Saturday, March 23, 2013

Congrats, I'm a Champ :)

...That was according to Kara Goucher at the end of my run so I guess it's true (Nike+ GPS app)  :) Thanks to marathon training, I have again set a personal record...longest and farthest run ever! And I guess since this is the first time I have ran this distance, I can tack P. R. to that list of records too! ;) I have finished marathon training week 11 too. I can't believe there are only 5 weeks until I run this marathon-wow!

Style/Workout: Long Run 
Setting/Route: Prom and The Cove hill and back
Mileage: 16  miles/ 2:30:56/ 9.25/mi averages
Progress: (running mileage): 16 today/55.77 this month/ 185.69 year-to-date
(For March I'm aiming for...70 miles)

Tough run today! I felt so great though, which was a relief. I was nervous to attempt running so far. I was smarter this time though than last because I can't stand those runs were I bonk because of improper hydration or fuel. So I hydrated all day yesterday and last night we went out for mexican where I ate all of the rice and beans (and other stuff) that I could stuff myself with. I did have a margarita and I was a little bit nervous about that, but figured the sugar would be good on the other hand. I even drank a whole glass of water when I woke up in the middle of the night, then I took my time eating breakfast and drank 2 glasses of water early this morning. Breakfast was a cup of coffee, two mini bagels with peanut butter and two hard-boiled egg whites. Not much glucose with breakfast, but I packed a Squiggles to take on my run, along with my water-filled Amphipod running water bottle.

Miles 1-3: (My House down the Prom to The Cove) were cold and I was surprised how long it took my body to warm up. I wore a long-sleeved tech shirt with a regular short sleeved t-shirt over it. Then for bottoms I wore my addidas running capris with my U of O running shorts on top. I also wore my running ball cap and some black gloves. I thought I was pretty set for clothing. I was for a long run like this, but the first couple of miles it took a while for my fingers and toes to warm up. I constantly underestimate how cold it is on the coast of Oregon. Last run I warmed my hands and feet up in a sink filled with hot water. I might do that more often. Great thing was that I managed not to go too fast on the first miles...finally!

Miles 4-6 (The rest of The Cove, then doubled back through the neighborhood to add mileage. Then I went back down The Prom): My extremities had finally warmed up and I was feeling good. It's the start of Spring Break for most folks in NW Oregon so Seaside was busier than normal which I actually like. My body had caught onto a rhythm of it's own and I was surprised at how easy 9:20-9:20 felt. The sun came out and while it wasn't "warmer" per say, it was a very pleasant day to run! At Mile 6, I tried not to, but in my head I was saying sarcastically, "Only 10 miles left!" I ate some Squiggles and stayed hydrated. Negative Splits Miles 4, 5, and 6 (fastest mile)

Miles 7-9 I headed N on Holladay then across Hwy 101 and toward Wahanna, taking the backwards version of what I normally do. That's one thing about my long runs, I have to tweak my runs and do things differently or I get B-O-R-E-D. This part of the run went pretty well. I enjoy the parts that are near an estuary area, and then it makes a down-and-back through a pretty RV park area. I was really encouraged when I hit around 8-9 miles and my legs were still feeling pretty strong. It was tough, don't get me wrong and it took a lot of mental oomph to keep going, but I could tell that I felt better at this point than when I have ran longer distances the last few weeks. It was progress in my mind and that felt good. Around Mile 8,  I got the "Halfway Point" from my Nike+ and I let out a "WOOP!" That is one thing I did more this run, I coached myself. When it was tough, I'd audibly say something encouraging to myself. "You got this. You can do this. Only X miles left, piece of cake." And lastly, what I loved about today's app tracker was that after the halfway point, it began counting down the miles. I love that! So instead of saying, "9 Miles" it would say, "5 Miles Left to Go". I would fist pump each time :) I'm such a dork, but it kept me going.

Miles 10-13 took me the rest of the way down Wahanna, and then I took a short jaunt on Hwy 101 until I reached Avenue U, where I turned and headed back to the Cove. I figured in my head that if I went down that way, all I would have to do were a few loops in the neighborhoods then I could head back down The Prom to my finish line. These miles were tough. I ate the rest of my squiggles and sipped water along the way. My left little toe developed a blister so I was trying not to think of that and my ankles and knees were feeling sore. I used my arms a long to get me to the end. If you pump your arms, your legs follow so that is what I did when my legs felt tired.

Miles 14-16: I had circled through the neighborhoods twice and hit the "2 Miles to Go" point so I headed back for The Prom. I wondered if I had seen any of these people earlier in the day when my run first brought me down here. I wondered if I looked like a nutso running for as long as I was. But I didn't care. I pushed and pushed. It takes such mental toughness to push past your discomfort. My body was feeling stiffer and tired so I just focused on keeping going and not stopping because I had to keep running just to get back to my house. Miles 15 and 16 were decent negative splits as I really gave it all I had. I kept thinking in my head "Finish Strong...Finish Strong." At one point I thought about how great it was going to feel to finish at Hayward Field after the actual marathon and got a little misty-eyed.

At the stop point, I quickly tapped my app as I was not running one more step than I needed to. I was beat! The great thing was that it stopped me right at the street that leads to our house so I went ahead and took that right. I was walking like an old lady :-P I had Goyte on my iPod singing "Somebody That I Used to Know" and alternated between a bouncy non-jog and a stretching-type of walk. It was a tough walk back to the house but I knew I was going to thank myself for keeping the circulation going. I have made the mistake of not properly cooling-down before and at this point in training it is actually kind of dangerous and dumb not to cool-down and walk it out at the end.

I had stashed Gatorade, two peeled and sectioned mandarin oranges in a baggy and another fruit twist on my porch as a sort of "Aid Station" but I had never passed by along my route so at this point I got to enjoy them. That Gatorade tasted like the nectar of the gods and the mandarin was like a burst of delicious sunshine in my mouth. It was perfect. I hung out there a few minutes and stretched and munched before attempting the stairs to go upstairs.

I skipped any type of ice bath because those have not been a good idea with my weird circulation issues. Instead I stood around chatting with my husband (who was amazed at my 16 miles). I am pretty sure I ate something too but I don't remember. After a while I jumped in the shower and got dressed for the day. He and I buzzed around running errands before he had to be at the baseball field for a game his team has this evening. I'm excited that I get to watch them play and watch my man coach. But before we have to go over there, I took a nice Epsom salts bath soak followed by some foam rolling and I'm going to lay in bed a while and read my spring break book, The Light Between Oceans by M. L. Stedman. It's pretty good so far though I haven't gotten very far yet.

All in all, I'm happy. I'm proud. I'm amazed at what my body can do. I feel like I can really run this marathon. I'd like to do it in under 4:00 but that isn't always a goal people reach on their first try. I'd have to run under a 9:09 average for 26.2 miles! A more realistic goal I think is just to finish in one piece. I don't want to feel injured or sick at the end. I want to feel like I conquered the marathon, not just survived it. That doesn't mean I have to have a stellar time. If I ran the marathon based on today's pace, I would run a 4:05 which would be pretty amazing! I guess we will see when the time comes :)

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