Saturday, April 17, 2010

Training Run No. 7

I could think of a million other titles for this post ("Yowch", "18 Miles Hurts", "Slowing Down", "Why Did I Sign Up for This?", "One Wouldn't Think 18 Miles Feels Like a Lot More Than 17 Miles -- Boy Is That a Bad Assumption" and/or "I Would Rather Die Than Run That Far Again" just to name a few) but sticking with my previous training recap titles, I went with Ole Faithful.

Let's get the bad news out of the way. And let's keep it short and sweet, if I can.
  • 18 miles was hard. It's never a good sign when you start counting the remaining miles at mile 5. ("Only a *grumble grumble* half marathon to go.")
  • I was hurting. Not only has my hip been giving me some trouble lately (vegan glucosamine purchased, icing and anti-inflammatories mildly helping), that blister on my toe is back. I was trying to shorten my stride as to not aggravate my hip, and that in turn started hurting my knee, which in turn started hurting my foot, which in turn led to the reemergence of the second-toe blister. Not a fun long run.
  • Even though I know in my heart of hearts I have nothing to compare myself -- or my performance -- to, I was somewhat disappointed in my splits. Last weekend I averaged a 9:15 pace; this weekend I slowed, unintentionally, to a 9:25 pace. I won't bore you with a list of mile splits, but they ranged from a 8:50 to a 10:07. In the grand scheme of things, I know this isn't a big range ... at all. Besides for those two, my 16 other miles were in the 9-minute range. But I still felt like I was falling behind. Not that I was even racing anyone or anything; I just felt slow.
And now let's forget everything that makes me want to quit and focus on some happy news! Things I love about running!

Eating! Instead of eating my pre-long run pasta/tomato/salt/lots-o-water combo yesterday, I opted for a vegan pizza. Amy's makes a wonderful no-cheese, cholesterol-free organic pizza, and while I'm sure it does no wonders for my physique, carb loading is awesome! If I had a bigger stomach I would have eaten the entire tasty thing. I sure tried!
And then when I was putting together my post-long-run recovery snacks this morning, I got so excited to eat it. I'm sure my snacks also don't exactly help me win the Best Runner's Diet award, but hell! I just burned 1,800+ calories. Chocolate soymilk and accidentally-vegan Oreos are in order.
Cross training! I know that running all the time isn't feasible for my joints when I'm participating in a high-mileage marathon training program, so I've really fallen in love with cross training. Aside from Spinning and switching my single-speed bike into a fixed gear (best decision I've made with that sweet little bike), I've recently started ... you guessed it! Swimming! I found this entirely too-cute swimsuit a few weekends ago, and I've basically become a fish when I'm not out running. Could a tri be in my future?

Brooks! I really do believe that Brooks is the best running company on the planet. They are environmentally conscious, the employees are super happy and helpful, and since they specialize in running, they make top-of-the-line products because they have no other sports to distract them from studying the science of this single activity. I have been wearing their Glycerin 7 shoes for a long time now and the only time I plan to switch is when my 7s die and I must move into the 8. The shoes led me to investing in their clothes, which lead me to wanting to spread the word about how awesome they are, which led me to applying for the Brooks ID program, which essentially changed my running life -- at least for this year.

And if the company couldn't get any more cool, they asked last week if I want to wear test next year's Defyance 4 model. UMMM, more free pre-release Brooks shoes!? You friggin' better believe I responded to their e-mail with so much excitement before I even got to their signature line. Probably not the best idea to switch shoes mid-marathon training, but I can't wait to see what the shoe will be like! I've never run in their Defyance line, so this will be all new for me. Stay tuned for some sneak peaks on the 2011 shoe!

Minneapolis! This city is seriously so beautiful. I love that there are lakes and trails in the middle of the city, and yet I can still get my big-city fix. I love that Minneapolis was named the No. 1 city for biking and the No. 6 city for running. I love that everyone here loves being outdoors. And I love love love that small but shiny blue skyline.
Great weather! Once a year, I wake up and suddenly realize that everything is green. Sure, it takes a while for things to turn green, but it happens. There's always one day where this strikes me more than any other day. Today was that day. :)
Friends! Last weekend when I had my awesome 17-miler, I recognized someone running in the half marathon group. Not Pablo. Not Benny. Not Caleb or Marius or Ana or any of the other friendly faces I've been seeing week after week. I saw a girl I sat next to in 2nd grade elementary school in small-town Wisconsin. I yelled her name as I passed, she waved (thus confirming it was indeed her), we got in touch via Facebook, and we decided to meet at the group run early this morning so we could catch up a little more. I met her and her fiance this morning, found they are running the Minneapolis half marathon together before they tie the knot, found out she lives in my apartment complex (INSANE?!), and heard her tell plenty of stories of us growing up (none of which I remembered offhand, but can recall with a bit of her reminding me). Apparently she was the new girl and I took her under my wing... awwww. It was really good to see her again! Running brings the world together. :)

Anyone else planning on taking Monday morning off just to watch Boston?!

Enjoy this beautiful weekend!

18 miles: 2:49:38
Air Temp: 58F

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like fun - and some days the splits just aren't there. But you still ran a lot farther than many people are able to, so you earned the pizza, soy milk, cookies, cake, more pizza .....