Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Long run success

I really don't have much to say about my long run this weekend other than it was 12 miles in exactly 2 hours and it was delightful. But I guess I should try and chronicle it a little better so I can look back and remember what went right. And maybe replicate it someday.

First let's talk Saturday.

I dress to impress.

We needed desperately to do yard work for Nick's mom's arrival and also just to make the house look more presentable. We had a flowering bush in front of the house that was awkwardly located and scruffy looking and needed uprooted. I decided to start uprooting it, not realizing it would take me like an hour and be ridiculously physically involved. There was jumping on the shovel, digging roots out with my fingers and yanking and heaving an hoing (hoeing? whatever). It was intense. Nick took down a bunch of tree branches and another hugely overgrown bush and we definitely tired ourselves out working for 3 hours or so.

Then for the reward! My birthday was this week, so Nick wanted to take me out on Saturday evening for dinner and a movie. He chose pretty much my favorite restaurant in the area, Ouzo's. Their tzatziki is divine. Their dolma are delicious. It's just so good. We were also planning on seeing Dark Knight, finally, but the first show was sold out so we chose a later show. I had a pretty heavy dinner of pizza and tons o' carbs, 2 big beers and then ate Reese's Pieces during the movie. It was pretty much the least healthy, balanced evening imaginable and it was wonderful. Relaxing quality time with my fiance (!!!!) without worrying about anything. Delightful.

After a 1:30am return from the movie, I set my alarm for an 8am run wakeup call. I know that's not even particularly early, but I still was chuckling on the inside when I set the alarm. 6.5 hours of sleep and then a long run? Psh. I secretly planned on ignoring the alarm and fell asleep thinking about how late we'd sleep in.

And then I grew a conscience? It was weird. I woke up and the Great Debate about not wanting to run started but somehow.. running won? I complained so much to Nick and he, who is so infinitely patient and wise and good at dealing with me, acknowledged me but did not give in to my whining.

Me: I'm tired! we barely slept! my stomach is upset!
Nick: I know you're tired. Sorry to hear about your stomach. Let's go run.

Between his patience and the fact that we REALLY needed to get our run in, plus the cool, mid 70's temps, there was enough motivation to get moving (actual internal conversation: We need this run for training. Think of how good you'll feel going into the marathon if you're well trained). We got out of bed, had coffee, a banana and a muffin and then slowly got ready. We were out the door, a couple hundred yards down the road, and then we realized we forgot the water. Arg. Running is so mental for me, and silly little things like that throw me off. But we were already out there, so no use in quitting.

I carried Nick's Shot Blocks, 3 Gus for me and my phone in my iFitness belt, which was perfect for the marathon last year and I haven't worn it since. After a ton of fidgeting the first mile or so, it settled and was comfortable the rest of the run. We each also carried a water bottle, mine with water and his with Gatorade. I took a gel and water at mile 4 and 8, and drank Gatorade at mile 2, 6, and 10. Still trying to keep it as realistic as possible for race day conditions. Every 4 miles seems to be the sweet spot for gels for me, plus the little sugar boosts from electrolyte drinks.

I haven't pulled our splits, but they averaged around 9:30 for the first few miles and then declined gradually towards the end. I was tired, achy, and my stomach was screaming at me but those 12 miles were done and it felt so good. It wasn't a triumphant run by any means, but it felt decent, not crazy hard. I feel like I'm leaps and bounds beyond where I was this time last year and although I'm not excited about increasing long run mileage, I'm definitely not dreading it quite as much. Nick and I are so capable (lame word, but it's the best descriptor). We can do this.

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