Monday, August 20, 2012
The road to 26.2 - 14 miles
Also known as, the best run I've ever had in my entire life. I had a 12 miler scheduled and I was nervous, as usual. Yes, the 10 had gone so well, but that was two weeks before. Maybe I got lucky. Twelve is practically a half marathon, and that's something people totally train for. I did my best to prepare, and it completely paid off.
My alarm went off at 6am and I decided considering the rain and cooler temp, I didn't need to jump out of bed, and slept another 30 minutes. I finally got up and took my time getting ready. I finally was running about 7:15am. I ran to the park, crossed it at 72nd, and made it to the top of Summer Streets at Park Avenue. It was only 64 degrees and with the rain it was definitely feeling cooler than pretty much every other run I've done in the last four months.
I made a conscious effort to jog at a leisurely pace since now I knew I was supposed to tack on an extra 1-2 minutes per mile for the long runs. I was surprised when I hit my first mile and it was 8 something minutes. Hm, weird. Fluke. I obviously don't trust my app 100% when it tells me the min/mile, but the total time is accurate, and the mileage is pretty much on. When I ran my half marathon the mile marker on the course almost always matched exactly to when my app was telling me I passed a new mile.
Anyway, as I ran down Park Avenue, feeling fantastic, mile after mile I was hearing that I was averaging a little over 8 min/mile. I was floored. I didn't see as many water stations as I had the week prior, when I was running Summer Streets in the opposite direction. The truth is, I wasn't exactly looking for them either. Last week it was so hot and humid, and I had actually felt thirsty, but this week, not at all. I had Gu Chomps for miles four and eight, and usually when I eat these I'll take a little walk break to give myself a minute to rest and also make it easier to eat, but I was just feeling so great I didn't want to stop running.
I made it down to the end of summer streets and had to get a little creative through side streets to make it over to the West Side Highway. I was thankful I lived in the financial district for three years, so I was familiar with the streets. When I was jogging through, making my way west, there were not a lot of people out, and it was raining a little harder than it had been the rest of the run. I realized it was slightly chilly, but I just felt so great. I was so incredibly happy.
I finally made it over to the highway running path and started heading north. I could not get over how amazing I felt. Around mile ten I thought to myself I really almost feel like I could run the whole dang marathon right now. I had to stop at a bathroom, which was a first, and really frustrating. Luckily I could pause my app so it didn't keep the clock running. I know if I were in a race the clock would continue to run, but I just wanted to keep my running pace w/o the bathroom break. Oh well.
Funny how the mind works, at about mile 11 I started to feel the aches and pains and felt myself slowing down, mentally knowing I only had to run 12. I had already decided that I was going to keep running past 12 because I wouldn't have quite made it home, and I figured I could pass my furthest distance run of the half marathon.
When I got to where I should have cut off the highway to go home I was at about 13.5 miles. I decided to keep running another quarter mile, then run back, so I could make it an even 14. That last half mile definitely felt longer than any other 2-3 miles that day. It just seemed to drag! By the last couple miles my feet and knees had been hurting, and I wanted to be done. It had rained probably 11 or so of the miles, and my clothes were completely stuck to me.
I was so so happy and felt so proud of myself. I couldn't believe it when I looked at the clock after I passed the half marathon point and realized I'd cut over 10 minutes off my half time! I'd wondered if it would ever be possible to get under a two hour half marathon but it seemed crazy to me. I finished my 14 miles in just under the time it took me to run my half. I'm sure I'll never run that quickly again (and shouldn't for these training runs) so I have to pat myself on the back a bit this time.
The rest of Saturday I felt relatively good. When I would sit for a long period of time my knees would hurt when I got home, and after getting a manicure and pedicure that afternoon I had to walk down some stairs and I was really in pain in my knees, but otherwise felt great, and feel really great today!