Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Weekend Long Run: 9 Miles

I was in the Twin Cities over last weekend for the Easter holiday.  I haven't been up there since Christmas so I figured it was about time to see my family and friends. As far as marathon training, I had a 9 mile run scheduled for the weekend. My sister approached me about doing a run on Saturday. I told her about the nine miles. She was a little worried because she hadn't been running much since November. (She's completed 2 Ironman races, so I knew she had nothing to worry about.)

We laid low on Friday night. My friend Christina came all the way to Saint Paul from Plymouth for just a couple of hours of hanging out, chatting, enjoying a glass of wine, and watching The League reruns on tv (I love this show now). Knowing that I had a long run the next morning, I was not going to go party too hard. Us old people went to bed by 11pm.

I slept amazing on my sisters new bed in her spare room! Thanks for the great guest bed! Saturday morning was a little grey and dreary. Perfect running weather right? After checking the weather, I wasn't really sure what to wear. I couldn't really tell if it was going to rain or not so I ended up in running capris, a long sleeve shirt and a jacket. My sister gave me a goody bag of all sorts of fun stuff from REI. There were running socks and all sorts of Gu products. She was amazing and bought me a pair of compression socks! I was surely going to use these after my run!

We chose a route along the Mississippi just south of the University of Minnesota campus. For those of you from the metro area, we did a loop from Ford Parkway to North on W. River Parkway. Then across the river over the Franklin St bridge and south on E River Parkway. It started sprinkling pretty early into the run. I should have expected that. I've run in the rain before and I actually find it somewhat enjoyable, as long as its not pouring.

My sister was encouraging through the time we were hitting the pavement. She was sure we were running a 10min/mile pace, which I was sure we weren't doing. I have issues maintaining that, especially outside. I really just kept going though. I know I ran the first 3 miles without stopping to walk...I lie. We did stop to stretch after mile one.  I felt pretty good until about 45 minutes into it. My sister was carrying water for both of us. She had some fancy powder mixed into the water. It was refreshing. She also was carrying some Gu Chomps to try out when we needed to refuel. They were delicious by the way and so much easier than the Gu Gel.

The last four miles were HARD! I was in a bad place mentally because I was frustrated at how tired I was feeling and how much I was slowing down. The rain wasn't helping me and I felt like I was holding my sister back. I was annoyed with how much I wanted to walk. It really took more urging by my sister and a few long moments of staring at the sky while I ran to get me past that moment of mental and physical block. It took maybe a mile worth of distance to get through it. And even then, when I got past that moment, I was still exhausted. I just wanted to stop and have someone come pick me up.

We walked one last time before running the last two miles. I figured at this point I should have fueled again or taken some more water.  I'll give that a try this coming weekend on my 10 mile run. Ugh! These last two miles were  felt insanely slow even though they really were only about 30 seconds slower per mile than the beginning of my run. I still finished though. My sister let me walk the last quarter mile back to her house. It was all uphill.  I am still thankful for her patience with me during this run.

I thought I would feel better on this run than I did. It worries me about whether or not I am going to be able to do 13.1 miles in less than 4 weeks. Everyone tells me I can do it so I'm going to keep chugging away at the mileage. I'll be doing the half marathon by myself. Boo!

I gave the compression socks a try after taking a shower. My legs were tight and sore but felt amazing the next day.

Like I said earlier, 10 mile run this weekend. Its supposed to be a rainy weekend again. I'll probably be taking the trail near my house in and out and back and I'll be running it alone. It will be interesting to see how my numbers look with such a distance and alone.


  1. Your training is going great! Rough patches are part of the process, but you had your sister to stick by your side. I know the feeling, her support means everything!!

    Keep up the hard work!

  2. Great job with the long-run, lady!