Yesterday's 16 mile long run was the first one that did it to me in a while, but my legs are sore today. Don't get me wrong, I am not complaining, it is that "good sore" that we long to feel when we push ourselves past where we once felt comfortable.
This morning was my first 16 mile run. The morning was not hot, but the humidity was still quite high. I forgot to check the weather before leaving so I don't know the exact figures.
I woke up at 5:20 with a planned departure of sometime before 5:40. I started running at 5:41 and started doing the math in my head to realize I once again didn't plan very well to get back in time to avoid a rush to get to church..... oh well, I will get the timing down by the time the marathon is here. :)
I had the first bit of uneasiness at about a half a mile into my run when I came up on a car sitting along a country road. I run around parked cars in neighborhoods all the time but it is just a bit unnerving when it is along a road like this. Things go through your mind wondering if it is just a car that died or if someone (dead or alive) is sitting in the car and what may be lurking in the dark somewhere close by.
Needless to say, I am sitting here writing this post so all went well with the car and no boogieman jumped out at me anywhere.
The next 13 miles were pretty uneventful other than a couple bunny rabbits and trying to carry and juggle my water, Gatorade, and getting my sport beans out of my arm band without losing my cell phone. I really want to get myself some kind of fuel belt to carry liquids and gel or sport beans. I get tired of carrying water and Gatorade bottles, I would much rather my arms be able to relax on these long runs.
At 13.5 miles I had another almost tragic trip and fall like I had a few weeks ago from tripping on my shoe-laces. I was running along and all of a sudden that strange but recognizable restriction of motion occurred with my feet. Remembering the last result of the same feeling I immediately stopped and looked down. To my surprise my right shoe-lace was loosened a bit and even though double knotted it was now much larger loops than how I tie them. I guess the 13 miles and extreme sweating had loosened them up just enough to cause them to (try to) trip me. I took the time to immediately retie the shoe-laces so I wouldn't soon experience the same fate as last time.
My pacing wasn't where I wanted it to be and I am not sure why I was not able to pace where I wanted to. I was aiming at a 10:00 minute pace, but was closer to a 10:30 pace for the first half of the run. The second half I was closer to where I wanted to be with most of the miles in the upper 9's. You can see my splits here.
Well, that is it for now - getting ready to head back out for 6 more miles.... but not by choice. My daughter needs to get in a long run today, but her running buddy called and is sick so she cannot run with her. We do not allow her to run by herself so off I go again for another run. It will be another easy paced run and I will probably once again, like last week, forgo my run tomorrow morning and just let this run count for it.
Today was Payton's first cross country meet. Up until this point she has only run the school time trials and has done quite well if I do say so myself. (see here and here)
Today's meet was a Stage Race with many schools and many races. Payton was excited and really looking forward to it until we pulled up and she saw how many people were there. She immediately started to stress out about the vast number of kids running.
I talked her down a bit and explained that she didn't have to worry about anything except doing her best and that she would be just fine. She started to settle down a bit more when she saw some of her teammates.
She was running the 8:45 JV race. The coach gave her a choice last week to run either JV or Varsity and she chose JV...... because..... she said she wanted a medal :) What a choice to be able to make as a freshman huh? (proud father moment here)
She went and stood in the dreaded line (we all know what line I am talking about - they have them at every race.... and they always stink) As she stood there I walked over to check up on her.
She was starting to feel the stress a little bit again and actually started to tear up a bit. We once again worked through it and she made it through the line.
She then put her spikes on for her very first real run. She was commenting how she was going to get them dirty in the very first race she wore them in as the course had a few muddy spots.
The time came for her stage and she lined up with two boys from her school, and one other girl from her school. That plus quite a few from many other schools. This was only a two mile race so I explained that she didn't need to hold back as much as she would in a typical 5k Cross Country Race. Time went quickly and then came the gun and they were off.
Two of her coaches and I started walking towards the 1 mile marker so we could see how she and her teammate were doing. There were two very fast girls we missed in her stage race, but it didn't take long before we saw Payton running in the 4th (we thought 2nd) place position (girls), with a first mile split of 6:37. I was thrilled and she was looking really good.
The coaches and I jogged back over to see the girls finish and got there about the time the first boys were crossing the finish line. We were watching closely and we watched the time. There is the first girl, the second, the third...... and then there was Payton.... right where we expected her as far as time.
Payton crossed the finish line strong in 4th place overall (girls) and first place for her team in this stage race. Her time for the two miles was 13:12 with a second mile split of 6:35 - very consistent. The first 5 finishers of each stage race received a medal - she is very proud of hers :)
***Update: Just got the e-mail, her placing in her stage race helped her JV team get 2nd place out of the almost 40 teams that competed.
Now that we have talked about the exciting part I will catch you up a bit on my marathon training.
This past week has been good, putting in 10, 5, 8, 5, and 8 so far this week. Last Sunday I did my long run of 10 miles, and then later that evening put in another 5 miles with Payton so I skipped my 5 mile run on Monday morning. I put in an easy 8 miler on Tuesday, an easy 5 miler on Thursday, and then my 8 mile marathon race pace on Friday morning. I wanted to train for a race pace of 8:45, but my body is much more comfortable and more in the groove at an 8:20/8:30 pace so that is where I am letting it go.
Tomorrow morning I have my first 16 miler on the schedule. I know there will be a lot of new distances from this point out and I am both excited and apprehensive about these new distances. I am not, however, excited about getting up at 5:20 on a Sunday morning, but to finish in time for church I must do what I must do.
I have my mp3 player loaded (Sunday morning radio is useless) and will be heading out the door sometime around 5:30. I have not yet decided what route I will take, but am leaning towards the same route I ran for the 14 mile run two weeks ago and changing up the end enough to add a couple miles.
Wish me luck and I will check back in on the other side of 16!
My Marathon Training for the Chickamauga has officially started. I started a couple weeks late due to being out of town on vacation. I wasn't really concerned about starting a little late because I was already at the level I needed to be at a couple weeks into the schedule.
My vacation saw me running a bit less than normal and also eating more and not as healthy as I had been. Once I made it home from vacation I started to hit the road again. I was not prepared for how poorly I would feel after just one week of bad eating and a not so hot running schedule.
The first Saturday long run on my schedule was supposed to be 13 miles. I had not yet run 13 miles since I was training for my half marathon 18 months prior, but I had done 10 miles a few times in the past couple months so I was confident. I didn't get out as early as I needed to and so was hitting the road almost 9:00 am and the sun was already out and it was hot. I ended up going out too fast, not eating before, and not hydrating properly and after just 6 miles was completely spent. The next 3 miles were spent walk/running to get home. I was not very happy with having to cut such a horrible run short, but really had no choice. You can read more about this run and see the splits here.
The runs since that time have been much better, and I feel like I have gotten back into running like I was before vacation and how I should be.
My latest and longest long run was this past Sunday. I have always run my long runs on Saturday because of church on Sunday, but this past week I was not going to be able to get my long run in on Saturday morning till late because of my daughter's Cross Country Time Trial. Because of my last experience of trying to run my long run too late in the morning (see above) I decided I wouldn't even try to do this and instead decided I would get up really early Sunday morning and get my 14 miles in before church.
I rolled out of bed at 6:00 giving myself 2 hours to run the 14 miles - not very good planning since 7 miles in 1 hour would be at a pace that I am not yet ready to do for an entire 14 miles. I hit the road about 6:10 following a quick whole wheat bagel -- the first time I have ever eaten right before hitting the road. Plenty of water and Gatorade in my system and one of each in my clutches, me and my packet of beans started the yet to be determined course.
The weather was at 70 degrees with 97% humidity when I started the longest run I had ever run. I had run 14 miles once before 18 months ago, but today ended at 14.2 miles so I can officially call it my longest run ever.
A lack of prior planning and I found myself listening to public service radio for the first hour of my run. I run with an MP3 player, but always just listen to the radio since I am too lazy to build a play list and load it with music. A quick scan of all the stations found that Sunday Morning at 6:00 am is not the best time to listen to music on the radio. I did finally find some music after 7:00 am which was a welcome addition to my run.
I went out intentionally really slow, the slowest I have run in a long time, at a pace of just over 10:00 minute miles. I didn't watch the time, but listened to my body and slowed down each time I felt myself getting winded in the least. I knew this was going to be key to finishing the full 14 miles. This is where the poor planning of time allotted comes in - 14 miles at 10:00 minute pace = 2 hours and 20 minutes which puts me home just 30 short minutes before needing to be at church. The full log of this run and my splits can be viewed on my running log here.
As I was nearing home I was right at 12 miles and it was approaching the time I needed to get home. I decided that based on the way I felt (good) I would never forgive myself if I didn't go the full 14 miles. I decided that I would finish off the full 14 miles and just rush a quick shower before church. I passed the 12 mile mark and put another 2.2 miles in to finish off my long run. I had 25 minutes to recover, shower, and drive to church.
I was very pleased with this run. Just completing it was a mental breakthrough that was needed right now in the early days of marathon training. It is going to be a tough, but rewarding, couple of months and I really need your presence and encouragement.
If you don't mind I would deeply appreciate your sharing of my blog throughout the running community.... I need all the support I can get in my Quest to 26.2!
If you are not already aware, my daughter Payton has just started her high school career and her Cross Country Career as well. You can read how her first races went by reading about her first 5k race (non-cross country) as well as her first 2 mile Time Trial as part of the Cross Country Team.This past Saturday was Brookwood High School Girls Cross Country's first 5k Time Trial of the official season. This race was run on one of their Cross Country Courses, the newest, at the new Alexander Park.
The girls ran their race at 7:30 that Saturday morning. We arrived just before 7:00 to watch the boys cross country race and to give the girls a chance to warm up.
The time to race came and Payton and the rest of the almost 100 girls lined up. Payton lined up about 3/4 of the way back in the pack and before I realized that she had done this they were taking off. If you read about her first 2 mile Time Trial you will realize that this is a bit further back than where she needed to start -- quite a bit! I mentioned to one of the other parents that I hope she pushed her way through the pack and didn't pace herself with the ones she started off with.
The leaders appeared around the bend coming up to the 1 mile marker on this 3 circle course. I looked at my watch and saw they were pacing right around 6:30. I immediately started watching for Payton because in the 2 mile time trial she finished in a 7:04 pace. Right on time, at just before 7:00 minutes she crossed the 1 mile marker. I was happy to see that she had made her way through the pack and was right where she needed to be - now just to see if she could maintain it for the full 3.1 miles.
The next mile came and went and based on where I was standing it looked like she crossed the second mile marker at about 14:08, still pacing right where she needed to be pacing. When she passed me at the start finish line I saw she was getting tired and I was worried she was going to start fading in the last mile. I waited intently and nervously as the clock started to near 21 minutes. I checked the time as she passed the 3 mile marker and it looked like she was still pacing around the 7 min pace with just .1 left to go.
Payton neared the finish line and had two other freshmen running right with her, one just in
front of her and one just behind. Payton ran up to the finish line and then stopped right in front of her coach. Since this wasn't the finish line the third freshmen following right behind her passed her right at the finish line. This was a moment to learn from and I am sure she won't do that again :)
These three freshmen finished within just a few seconds of each other with Payton's time being an awesome 21:54, an incredible 7:02 pace! Payton finished in 10th place overall....... that is right, I said 10th place overall.
There were a few runners that couldn't run the time trial and made it up a few days later. Overall there were right at 105 girls that ran the time trial which put Payton in 10th place out of 105 runners!
I am very proud of her and am excited to watch her progress throughout the season.
It will be our little secret that her time of 21:54 beats my 5k PR...... at least for now :)
This morning I was out for a 5 mile run. I had left a little late so it was around 6 am when I was finishing up my last mile. It was still pretty dark as I was running down a hill back towards the neighborhood, but I could see another runner running towards me.
As this runner and I closed in on each other I noticed the running style from someone I have seen running around the area lately. This runner has a unique running style - he is always looking straight down at the ground.
I thought to myself, surely he will hear me coming and look up, but then we got a little close for comfort and he was running directly in the middle of the sidewalk. I finally spoke up and scared him. He jumped and we barely missed each other as we fumbled by each other. Interesting to say the least.
I am in the process of trying to get my groove back after a couple weeks of messed up schedules around vacation. Hopefully I will be back in the groove by the weekend.
My training has officially begun for the marathon - more to come soon!