Well, I did it. 13.1 miles (13.38 to be more exact). My very first half-marathon…well, faux half marathon – I didn’t get a t-shirt or anything, it was just a training run — but still!
Coincidentally, this also marks the halfway mark in my marathon training – the end of week 9 – so a nice marker to have accomplished today. On top of that, I can scratch one of my New Year’s Resolutions off the list. I still haven’t shed my 30 lbs, in fact I’m pretty sure I’m not even halfway there but I’m definitely shedding inches so I guess I’ll just have to stick with that. I really notice it though when I don’t eat enough in my running so I can’t really diet at all.
My target pace for the marathon is an 11-minute per mile pace, so my long runs are supposed to be about 20-30 seconds per mile slower than that. I’m very happy with my splits for today. The summary is off because I lost 1.17 miles when I stopped my timer at a stoplight and then forgot to turn it back on until the next stoplight. I’m especially happy that my fastest miles were in the second half of the run.
I felt really good, I looked like a sherpa when I got to the run this morning — definitely feeling like a gomer but I have learned that I run much better when I carry my own Gatorade with me rather than wait to hydrate at our rest stations which are several miles apart. Usually I just carry my handheld bottle and refill it along the way, but I knew that it wouldn’t be enough with the length of today’s run and the distance between water stations (and I wanted to ensure a steady stream of Gatorade and other runners have been stealing our drinks on the trail), so yesterday I went out and bought the “deluxe” version so I’d have an extra bottle and a larger pack for all the Gu I’m carrying with me. I’ve outgrown my little Spibelt, at least on long runs — it fits my iPhone and maybe one or two Gus, but not three — and my car key, at least not without flopping. God only knows how many Gus I’ll have to carry during the marathon, so I knew I was going to have to upgrade my pack. At least at the marathon there will be aid every mile so I won’t have to do both, just the waistpack — which was surprisingly comfortable — so that’s a relief.
Today was a 3-Gu day. Started off with a Roctane Orange-Vanilla before the run, kinda tastes like a Creamsicle and then two Blueberry-Pomegranate Roctanes at :45 and 1:30, those were tasty. I still wish I could just feed Gu to my kids all the time, no dishes. I wonder if anyone has done a Gu only diet, I’m sure someone has…have to Google that. Usually I just use the regular old Gus, I think “plain” is my favorite, but for the long runs I figure I need all the help I can get.
Honestly, today’s run was easier than the 10-miler I did two weeks ago — mainly because there were no hills. The hill training has definitely helped and I’m glad that I’ll still be running the hills for my tempo and moderate weekly runs, but the nice, flat course for the long runs lets me run a nice, even pace and just “zone”-out. I think that’s the best thing to come out of today’s run, I didn’t have any mental issues – no head games to force myself to keep going, I didn’t get bored, I didn’t question why I was doing this, I didn’t try to rationalize my way to a shorter run, I didn’t stop to walk or “rest” (except for the water stations and a potty break, that’s another thing I like about this route…bathrooms!). I just ran. The fact that I ran the whole way alone and still managed not to have mental problems bodes well I think (that and the fact that I totally could have ran farther). Here’s my playlist for today’s run…
I know — goofy, right?!! I got the idea from the Two Gomers Run a Marathon podcast (which I HIGHLY recommend, I listen to it on my nightly walks with the dog and during my interval workout — it’s my hardest, so it’s good to be entertained), one of the Gomers ran to Kidstuff by John Williams, which is (sadly) out of print, but I found all the tracks on iTunes anyway — kind of a fun collection of movie themes from my childhood, I thought it sounded like a neat idea. I had to add other movie themes to the mix to stretch it out, because there is nothing worse than dead air on a run. I don’t mind stopping to refill a water bottle or get a rock out of my shoe, but stopping to fiddle with my iPod just makes me feel like a dork. I even finished with a few songs to spare, the soundtracks to Legends of the Fall and Rudy will get me through next week’s run.
Anyhoo, finished up the run with a long stretch, some recovery drink Tammy made for me and — of course, the ice bath.