Oh man. It’s been feeling like one crazy day but I haven’t *really* done a lot. I guess that’s what happens on long run days. Not only are you running for lots of minutes but it makes time seem so relative and before you know it the day is over!
I’ve been having some computer problems lately and finally got them squared away today. So I started off my day by visiting the Geek Squad and dropping off my computer before heading off on my long run. After the run (which I will get to because I ❤ the long run and love to talk about it heh) I went back and picked up my computer. The guy that helped me was sooooo nice because there really wasn’t anything wrong with my machine. But he stayed with me for an hour and a half (!) and “fixed” it. Then didn’t charge me. I actually walked away with tears in my eyes because I was (and still am) so grateful.
So now that my computer is back I can tell you all about my long run (and I need to catch up on google reader. Man you guys were busy for the 8 hours I didn’t have access to the internet!). The schedule said 17-19 miles for today. Which first off is ridiculous. But in a total loving good way. It’s only week 3 of my plan which is why it’s crazy that I mapped out a 18.2 mile route. To put it in perspective: last training cycle I didn’t do my first 18 run until week 6!!
I was a little amped up over the computer situation so I think I went out a little fast on the first portion of my run. I had a 14.4 mile loop and then was going to follow it with a 3.8 loop. Nothing too exciting about the first loop. I mean I did a lot of thinking but mainly I knew that the 14.4 route was just a warm up to the last bit. Not to belittle that first part but pushing through the last part of any run is where I anticipate a little more effort needed. I mean they don’t say the marathon is a 20 mile warm up for a 10k race for nothing.
I will say that miles 11 to 14 ended up being the rough ones. I was going to try to hit goal marathon pace (GMP) during these miles but I just didn’t have the drive to. Which is okay because I don’t have to hit GMP during a long run for another couple of weeks or so. I think I didn’t want to because at that point I’d already gone a considerable distance but there was still so much more to go to hit the 18.2 that I wanted. Despite this I was actually thinking of ditching my 3.8 route in favor of a 4.6 route that would give me 19 even miles. But I didn’t because my previous distance PR post-marathon was the 16.2 I did last week. And I thought that almost 3 miles more would be quite a leap.
And I kind of regret it. Almost.
See as much as I really get pumped off of speed stuff I really live for the long run. It just comes very naturally to me (part of why I think an ultra is in my future). I take a really long time apparently to find my groove. Like 14 miles maybe? Because once I hit that second loop I was off to the races I guess. Which is funny because with most people I’d attribute it to taking a gel or granola bar (as I usually do). But for whatever reason today I decided to go with nothing. Yes the entire long run was done on my breakfast.
I have no real explanation for why the first 14 miles were right on par with what I shoot for on a long run (9:00 pace) but the last 3.8 were at 8:25?! WTF?! I thought that these 3.8 were going to be the bane of my existence: my bladder was full, I was worried about my computer, I didn’t have any food on me. But I felt so damn good that I tacked on an additional half mile for a grand total of 18.7 miles.
I wish I had the foresight to know how good I was going to feel so I could have hit the upper range of 19 in my plan. But 18.7 is just as good which is why I don’t regret not doing 19. I even thought about eeking out another 1.3 to make it 20 (because I ended the run on such a high and my legs felt ready to GO) but didn’t only because I don’t need to. I’m trying this thing called “Trust The Plan” 🙂
I’m sure the lifting played a part in why I felt so good. That and the hills I’ve been doing. And the slow as hell recovery runs. Sure it’s been torture but like I said yesterday, it surely is a prescription for greatness. So thanks to everyone whole told me that yesterday. It means a lot and helps me stick to “Trusting the Plan”. Rebecca also mentioned this when she said “I’ve found that the slower I do my recovery runs, the more I can put towards tempo/LT workouts.” I definitely feel the same way and think that it also holds true to these long runs. Plus I felt like I could charge up the hills on my route (there aren’t many and I guess technically they’re more like inclines in the road haha) without altering my pace. If I keep getting this kind of feedback from my body I think I’ll be okay come April.
The weather couldn’t have been more perfect either: 45* and partly cloudy. I got to wear shorts and a tee-shirt! And of course my gloves, but they weren’t the “lobster mittens” (as I so lovingly refer to them as) but just the regular old gloves. Perfect conditions for a damn near perfect run.
I could go on and on about how awesome this run felt. But I won’t because I don’t want to beat a dead horse. Plus 18.7 miles makes a girl very hungry. Must. Go. Find. Food!
P.S. I won Nikki’s LED hat giveaway! Thanks girl! I can’t wait to try it out and report back 🙂