Sunday, August 28, 2005

18 Miles

My training schedule called for a 12 mile run today, but I decided to run the 18 miller because of scheduling conflicts next weekend.

Last Saturday I ran a relatively good 16 miller . (as good as 16 miles can be) :) I expected today’s run to be a "repeat performance". What’s an extra two miles? I thought it would be no big deal. Unfortunately I was wrong. The run was difficult, but I survived. So as they say, "What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger" right? :)

I met Dianna and our friend Charlie at 7:00. Dianna had a 20 miller on her schedule, so she ran two miles with Charlie before I arrived. The first 6 miles felt really good. We were in high spirits, chatting away, and enjoying the beauty of a cool, sunny morning run. When I heard Dianna’s watch beeping at us because we were running too fast, I wasn’t concerned. When we reached the ten mile marker, we quickly stopped to refuel. I was feeling a little weird and I didn’t want to end up with stomach problems, so I opted against trying my first power gel and ate my staple "refuel" food - fruit.

Things quickly went downhill after the stop. My calves were tense, my knees were sore and I was just plain tired. At one point Dianna reminded me about Chi Running and I thought--I don’t even have the energy to worry about my form. I'm just trying to get my feet to move one step in front of the other.

As we continued running I told Dianna and Charlie I would try to run with them until the turnaround point and then slow down. The sun started beating down and the slightly rolling hills felt like I was running up Mt. Everest (Okay, so that is a huge exaggeration, but there were hills!) :) Soon enough I had significantly fallen behind, but I was happy for Dianna. She was running strong and I did not want to hold her back. (She can totally qualify for Boston. Have some faith girl!)

After we separated, Charlie (who I think may be part Super Man) was awesome. He would drop back to run with me and then sprint ahead to run with Dianna. Even though I could hardly talk, he was full of encouragement and stories.

At mile 15-ish I was exhausted. I started thinking:
~ Why am I doing this?
~ This isn’t fun anymore!
~ I’m not a "real runner" like Dianna and Charlie.
~ Why does everything hurt?

At this point Charlie asked me, "Do you want me to carry your water bottle?" I’m not sure he was quite prepared for my response. I suddenly burst into tears. I had reached a breaking point, but seeing how it was near impossible to run and cry at the same time, I quickly tried to gain my composure and we kept running. In the end, I finished several minutes behind my running partners, but at least it was over. We survived!!!

Mile 1: 8:54
Mile 2: 8:52
Mile 3: 9:03
Mile 4: 8:53
Mile 5: 8:51
Mile 6: 8:56
Mile 7: 8:39
Mile 8: 8:48
Mile 9: 9:00
Mile 10: 9:08
Mile 11: 9:06
Mile 12: 9:10
Mile 13: 8:52
Mile 14: 9:00
Mile 15: (9:30?)
Mile 16: (9:30?)
Mile 17: (9:30?)
Mile 18: (9:30?)


Jon (was) in Michigan said...

18 miles! Way to go, April Anne!

That a long, tough haul for certain. You were carrying a water bottle for that? I HATE carrying a water bottle! It drives me nuts and makes all unbalanced. Ok, you get extra points for that one.

When my calves get tense, I do what someone had talked about in a marathon where they just kinda let their feet flop (was that Dianna that said it?). Not so good to run for 5 miles like that, but it helps to let my calves loosen up a bit.

Yeah, doing the 18 the week after the 16 probably was the reason it was a harder push. As hard as it was, you had a beautiful pace, April Anne. You are going to fly on race day! Be proud, you done good! :)

(And I'm not going to talk about losing composure during a rough long run because that's why I run them alone in the first place.)

Marshall said...

Hey, even though you didn't feel great you still had great splits and fast times, and you still finished the mileage. Chalk this one up as AFGO (Another freain' growth opportunity) and move on. Hang in there, you're doing great.

Sarah said...

Sounds like a really tough run...*but* you stayed with it! Now you can look forward to a fun Labor Day weekend...I'm excited to finally meet you :-)

Lara said...

Running 18 miles is an awesome feat any way you slice it - and you saw it through, as tough as it was. When the planets align and I have a great run - awesome, but I'm finding I learn alot more from the tough ones.

Anyway, don't let this shake your confidence. You definitely proved you've got what it takes for the marathon!!

ShoreTurtle said...

You showed a great resolve to finish the long, long run (despite how you were feeling). No matter how you slice it--18 miles is an accomplishment. I think that you taken another step in your marathon training (learning how to keep going). Good job.

Running Chick said...

Dude. You are SO a real runner.

I meant to tell you afterwards that the achey knees happens to me too. It's not as bad this year but last year it was total oowwie.

Compare your pre-run nutrition from last week to this week and let me know if there was anything different. That may have also been a factor.

You toughed it out. It would have been easy to stop but you DIDN'T.

I'm so proud of you!

Now don't get all stressed out about the 20-miler...just get ready to enjoy the nice SHORT New Haven 20K!

Susan said...

I am so impressed with your resolve, april anne. Way to gut it out. I did 8 today and can't imagine doing 18. Lara and I will be at the finish line to cheer you ALL next week. Can't wait!!

Michelle said...

April Anne you are a gifted runner. You stuck through and completed your 18 mile goal. Good for you! Next week's 12 miles will be a breeze!

Scott said...

Good effort, but a mistake. You would have been much better off doing the twelve and just missing next weekend's 18 mile run . Remember, never try to make up a run! In the big picture of your training, 18 miles is a relatively little chunk of your training miles. Yes long runs are important, but less important than injury. So enjoy your "rest" weekend and maybe find a good sports massage to revive "dem gams".

Jank said...

Wow - complete inspiration for me. I've blown off my long run the last two weeks after a terrible one. This is the week I get back on track, and bust through for New Haven.

Cannot wait to see y'all again.

brent said...

i would have been both crying and puking, trying to keep up with your splits! way to tough it out april anne. the running chick sounds tough, you should train with me and my 10-11 splits...its more fun down here in slow land! ha ha.

Jack said...

Great job of hanging in there, my compliments! It is never easy to do two back to back long runs like you did, but you have it behind you and can be proud. And gosh what a pace, your shoes must have been smoking!

warren said...

Short distance running tends to be about speed. Long distance running is about survival. It's about finishing. Learning to finish tough runs is what marathon training and 18-20 milers are all about. Good for you for finishing.

As for why it happened, maybe your body needed an extra week to recover before it would be ready for 18. Maybe you ran low on salt, or calories, or water. Maybe it was just one of those days.

Whatever happened, you're stronger than you were before you ran.

Rae said...

Hey, that's awesome! You guys were booking it, too! Just think about how much easier it will be next time!

Flatman said...

Great job on the 18 miles. I only hope to hold the pace you had for that kind of mileage! Great work...