Distance: 14.39 miles
Rate: 12:02 per mile
As of tomorrow, it will have been three months since I ran my first half-marathon, the half-marathon that wound up being the final peak before my training spiraled out of control. Unable to cope with the post-run stress, I wound up cancelling and shortening runs until, as the heat cranked up, I was unable to run further than six miles at a time, forcing me to start my training over.
So, today was an incredible achievement! It wasn’t as hot as that May 1st run, I didn’t go as far (by about a fifth of a mile), but the elevation change is what I needed. Completing this run at a slower pace also ensured that right now, I don’t feel nearly as pained as I did on that run. When I wound up back in my chair, I was in awful shape and consumed all kinds of junk food afterward. It was bad. This time, so much better!
This was going to be 13 laps, the last one to be truncated so I could exit closest to the house. I’d considered bringing headphones considering it was going to take nearly three hours to do, but I knew that’d be a hit to my battery and I wasn’t a huge fan of hearing my heart pounding through my ears, which is exactly what would’ve happened. So, I spent the run chasing fragments of daydreams to keep my brain busy. I don’t have any big mental challenges to work through at the moment, so I often found myself staring down the stretches.
I found my pace in the second mile, but right off the gate, after coming off not enough sleep and a little too many carbs in the pre-run wait, I felt like a sack of moving parts. It wasn’t pleasant, but once things started to loosen up, even after the warmup, I started doing pretty good.
I decided to make a pee stop in the eighth lap not because I really needed to, but because I knew that holding it until I got home - right as my roommate is still taking a shower before he heads off to work - was not a great idea. It’s happened the past two weeks and it has not been fun. I spent the following lap pondering how people on full marathons withheld from bathroom breaks. Maybe they’re just a lot faster than me, lawls.
The run continued unabated, but I was definitely counting down the laps in the end. Oh, I should mention that before I left, I discovered my Powerbar gels expire in January and that I should experiment with them while I have them! So, I picked out a Vanilla gel and decided I’d use it at the hour mark.
Did I mention it was hot out? At one point, the Walgreens sign said it was 77F, but that sign is a liar. Google said it was 96F when I left and there was a Excessive Heat Warning in effect. I was actually ready to chop my run down to 8 miles and run my setback this week instead of next, but then I remembered I ran in this heat last week with no issue. From what I’ve researched, It’s going to be a good 20-30 degrees cooler when I run in Colorado and that sounds incredible.
Anyway, I get sixty minutes in and I grab my gel. I have some “fun” trying to rip it open, despite the easy-rip tabbing as I’m at speed. I squeeze it out in three or four presses and it tastes like really hot vanilla cake frosting. It was kind of hilarious. Yes, I downed it with water as I should. By my count, it took about forty minutes for it to kick in, and maybe it was the water, but I felt a little brighter right away.
Since I was running below pace, I was able to down water pretty easily toward the end. That actually felt like a liability with tow or three laps to go because I started to feel like a jiggling bag of water, so I eased off a bit. Water tastes so good, let me tell you.
Because of my pee stop, I wound up a little short on distance, so as I wound up in the last tangent of my exit mile, I had to grind out an extra tenth of a mile just to be sure I was officially over the fourteen mile mark.
It’s been probably forty-five minutes since I started typing this entry out and I still don’t feel nearly the amount of pain I did the last time around, which bodes well. A bad night’s sleep can totally undo that, but I’m keeping optimistic. Next week will be 4-7-4-8 with that setback long run. After that, it will be two sixteen-milers, another setback, then I’ll be in Colorado. It’ll be great!
Oh, and here’s my RunKeeper progress since I moved to Arizona! Yellow is walking, green is running, that yellow peak early on was August, when I had my first full month of marathon training, but right before I started work, which nearly ruined me. I switch to runs which ramp up until May 1, then fall off and come right back up, stronger than ever. I don’t know how people go from positively weak to marathon in less than a year, but that ain’t me and I’m happy for it.
See you on Saturday!