Slow and Steady Wins the Race

Happy Long Run Day

on February 16, 2010

When Valentine’s Day rolled around I had already killed the box of chocolates I sent my husband out for a week in advance.  I had a craving and the loving man that he is went to the store and got chocolate for me :).  My 11 mile run was dedicated in part to running off that box of chocolates.  I was able to erase all of the caloric removal effort of running later that evening by eating 3, yes 3, cupcakes that night after a family dinner at my Dad’s house.  Oh well.

11 miles is the longest distance I have ever run.  I wasn’t sure how it was going to go since my last long run was a little less than 9 miles and my legs were screaming at me by the end.  Overall, I think it went fairly well.  I didn’t die and I always find that to be an accomplishment I can be proud of!  I am sooo happy to have the Garmin now.  It was great to just run wherever I wanted to go and not have to remember every street I turned down and which way I went for mapping later.  I also liked the fact that I knew I had completed the distance when I was finished.  There were so many times when I would map a run after completion and found that I was a mile or more short of my goal.

I also got to try out my SPIbelt for the run and was happy with it.  It really doesn’t bounce and I didn’t even know it was there.  I used the SPIbelt along with my fuel belt.  In my fuel belt I carried 2 bottles of water and strawberry Gu Chomps.  The SPIbelt held my iPhone.  The Gu Chomps have been working well for me and I will definitely use them on race day.

Miles 1 to 3 were good and that is usually when I am getting my legs under me and working on my rhythm.  The first mile was what my pace target should be for my long runs – 13:00 and that includes walk breaks.  I found after that first mile that I was doing consistent splits of about 12:30 a mile.

Miles 4 to 5 are usually when I feel the best and I was feeling good.  I ate some chomps at 45 minutes into the run since that I is my hit the wall point without them.  I was still managing consistent splits of around 12:30 a mile except for when I walked longer to eat the chomps, but that only added 15 or seconds onto that mile.

Miles 6 to 8.  Miles 6 and 7 I was still doing okay.  This is the point though that my walk breaks start to become painful.  I have no idea why it hurts more to walk than it does to run.  For some strange reason I also started to speed up and I have no idea why.  I hard to force myself to slow down.  Mile 8 I finished off the chomps and was having some cramps in my hamstrings.

Miles 9 to 11.  The sun was starting to go down and I was getting pretty cold.  I knew I had enough gas in the tank to finish my planned mileage, but around mile 10 my legs were really starting to hurt.  The walk breaks were very painful and my knees were starting to hurt.  I sucked it up though and pushed on through.  My last mile was my fastest at about 11:53 pace.

Total – 11 miles in 2 hours and 20 minutes – avg. pace 12:43

My neighborhood is hills, hills and more hills.  It is all rolling hills but still there are very few stretches that are remotely flat.  I am hopeful that when I run the Half in Morehead that I will be able to run a bit faster than I am in training since that course is flat as can be.  I just want to finish in under 3 hours and I am pretty sure I will be able to do that.  If I am having a really good day, maybe I can finish in 2 hours and 30 minutes or less.

I did make a big mistake after that long run.  I made plans to go to my Dad’s house for a family dinner right after I finished my run.  That meant that I didn’t have time to stretch properly when I finished or to ice the parts of me that could have used some ice.  I also had to get cleaned up and pretty after running for 2 hours and 20 minutes.  Doing my hair and makeup was not something I really wanted to do in those 45 minutes after a long run.  I really just wanted to lay on the floor and moan for a while.  I told my husband to remind me to NEVER DO THAT AGAIN!  The lack of proper care of my body after that run came back to bite me in the ass on Monday.  It is a good thing I had the day off from work because I thought someone had driven stakes into my knees when I got out of bed.  I really wanted to install a motorized chair to go up and down the stairs in my house yesterday.

My legs are better today, but still sore.  I may try to go out for a run tomorrow if my legs are feeling better.  I am doing my taper now and will do 2 easy runs during the week and 7 or 8 miles this weekend.  A couple of easy runs next week and then 13.1 on Saturday, February 27th!

One final note to the weather Gods – PLEASE, no more snow!  I want sunshine and blue skies for the next couple of weeks or at least on race day :D.


One response to “Happy Long Run Day

  1. Amy W says:

    I HATE the hills in our neighborhoods!!

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