Saturday, October 2, 2010

Ohhhhh, We're Halfway There ...

... ohhhhh, running living on a prayer!

Alternatively Titled: Half Marathon Training 10/2/10 and the day I told Bruce I was not built for distance running.

7 miles were on the schedule today and my plan was take it as slow as possible and take walking breaks if I needed them.  Actually, I headed out telling myself I would give myself a short walking break every two miles.  But then I felt good and didn't think I needed one.  And then ... well ... there were parts of the run that were awesome and there were parts that were terrible.  It was definitely the run of extremes!

The first three miles felt amazing.  I was slow, but steady and I was thinking about everything except for the fact that I was running.  Getting to 3.5 was kind of hard, mostly because 3.5 was my turn around point and it felt like I would never get there.  Around mile 4, I started to feel like the second half of the run wasn't going to be as blissful as the first.  At 4.77 I had to give myself a walking break.  I was more frustrated for giving myself a walking break than I should have been - after all I told myself at the beginning of the run that I could have them!  I think I was annoyed because I started off so strong and didn't think I would need the break.


Anyway, I told myself I could walk until mile 5 (a little less than 0.25 mile of a break) and then pick it back up.  It helped, but I faded fast.  I made it to mile 6, but the last mile just about killed me.  I literally felt like there was a cosmic force pushing me back as I tried to run forward.  The people I ran past must have thought I was crazy - I mean, what would you think if you saw a completely winded 20-something blonde barely running and obsessively checking her pace watch?

When my watch beeped 7 miles I was too tired to even celebrate.  I had intentionally finished about 0.50 mile from home so I would have a chance to walk out my legs before collapsing.

That seemed like a better idea when I was in the planning stages of this run.

In the end I ran 7.00 miles in 1:25:16, averaging a 12:10 pace.  Here's my breakdown:

Mile 1 - 11:20
Mile 2 - 11:58
Mile 3 - 12:26
Mile 4 - 12:37
Mile 5 - 13:21 (this was the mile with the big walking break)
Mile 6 - 11:43
Mile 7 - 11:47

Strange that even though I was completely winded, my last two miles really weren't that bad, time-wise.

I couldn't figure out to take a self portrait and hold up 7 fingers!

7 miles!  Really I wanted to show you my pink nails :) - I think I'll keep them like this all month.

I tried to stretch while I downed some cold gatorade.  Water never really sits well in my stomach after long runs (I think because my stomach is so empty and so it water) and the gatorade is good because it's fast calories.  Eventually I started to feel a little hungry, so I made myself a bowl of oatmeal.

We don't have any walnuts or almonds, so I decided to try a glop of peanut butter and a handful of granola to top it off.

It was definitely delicious, but I couldn't eat the whole thing.  I don't know, I just don't have a big appetite after these runs.  My body is still trying to slow down, so the thought of eating and digesting food isn't appealing.

Actually ... in lieu of finishing the oatmeal, I took a 20 minute nap.  Now naps?  Naps are appealing.

She thinks so too.

When Bruce came home I was feeling really down about the end of the run (and the fact that I felt terrible) and we had the following conversation:

Bruce: What's wrong?
Me: I don't think I was made to be a distance runner.
Bruce: Why do you say that?
Me: I'm absolutely exhausted, my legs are burning and I feel like my stomach is full of acid!
Bruce (with a huge smile on his face): It's great, isn't it?!

I'm not sure I would describe it as great, but now that I'm about 7 hours away from the end of the run, I'm starting to feel a little bit better about things.

Bottom Line:
1. Next week I tackle a uncharted (for me) 8 miles.  I will be giving myself a 0.10 mile walking break every two miles.  I can't wait until it's too late in the run to do that.
2. Dude, I'm halfway there!  7 miles is more than halfway to 13.1 - this is a huge accomplishment!
3. Thanksgiving is 8 weeks away.  It's way too early for me to freak out about being underprepared.  I just need to continue to enjoy my shorter runs during the week while I build up my endurance for the longer ones.


Dinner was a ridiculously tasty spread of Mexican cuisine a la Bruce.  We had two wonderful friends over for dinner and soft tacos just seemed like a great way to give everyone lots of options.

I kept offering to help, but Bruce was totally rocking the chef's hat tonight.

This one was so good I had another.

Our friends brought sangria!  It was so delicious.  And it came in a really cool bottle.  For some reason, when something comes in a cool bottle, it tastes that much better.

Post-dinner entertainment was an intense game of Apples to Apples ...

... which I was totally winning until Bruce and Marvin decided reruns of Psych were more interesting than the game.  Megan, I think they just knew they were losing, don't you?

I can feel my post-run serious hunger starting to kick in, so I'm off to scrounge through my kitchen for a snack and then I'll probably crash early, most likely in front of some football.  I know I probably sound like I'm whining, but I'm not sure I've ever run 7 miles before - I'm tired!

Oh wait.  I think I did a couple of times in college.  But I did a lot of things in college that I can't do now.  Like function on 2 hours of sleep.



  1. Apples to Apples!! Thanksgiving in eight weeks!! Ahhh I can't wait!! :D haha, ok sorry..

    I feel you on the distance running thing, it's incredible how exhausting it is. I mean, it's expected that you wouldn't feel perfect, but still..I'd expect running really really fast for short distances would leave you more winded than running slower for longer, but distance really takes it's toll!

  2. haha
    Yes, we were dominating and they couldn't handle it.


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