. Once you start with the walk breaks, it makes it harder to get back into running, at least that’s what happens to me.
I ran 13 out of 15 miles this Sunday. It ended up being a total of 14.2 miles. While walking back to my car, head down in disappointment, I noticed a church group sitting in the middle of the park, facing the water, and it seemed they were having their service. As I got closer, I saw a gentleman get up from the back row, reach into a cooler and hand me a bottle of water. It was such a nice gesture and one that I’m deeply thankful for.
I’m still trying to figure out what I did wrong. Both Friday and Saturday I carb loaded well, made sure to hydrate well, I’m not really sure what happened. Maybe it’s just a fluke, maybe it’s just one of those days when you just have a bad run. I can’t let this get me down, I have to continue with my training and not give up so easily.
I have a 16 mile run this Sunday. The whole point of these long runs is that you get to experiment with different things and get to learn what your body likes and what it doesn’t like so when race day comes you’re not trying to figure out what works and what doesn’t.
My legs were in so much pain Sunday night, that I was pretty sure, almost 90% sure that I was going to call out of work on Monday. Monday morning I woke up fine, my legs were hurting a little bit but not too much. What was hurting me the most were my back and my neck, which leads me to believe that I actually don’t have good running form. I spoke with one of my coworkers yesterday who ran Boston twice, or maybe more than twice, and she said that maybe I should try transitioning into minimal shoes as they can help with your posture. She said to slowly transition, running maybe 1 mile at a time until I get accustomed.
I’ll let you know how I make out 🙂
Love and pixie dust,