Wednesday, January 7, 2015

WWU - 11 Miles

This season, I've run 11or more miles four times (11 twice, 12 once, 13+ once).  You know what?  It's a long, long way to run.  And I'm really glad I only have to cover that distance once more this year, as part of the 13+ miles I'll run on January 18th.  Then?  I'm hanging up my distance shoes, so to speak.

Saturday was one of those 11 mile runs.  It wasn't raining, at least - but a strong thunderstorm came through around 3:00 am that morning (I know this because Paco woke up and was whining in his crate...thunder scares him)(He ended up joining us in bed), and the ground was full of puddles.  I set off with Julia, and was quickly joined by Cary, who was running for the first time in a couple weeks, thanks to a weird foot injury that forced her into wearing an orthotic boot.  But she was back, hurray!

The run was good, at first.  The conversation was great.  Around the two mile mark, I scooped my foot through a huge puddle of water and completely soaked it with really cold water.  Oops.  Although I fueled every three miles, and made sure to drink plenty of my water/Gatorade mix, my legs never seemed to get the memo that they were supposed to be running.  And my stomach, which had been off all week, rebelled and I actually had to make a bathroom stop just after mile seven - I don't think I've ever had to do that during a long run!  Luckily an Exxon station was nearby.  But after that stop, I just had a hard time getting back into the run, and as the miles went on, ended up doing more walking than running.

It was actually OK, though - we were all pretty low-key with the distance, and just enjoyed each other's company.  Cary cut her run short (short being a relative term - she ran 8.5 miles) since her foot started to act up, while Julia and I soldiered on.  It got colder and started to mist, but really, it wasn't just wasn't a lot of running. 

Afterward, we tried something new for breakfast and went to Jesse's Taqueria, where we had really good (and filling!) breakfast tacos.  It was a nice change from our usual Blue Baker, although I did miss my cinnamon twist.  Then we went home, where I showered and changed into my boyfriend pants and a long-sleeved t-shirt, and crawled into my heated bed for a nap with Paco and Henry.  My legs were pretty sore from that 11 mile trek, and the nap was so nice. 

I was trying to figure out why this run was such a challenge for me (beyond the standard "some runs just suck" answer), and there are a few things that might have contributed to it.  First, I changed my intervals from 1:30/1 to 2:1 for all of my runs after I finished the BCS Half Marathon on December 14, and while I've felt fine, I guess I haven't really built up that kind of stamina for 11 miles.  Second, I probably didn't eat enough carbs in the days leading up to that run; I just forgot how stinking long 11 miles really is, and didn't prepare enough for it.  But the good thing is that when we were running on the flat parts and the downhill sections, I felt great - and Houston is supposed to be really flat, so hopefully that will contribute to a better run in a week and a half.


I ended the month of December with 54 miles, and my total running miles for 2014 was 517!!  That's the most miles I've ever run in a year!  I am pretty proud of myself - this distance shows that I stuck with my training and put in the effort, which is still a big deal to this former couch potato and current willing "victim" of adult-onset athletics.


  1. I would guess the intervals too. It doesn't sound like much of a difference, until you do a fairly long run. The one thing I remember well from my marathon trainers was that it is perfectly fine to do your long runs at whatever pace they come if they're not going well. You're basically training your legs to keep on moving for a long time. Race day adreneline usually will give you the kick you need to run better. I wish you could find something other than Gatorade to fuel with so that your stomach issues would subside.

    1. Thanks for confirming the interval change...I kept thinking "surely this can't make THAT much of a difference" but I guess after so many miles, it caught up with me.

  2. Yep, 11 miles is a LONG ways. That would be like if I walked to the gym. Hahahahah. Never gonna happen. I like hearing that Houston is flat. That is going to make it so much better. I like that your friends seem to be able to take things in stride too--seems like that would immensely improve your experience, even if it wasn't your best "exercise" experience.

    Oh, and breakfast tacos vs. a cinnamon twist after 11 miles? If I was to ever run 11 miles, that wouldn't happen either :)

    1. I KNEW you wouldn't appreciate the change up in breakfast, LOL! ;)

  3. Well, 11 miles is long regardless of what you have done before. Intervals do make a big difference, too. I find those days where I do a shorter ride with hills (or if I do leg day at the gym) that the next day rides are a little tiring that normally wouldn't be.

    It's all learning, though.

    Go for over 500 miles!!!

  4. 11 miles is a hell of a long run!!!! You go girl! :)

  5. Shelley, you are a running machine. I just kick myself that I let myself get so out of shape after stopping running. I have to start at the beginning again. So frustrating. I do love reading about your runs. It makes me feel like getting up and going again.

  6. Pretty proud? Girl you can be VERY proud of those miles last year. It's great. But what I am most happy about is that you had such a good running year without huge pains and injuries. It was such a good year for you.

    I was talking to a girl I work with who runs too (she's lost a huge amount of weight) and we talked about half marathons and again I realize I don't want to run those long distances. Maybe in the future but this year I stick with you: shorter distances and work on pace.

    One more long run this year for you and it will be a great one!

  7. Congrats on running so many miles last year!!!! That's so awesome!

    I can't believe that was your first bathroom break on a long run! I could think of several times I've had to stop on long runs when I was reading that, so I'm really envious (though it has made me plan my long run routes to include bathrooms, which is harder than it sounds around here).


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