Wednesday, April 20, 2011

12 miles and feeling..... tired

Last night, after planning my whole day around a 5:00 start-time, I ran 12 miles. I was primed & ready.
My mom rode her bike alongside and chatted me up for miles 2-6, which are the boring miles. At the turnaround, the next 4 miles FLEW by. I barely remember them. Beautiful miles.

At 10 I was so surprised that I'd finished 10 miles without too much pain. See, it does get easier!

11 and 12 were not as tough as the last couple miles on previous long runs. My right calf did cramp during the last mile and still hurts today.

So all in all my best and longest long run ever! I added an entire camelback tablet to my water which I think helped a lot too. So now I just need to rest today and think of how to pass the time till The Ave. Oh yeah, and actually sign up for it!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Should I do another long run before 13.1 on 5/1??

So... who knew? Reading about everyone in a Boston Frenzy is pretty entertaining! And coincidentally, Marathon Challenge, a NOVA documentary about average joes running Boston, was on our netflix list last night! So I guess I'm in the mood.

Last Tuesday I did an 11 mile run. My longest run to date, it was a tough one for a few reasons. First, I started out at the Skunk Train depot with the realization that even if I ran to the very very end of the Haul Road I still would not reach my 6-mile-out-&-back goal. This put mental stress on me to try and find 'loops' or additional 'out&backs' along the main course. Not what I like to do. Also, Maia dog was hungry-tired-lacking motivation? Not into the run, which is really unlike her.

I added just one spur off the main course, and hit the turnaround at 5.15 garmin mileage, but knew it was more like 5.4 because I'd forgotten to turn it back on after a brief water stop. So the depressing realization hit me that it would only be an 11 mile run without finding a way to add another mile. Then I looked down to a 'battery low' notice and .25 miles later, Garmin was dead. So my hopes of accurately pinning down another mile were dashed.

My legs were shot, the run was hard. I wanted 12 but only got 11. Once again I question how I will ever be able to run 13.1 miles. Will it ever be easy? I'm determined to find out.

The Real Issue:
Avenue of the Giants Half Marathon is in just 13 short days (MAY 1). Question: Should I do another long run? Maybe another one tomorrow (4/19) and allow myself 12 days to rest/taper? I wasn't planning on another long run but 13 days seems like a long time to not long-run. Hmmm...

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

10 miles - in which I discover the essesnce of long distance running

Yesterday I planned my long run at the last minute. Which turned out OK.

The day was gorgeous, and one of the only days off E and I have had, or will have, for a long time. We spent the morning driving down the coast on Route 1 and had another amazing breakfast at Queenie's Roadhouse Cafe (huevos rancheros for her, Potato Hash with Garlic and Gouda for him (stinky!)). We were stuffed. Our drive took us to Point Arena where we walked 1.5 miles along the beach to our secret kiteboarding spot. Alas, the wind never picked up enough to board, but we enjoyed the walk anyway! Once home again, we lunched, napped and read in the sun on the porch and at 5pm I decided I needed a run.

I filled my bottle and put on shorts and a tanktop, E threw his bike in the truck, and we were off. After a mile, he asked me how far I planned on going -- 10 miles, I hope! I said. Wow, said He.
  • Miles 1 & 2: ITB was slightly cranky and my lungs were heaving a bit.
  • Miles 3 & 4: started feeling the huge breakfast and the recent lunch (on top of a huge turkey dinner we'd had the night before - whoops!). E tells me I'm just "well fueled".
  • Mile 5: the turnaround. felt pretty good. things are coming together on this run. I can do this!
  • Mile 6 & 7: ok... I'm back at my 10K turnaround!
  • Mile 8 & 9: 8 passes by uneventfully, 9 hits me like a truck. my legs are heavy (lead weights), I consider passing out. E tells me I'm about to hit my second wind.
  • Mile 10: My legs are shot, and feel like they belong to someone else. I trudge around the last few corners with bursts of warm liquid pain in my sacrum.
Done. I realize that miles 9 & 10 must be what marathoners experience for the last 8 miles. Am I right? Utter fatigue. The run was no longer about any athletic or cardiovascular workout. It was about managing, and pushing through, the pain. I crossed the finish line and wasn't even breathing hard (?). This is a whole different ballgame, isn't it?

I then went home, ate plain greek yogurt with granola, made tea, and prepped an ICE BATH. I put on an additional shirt and sweatshirt, cued up The Office on the laptop, and slowly, painfully submerged my legs. I turned around so my torso was at the faucet end of the tub (more quad coverage), and other than accidentally leaning on the cold water handle so it turned on and poured down my back, the whole thing wasn't actually that bad. My toes stuck out of the water and managed to stay frost-free. The ice actually felt good, and I was even able to laugh a bit at Michael Scott et al. A hot shower and pasta dinner later, I felt better than after my 6 miler 4 days earlier.

So I continue to ponder painful mileage and ice baths, and good advice from Katie (" just know that you'll feel awful for a few days after"). Glad to hear that's normal!

I know I should have gone out for 2 or 3 miles today but I'm SO tired. E and I spent the whole day installing drywall, and I think I trekked up and down the stairs 40 times. That has to count for something!

My goal for this period week is to do a P90X leg&back, yoga every day, and a 3 mile run.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Three firsts

  1. First Ten Mile Run!
  2. First Truly Painful Run!
  3. First Ice Bath!
I look forward to elaborating on this soon! Whoopie!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Going the Distance

I've read some really inspirational blog posts lately. With so many marathons and half marathons being run in the blogging community this spring there is a lot to contemplate, and a lot to compare myself to.

13.1 miles is a long way to run. My farthest run ever is 8 miles, and I've run this distance two times, one of which was earlier this week. That 1 hour and 16 minutes was the first time I've finished 4 miles and contemplated what it would be like if I were only 25% done. What would that feel like? How would my mind relate to the perceived new distance? I felt powerful and strong on that run, and for the first time felt like 13.1 is doable.

Actually making it a reality is another story. Oftentimes I am convinced my body is just not cut out for 13.1 10Ks feel like challenge enough. My body feels slightly broken and beat. After last night's 6 miler my feet hurt so bad I couldn't believe how amazing getting into bed at 8:30 pm felt. It seems really difficult to up my mileage, both mentally and physically.

So my question really, is this: How do you know if you're being a wuss and should just DO a 10 miler? How do you know if you should just be a 10K runner?

I've researched long runs and can't find enough info to support either answer. I plan on reaching out to other bloggers and casually asking around ... How difficult was/is it to up your mileage weekly? Monthly? How do you feel after long runs?

My 8 miler this week was great - I felt good, I took it slow, I hydrated, and Maia the dog kept me company. My 6 miler two days later felt like hell. My feet hurt, my lungs hurt, my mind hurt.

In other news, spring has sprung! The Giants are winning game #2 of 2011 (we'll forget about game #1), AVBC's Summer Solstice Cerveza Crema came out today, and the world smells like freshly cut grass. Yippie.