I Really Needed that Run (Day 21)

27 Aug

With all of my long run bad luck lately, I really needed a good, solid long run. This morning was also my second to last opportunity to run long, with Marathon #2 only three weeks away.

I set out with something to prove.  The goal: finish. (Obviously) The secondary goal: finish with an 18 mile PR, preferably with a sub 11mm overall pace.

Mission. Accomplished.
Here’s how it went down:
I started the morning with a cup of coffee and my typical pre-long run fuel.  While the food was digesting I threw together a new playlist for the first half (I’m tired of all the ones I have – I need to really find some time to completely overhaul the music in my iPod). Then I got dressed, filled my fuel belt bottles, grabbed a package of Gu Chomps and hit the road by 6:40 a.m. I wore my Asics instead of my Kinvaras today, because as I learned last week, the Kinvara 2’s just don’t make a good long run shoe. What a difference! My feet hurt when I finished, of course, but not bad enough to prevent finishing.
I ran up through my neighborhood, through town, and over to the bike path.  I noticed that the world was pretty busy for 7 in the morning on a Saturday, looked like everyone was trying to beat the gas station and grocery store rush ahead of Hurricane Irene. 
I turned around at 4.5 miles and headed back toward home. I was already sweating buckets – it was 70 with 90% humidity when I started.  
As I was headed for the end of Mile 9 I was feeling really good still so I decided to push the pace a little.  I ended quite a few of my miles with striders (Coachy says these are good for the legs, so they don’t seize up from moving in the exact same motion for hours), but this time I wanted a strong mile finish.
I got what I wanted! 
I got back home feeling very strong still at 9.65 miles.  I quickly refilled my fuel belt and restocked my fuel, and headed out for the remaining miles.
I was stopped dead in my tracks at 10 miles by a wicked side stitch.  I stopped, took a few deep breaths, stretched out a bit, and was good to go.
Then I hit 11.5 or so miles and my calves felt tight and my feet were starting to ache.  So I stopped again, stretched my calves/feet and I was off again.
I felt really great and strong for the next few miles, and I had some excellent splits to prove it:
And then it hit me: 
THE WALL.

Or I hit it, either way it wasn’t pretty. 15 miles and my legs feel like someone took a baseball bat and smashed them right out from under me. I had to walk/run the last 3 miles in order to finish.  I walked the hills and ran the flats – my legs were screaming to much to force them to run uphill. 
Aside from the last 3 miles it was a great run! I finished in 3:16:04, with an average pace of 10:54mm.  That’s a new PR of 6:09.  13 seconds per mile average faster than my first 18-miler.
This run brought back the confidence I was losing due to all my long run issues.  It also showed me that a 4:30 marathon can be mine.  This run was only done 36 seconds per mile slower than the average pace necessary to run a 4:30.  I’m going to sign up for the 4:30 pace team as soon as I hit the expo in Dayton in a couple of weeks! I’m so excited! 
After that I showered up and made myself a beautiful breakfast:
OJ, Spinach/Tomato/Feta Omelette, Whole Wheat Toast
Farm fresh tomatoes in a beautiful omelette (If I do say so myself!)

 I have no idea when I learned how to make un-ugly omelettes? I’ve never made one that beautiful before!

A nap was had, the weather was checked, and now I’m finishing up a protein shake, going to curl up and enjoy some Dexter on the couch with Lexi and a beer!
Hope everyone’s having a great Saturday!
What was your workout today? Anything make you extremely confident and happy like mine? 

Have you ever suddenly learned how to make a food that used to be so hard for you, like my omeltetee?


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3 Responses to “I Really Needed that Run (Day 21)”

  1. eatdrinkbreathesweat August 27, 2011 at 8:31 pm #

    Look at you!! That is an AWESOME long run – regardless of the run/walk, especially considering the heat you were facing. That must have totally boosted your confidence – how exciting! You're going to kill this marathon, I just know it. So glad I 'found' you in bloggy land. You are totally inspiring me…and making me think even more about a full marathon, even my husband (and running partner!) agreed he'd do one with me if I ever wanted to. Hmm!!!

  2. MotherRunner August 28, 2011 at 2:28 pm #

    Awesome run!! Great runs are always made better when you really need a confidence boost before a race… so way to go!!

    And your breakfast looks delish. 🙂

  3. Stephanie August 30, 2011 at 12:44 am #

    Soooo happy for oyu, nothing better than a run that gives you confidence. I am sure you are going to hit your goal. Glad that you switched the shoes. Neutral/track shoes can be hard on the feet for long runs. Glad the change helped. Nothing less to say but YAYYY

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