Saturday, October 22, 2011

14 miles: a post almost as long as the run itself

Today's 14 mile run was much better executed than last weeks 12-miler.  Here were my improvements!

1.  Did a better job of mapping out my run so I wasn't confused, which I was at the beginning of last weeks run.

2.  Left the house on time and got started about 7:05am.  Last week I left late, made a pit stop for gas and then was super stressed the whole run, trying to calculate if I was going to get home in time to recover briefly and shower before the 4yr olds soccer game.

3.  Remembered to use Glide on a few trouble spots that I forgot last week.  Used more Glide on my feet to prevent blisters forming.  I got a good-sized blister on my right foot, third toe last week.  The area was bothering me while I ran, but I didn't realize a blister was forming.  With applying the Glide to it today, it didn't bother me at all!  I kind want to drain it, but since it's not hurting me, I figure I should leave it alone.

4.  Stayed calm and stress-free during my run.

As I mentioned earlier this week, this is a new personal distance record for me.  I've never run 14 miles before, only 13.1.

Overall, this was a good run.  As my mileage increases, but my pace stays about the same, this is a huge confidence booster for me.  I did struggle towards the end.  My body just hurt, I was feeling hungry and the rest of the fruit snacks I had with me just did not feed my belly!  It wanted a lot of real food at that moment.

I ran out of water towards the end and went a few miles feeling pretty thirsty because there were no drinking fountains.  There were quite a few earlier on the route, and I realized I should have used them instead of my water bottles and saved the bottles for when there were no fountains available.  Thankfully I knew there was one at the 13-mile mark and getting some water really helped spur me on to the end.

Wearing a belt and water bottles isn't my favorite, although I'm adjusting to it.  I will probably wear a belt during the marathon because I tend to want access to water whenever I feel the need.  During half marathons, I typically drink at some of the water stations, but enjoy having my own water too.  I think I'd really like to try a handheld bottle though.  I may feel more comfortable with that than the bottles on the belt.

For the most part, my splits are within seconds of each other.  I guess I'm a pretty consistent runner, at least at the "easy" pace.  I'm not sure what this means for race day.  I'm worried that I'll not pick up the pace a bit and run these same times during the race, when the idea is to run faster.  Hopefully the environment will give me that boost.

Mile 1- 11:03
Mile 2- 11:04
Mile 3- 11:12 (no idea why I slowed here)
Mile 4- 10:46 (pushing up a hill and then some downhill)
Mile 5- 11:00
Mile 6- 10:59
Mile 7- 11:02
Mile 8- 11:54 (gave myself permission for a little walk break at the halfway point)
Mile 9- 10:32 (A guy came up behind me and passed me, but then was running almost the same pace as me.  And he shuffled his feet--loud and annoying!  Even though we were going up a hill I had to pass him because I felt like he was slowing me down and I needed more breathing room!)
Mile 10- 11:02
Mile 11-11:01
Mile 12- 11:08 (starting to struggle!)
Mile 13- 11:12 (hurting!)
Mile 14- 9:59

Total time: 2:33

As always, I like to try to push it a bit more towards the end.  It's all about the mental aspect, proving to myself that there is more in my tank.  During miles 12 & 13, when I had thought I might speed up a bit, I was hurting and struggling.  Even though my pace was just seconds slower, it felt even slower than that.

Like I mentioned, I finally got some water as I was beginning mile 14.  The minute or so break and the water seemed to be the fuel I needed.  I was only attempting a sub-11 mile, but was pleasantly surprised to find this speed in me, a full minute faster.  I think my pace for the last .01 of the run was under 8:00!

It was great to accomplish this mileage today but I'm also excited that next weeks long run is just 6 miles.  That will be a nice break for me legs, and my family.  My girls are missing me these mornings.  I can't let the guilt get to me, but it will be nice to wake up with them and be home and head out a bit later for just an hour or so.

On my way home I bought a bag of ice for my first ever ice bath.  My two younger girls were very intrigued that I was in the bath, in my shorts.  Lily (2) was convinced I needed a bath toy and kept telling me "just one toy."  I finally relented to her putting one toy in the bath.  But then she kept adding more, and Gracie (4) joined in too.  Then they started playing with the toys in my bath.

See all the toys?  And Gracie playing?  The ice had melted at this point, but it was still plenty cold.

I asked my 7yr old to take a picture of me in the bath with the toys.  Lily wanted to pose with me, so she perched on the tub next to me and threw a leg up onto the rim.  See where this is going?

Yes her foot and leg ended up in the bath.  Why she was wearing only 1 sock, I have no idea.

The photo caught the aftermath.

I do think the ice bath helped.  My legs are fatigued tonight and there is some soreness, but it's not terrible.  I think there will be only twinges tomorrow.  Although I was tired most of the day, it helped that I was pretty active with the kids and family stuff going on.  There was very little sitting and relaxing today.  

Now if only I can win some compression socks in a giveaway....