Monday, March 10, 2014

Pittsburgh Marathon Training Long Run: 18 Miles

If you've been following along, then you know I've had 2 really shitty long runs the past two weeks.  I'm not going to lie, they REALLY got to me and got me down on myself.   Actually, I don't know if you really can recall because last week's run was so bad, I never got around to blogging about it.  It was supposed to be a 16 mile run that turned into a 12 mile run/walk.  It took every ounce of strength (mentally and physically) in me to complete that run.  Couple that with my horrific performance at CrossFit 14.2 and I was feeling the lowest of lows.  

I woke up Sunday morning feeling like I had been hit by a train.  I couldn't believe I was getting a cold (the second in less than a month's time).  I willed it away, took some Claritin D and decided I had to run despite how I was feeling.  I thought about different scenarios and putting it off, but I decided to suck it up and just go.  I told myself if it wasn't my day (AGAIN!!!) I'd just cut it short and that would be that.  

My normal running crew had to run early, early on Sunday morning, but I could NOT got because Nicholas had an early hockey game.  I was so scared I was going to have to run 18 miles alone, but with some planning I managed to piece together some partners for 14 of my 18 miles.  

First up was Kim. Kim is a brand new runner.  She went from not running AT ALL in January, to completing her first 5k on Saturday.  How awesome is that?  She was shooting for a 34 minute finish, but blew that time out of the water!  I am so proud of her!  So yes, she agreed to do 5 miles with me after completing the speediest run of her life (literally).  I was so happy to have Kim run my first loop with me.  


I told Kim I wanted to take it nice and slow.  I hoped I could average right around an 11:00 minute mile for this long 18 miles.  It seems lately that I've been going out too fast or aiming for a faster pace and it always comes back to bite me in the ass.   I was determined to have a GREAT long run and that meant sticking to my plan.

Kim and I had so much to talk about that I wish we had more laps to go, but I had to say farewell at the 5 mile mark.  (I can't wait til Kim is training for the marathon relay and we have LONGER miles together. muhahahaha).

Mile 1:  11:17
Mile 2:  11:10
Mile 3:  11:06
Mile 4:  11:25
Mile 5:  11:36 ----> Gu

My first 5 miles had gone great.  I started off slowly, my legs warmed up and I felt great.  I was just waiting for the other shoe to drop.  I just knew it wasn't going to last.  There's a big difference between 5 miles and 18 miles.  The sun was shining, however, and I was determined to make it good.

Next I met up with Tiffany, Kate and Kate's mom Anne.  I'll admit, I was a little intimidated to run with these ladies all of whom are much faster than I and one of whom I could be her mother.  Literally-- it's possible.  They said they didn't mind a slower pace when I warned them I was shooting for a 10:30 to 11:00 pace.  I've learned over the years that people have choices and if they say they want to run with you then it's their choice.  I happily accepted and prayed 11:00 minute miles would hold.

Me, Kate, Tiff (Anne in back) 
When Tiffany and Kate first got there, Anne hadn't arrived yet, but we were freezing so we started running without her and decided we'd circle back to get her.  By the time we met up with Anne, we had already done 1 mile.  We set out for a loop around the lake (the girls wanted to do 9).

We started running and I was surprised just how good I felt.  It was nice to have new company and new things to talk about (not that I don't love my regular running friends, but switching it up is good too).  I swear I don't even remember much about the first loop.  The cold morning chill was just about gone and things were feeling great.

Mile 6: 11:03
Mile 7: 10:54
Mile 8:  10:40
Mile 9:  10:38
Mile 10:  10:32 ----> Gu

Originally we decided we'd cut off the loop and do two 4.5 mile loops to get the girls to 9.  So when we got to the bridge to cut off the last .5 of the loop I automatically turned.  I was forgetting we had added that first mile before Anne got there.  Somehow I managed to get the girls to do 4.5 more with me increasing their mileage to 10 for the day.  Doing another partial loop sounded better to them than some other distance out and back.

Woot!  I squeaked 14 miles out of my running partners today.  It felt so, so good to know I'd only have to do 3 all alone.

I can't even begin to tell you how good I felt even heading out for miles 11 to 15.  I really thought I'd be hitting the wall, but the pace and conversation were easy and I was enjoying myself.  What?  Who am I?

Mile 11: 10:29
Mile 12:  10:44
Mile 13:  10:27
Mile 14:  10:40
Mile 15:  10:37 ----> Gu

I mentioned to the girls that I really felt great coming in from the 15 miles and they felt badly leaving me, but I honestly didn't mind.  At this point 3 miles alone seemed doable.  Way better than the 18 miles I originally thought I might do alone.

I'm really not sure if fatigue set in or if I was bored or what, but my feeling of good started to go downhill around mile 16.  I had .5 miles before I could turn around and head back for the final 1.5 mile stretch.  That's why I hate out and back.  I hate continually looking forward to that turn around point.  It definitely messes with my psyche.  When I finally did reach 16.5 however, the wind that had been blowing in my face was now at my back and I felt like I had wings (slow wings, but wings). I coasted the rest of the way back and finally finished a long run happy!

Mile 16: 10:49
Mile 17:  11:05
Mile 18:  10:59



Total:  3:16:24  
Average: 10:54 

*The winner of the Discovery Girls Growing Guide to Growing Up is Jenn C.  I've already contacted her via email and she has claimed her prize.  Thanks to all that participated.  

6 comments:

Shaun Byrne said...

Glad to see you got your long run in.. I have had some problems on mine as well. It really does mess with your mind when shit goes wrong.

Christina Provo said...

I'm glad you had a great run!

momswimbikerun said...

Thanks! Me too!!! Finally

MELISSA CUNNINGHAM said...

way to get it done--awesome pace btw!!!!!

Kristy @PghRunner.com said...

Awesome run! I bet that feels great!
I'm with you on the out and back, yuck!!

momswimbikerun said...

Thanks Kristy, it did feel pretty darn good. Now if only I could get rid of this cold!

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