Monday, November 23, 2015

WWU - 12 MILES!!!

(I realize it's not Wednesday, but it's Thanksgiving week and my schedule is a bit wonky, so why not extend it to the blog?)

 4+4+4=12 miles!

We had our benchmark run on Saturday - 12 miles for the half marathon peeps, and (shudder) 21  miles for the full marathon group.  This is the longest run our group does before our goal race, and it's always something that I both look forward to and dread, just a little - let's face it, running 12 miles is tough, no matter how much you train for it.  But I'd be running with CC and Loretta, so at least I knew it would be fun.

Weather report:  The morning started out warm, with humidity right at 100% - I swear, we haven't been able to catch a break with our long runs in terms of perfect running weather.  About half an hour into the run, it started to sprinkle, but luckily the rain didn't last very long.  At least it was warm rain?  Toward the last couple of miles, a very strong north wind blew in, but thankfully, amazingly, it was at our backs...a true miracle in a runner's world.  We finished just as the temperature was dropping a lot, and were back at the park and able to wrap up in blankets and jackets before it got too cold.

The run:  It mostly went fine.  I tried something new, which was to take a GU right before we started running, just to see if I could get into my running groove faster.  I always run on an empty stomach, but thought this might help, and it did - I felt good almost right away in terms of my legs doing what they were supposed to be doing.  We chugged right along and suddenly we were at mile 3, which is when we normally fuel up.  I didn't feel like it, but I went ahead and took another GU, figuring I shouldn't mess with my normal routine.  On and on we ran, and then we hit mile 6, where Coach Kasey and her husband had set up an aid station, complete with Gatorade, water, extra GUs, bananas, and tiny pecan tarts.  It was nice to see them and get some encouragement at the halfway point.  I added some Gatorade to my water bottle, snagged a GU, which was nice because I was out at that point, and we ran on.  I took that GU, still thinking I should keep on the schedule, but that may have been a mistake, because my stomach never felt great after that.  I probably should have adjusted my fuel times earlier, like waiting until mile 4 to take my first one.  Oh well, this is when you are supposed to figure this out, during a practice run, instead of a race.

We had a mostly downhill run for the next few miles - ahhhh - and then we turned and went into the fancy neighborhood.  As renegades who've created our own routes for most of this season, we've only run the shortcut through this neighborhood until now, so Loretta didn't exactly know where she was going...which is notable because she ended up taking the lead!  And then, right after our last water stop at mile 10, she really surged ahead of us.  Well, me - CC could have kept up with her, but she mostly stayed back with me, as we both watched with amazement while Loretta ran those last two miles like it was nothing, and especially not the last two of twelve miles!  This was the woman who got sidelined partway through training last year with a hip stress fracture and had to have surgery and recover from that and then start back from zero...and she's done it.  CC kept looking at her and saying to me "she's ready" - and yes, I agree - Loretta is definitely ready for her first half marathon in three weeks!  We've watched her transform from someone who battled just a couple of miles to a strong, confident runner and couldn't be more proud of her!

Afterward:  We were surprised to receive finisher's medals when we were done - cookie medals!  Check out the happy runners:
Me, CC, and Lolo (her running nickname)

Loretta had so much energy afterward that she jumped right in and helped pass out our shirts:
Seriously, there was no stopping her on Saturday!

Coach Kasey had some warm pepperoni rolls waiting for us at the park, so I had a couple of them, which meant that when we finally went to Blue Baker for breakfast, I only had coffee and a chocolate milk (but my cinnamon twist came home with me for later).  We rehashed our run and enjoyed our accomplishment - for me, although I felt less than great during the last four miles, I kept doing my intervals, didn't do any additional walking, and finished the run, and that's a pretty big deal, STILL, in my little running world.

19 comments:

  1. Woohoo you did great girl! Congrats!

    Do you run on an empty stomach with these long distances too? Back in the days when I was doing those long runs, I did eat for my weekly long run. On all other short runs and workouts I never eat before either.

    I always try to do my run in a square. There is always some wind where I live and before I start running I feel where the wind is coming from and make sure it's in my back at the end :)

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    1. Thanks - I'm pretty pleased with this run. :)

      I always run on empty, no matter the distance. I think partly because we are up so dang early that I just can't stomach (haha) the thought of eating anything, and partly because it doesn't seem to bother me to not fuel up until a few miles in. I may try gagging down something else before my next really long run, just to see how that goes.

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  2. Great job on the run! Have you tried fueling with something other the GU or gatorde during the run? Maybe some else might help your stomach.

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    1. I keep telling her this Lori but she loves that GU lol! I only say it because I truly cannot use either GU or Gatorade due to both causing me runner's stomach.

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    2. The GU is the easiest thing for me to get down, although I also use some energy chews during the run. Gatorade was diluted with water, as I knew I'd be in trouble otherwise due to electrolyte loss. As it was, I had salt crusted on my face when we finished, gah!

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  3. Congrats on completing 12 miles! Job well done you
    are ready for your race now.

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    1. Thanks, Susan! My goal race isn't until mid-January, so I will still need to be doing some long runs, but that's OK.

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  4. So you know I'm REALLY happy you tried putting something in your stomach before your run. As I've said before you just have to find what works. What I need to know is were those cookies real? If they were I'm sure mine wouldn't have made it home after a 12 mile run :D

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    1. The cookies were real, and they were delicious! I had mine that afternoon. One of the runners in the group, Pam (mom to Sadie-dog, who's been featured here before) made them.

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  5. I take one Gu before and then at mile 4, 8 & 12.

    Congrats on your long run. So lucky to always have companionship. I need to fly to Texas.

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    1. LOL, yes, come to Texas and we can do a group run for you! :)

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  6. SOOO impressed that you are already to TWELVE MILES and that you did so well. What is wrong with the weather gods--100% humidity in NOVEMBER???

    The cookie medals are cute, and the pepperoni rolls sound divine. But I am most glad that you got your cinnamon twist to take home ;)

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    1. Haha, you KNOW that cinnamon twist was coming home with me. At one point Jeff looked at it still on my plate and asked if I was going to eat it...I may have growled at him as I covered it with my upper body. Hey, I've learned a lot from Paco when it comes to protecting my food!! ;)

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  7. I couldn't handle the texture of the GU - glad it works for you and like you said, it's a learning curve on when to fuel and that's why it's called training. :D

    Yep, you couldn't live here Shelley - no one would see your face for months if it was snowy all winter!

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  8. Way to go on the 12 miles! I love these picture...you guys are just so dang cute ;)

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  9. Way to go Shelley!!!!! 12 cheers for 12 miles!!!!!!!

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  10. I should have asked this a long time ago - which half are you doing? :)

    Great job! That IS a miracle to have the weather at your back on the way back! I love the cookie medals.

    Do you think you will take the GU before your race then four miles in? That is great you had pep from the go, after taking it!

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    1. I will be running the Houston half marathon in January. My mileage is up this early because I've been running with friends who are doing the BCS half marathon in a couple of weeks, but I'm sitting that one out this year.

      Yes, I think I will try taking a GU before my next long run and then holding off on refueling until mile 4 - who knows, maybe that will do the trick?

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    2. Cool! I was thinking it was a January race! That is great you are doing the longer runs earlier!

      It may! :)

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