Warning! This ended up being a little long and may be a little boring.
Another week, another long run. Today’s run was great! My graph on Garmin is still all over the place, but it overall felt so much better. The temp outside was 55 when I got started! How amazing is that. Normally on my long runs, I allow myself a walk break at the end of each mile. I didn’t feel the need for a walk break on two occasions on this run and it was just so nice for the run to feel good. On the down side, my first 4 miles were just SLOW! I’m not sure why because I was running more, but my turnover was just slow. I decided to just go with it and see how it panned out. The first two miles were basically in the dark and it was so nice. It’s almost like miles in the dark don’t count as much. Due to the chilly factor that my body has not experienced since this past Spring, I layered an old long sleeved tee over my usual long run tank so that I could ditch it at one of my prepared water stops later. It was nice to not be freezing, but still have the ability to de-layer when it got too warm.
My total run was 17.61 miles today. It’s the furthest I’ve ever run before and I had to do it basically by myself. Andy is also training for the MCM and even though we don’t run together (he’s faster), I know he’s out there and we see other sometimes on out and back sections. However, his knee started bothering him on his last couple of long runs and he’s been put on a no long run status right now until the doctor can figure out what the problem is that is causing him so much pain. He’s scheduled for an MRI tomorrow. However, I could not talk him out of a short run this morning. He said his knee wasn’t hurting at all and he just wanted to go out and push it a little, but I capped his run at 4 miles.
Around 4.25 I came around the corner of an out and back section and he and Yota were standing there waiting. It was so nice and such an awesome surprise to see them. I remember just getting this huge smile on my face because I totally wasn’t expecting them there. They ran with me basically back to the house. I went left to continue my run and they went right to run home, but it got me to almost 7 miles and it was just really nice to have the company. We were able to get my pace back down to the normal range I like to keep it at for a long run (13 min/mile) and we were conversational the whole way. Those couple of miles I had running with them were some of the best I’ve had in a while. We stopped to walk at one point and I started drinking some water. Yota saw me drinking and gave me this look like “where did you get that?!” I think if I didn’t share I was going to be tackled for my water bottle. So we stopped so I could share the rest of that water bottle with him.
Once we split off I continued on. I made a huge effort today to keep my pace back down where we got it and not let my mental game get the best of me. My mental strength actually seems to get better and stronger the longer the run. I did miles 7-10 uneventful and just kept telling myself that I couldn’t acknowledge any discomfort until after 10 miles. Usually anything before that is just my mind being whiny. Around mile 14, Andy and Yota popped by in the truck and that was a welcome surprise, but I was also in a focus mode so they didn’t hang around long. Right before mile 14 was my fastest pace of the day when I hit 7:40 for a split second. Where my legs found the turnover for that pace is beyond me. I kept ticking off the miles and started doing a gu chomp between fuelings around mile 11 (I was STARVING). I took my last GU gel at mile 16 and just kept telling myself that was going to push me to the end. I felt so good and at that point I was determined not to hit a wall. Yes, my legs hurt, and for a minute I was pretty sure my ankle was broken, but I just kept pushing through physically and mentally. Mile 17 came and my pace was a 12:23!!! I’m still just shocked at that pace for that late in the run.
My overall pace today came in at a 13:02/mile and I’m absolutely thrilled by that because it’s 13 seconds quicker than my 16 miler last week and 8 seconds quicker than my 15 miler. I don’t know if it was the cooler temps (which I’ll take any day of the week) or what, but it was amazing and I didn’t feel completely dead. Granted my legs where pretty fried, but I felt like I could push to 26 if I really had to. It was so nice to have a long run that was great from start to finish, no wall, no negative thoughts, nothing. I didn’t even have to turn on my music. It was just nice being out there, running, and talking to myself (show me a long distance runner that doesn’t look crazy out there singing and talking to themselves).
So I know this has gotten long and I’ll try to wrap it up, but I couldn’t help but elaborate on the long run this week because it was just so awesome. I was sore enough though that I came home and took my first ever cold bath (too chicken to add ice, maybe next week). My legs are probably the achiest they have ever been today.
Overall not a great training week, but I think I’ve set myself up for better success this coming week. I know I should be doing 7-10 milers during the week, but my legs are just not recovered enough for that even with foam rolling and compression. So last week I did yoga on Tuesday night, a 3.5 mile run Wednesday morning, and a spin class (which left me crazy sore) on Saturday.
This week’s schedule looks like this:
Monday – 19 miles!
Only 3 more long runs left until taper and then I don’t know what I’m going to do with all my time. Obsess about the marathon probably.
Kristen Brumbaugh is currently training for the Marine Corps Marathon. I am running under a charity bib for the Girls On The Run organization. This will be my first marathon. If you are interested in donating to my fundraiser for the Girls on the Run, please visit my fundraising page here.