Soooo… how’s it going? I guess I never popped back in to say “Happy Thanksgiving!”. Oops.
And I never checked in with Google Reader over the long weekend either (that was scary this morning). In fact, I took zero pictures, never once signed into my email, didn’t check Facebook, and only vaguely kept up with Twitter.
It was awesome.
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, despite all the driving Sean and I do. We’ve carved out a little routine that involves me getting up early and fitting in a workout (this time it was 7+ miles of ridiculously tough speed work and 20 minutes of Pilates. I feel I was completely justified in over-indulging) and then getting ready and driving over to his family’s Thanksgiving. After eating mass quantities of food, spending time with family catching up, and unbuttoning the pants for a little breather, we head over to MY family’s Thanksgiving and do it all over again. I actually left feeling not too stuffed, which was a nice switch.
Before I get into any of the things I’m planning on blogging about this week, I have to put in writing that I ran 18 glorious miles this Saturday, despite all the cards being stacked against me. Since I rarely can describe my long runs as glorious this has to go down in the books.
When I ran 15 two weeks ago I averaged a 9:48 pace. I attributed this to all the hills in my new favorite long run spot. I ignored that I was seriously taking it easy too.
This past Saturday when my alarm went off I shut it off and snuggled farther down into bed and tried to forget about running 18 miles. 15 minutes later I rolled out and into slippers and ate some peanut butter toast (no banana because I was out) and then I went back to bed… Oops… Don’t know how that happened. Woke up a little while later and changed into my running clothes before walking outside to rain. Crap.
What do you do in that sort of situation? Naturally I woke Sean up and complained to him about the rain, about not wanting to go running, about everything. He told me to run on the treadmill. Heck no, done that before, not in the mood.
So I sucked it up and started gathering all my stuff.
Drove out to my spot and went to turn on my iPod. Dead. Of course.
No big deal, I’ll use my phone. No radio signal.
Am I really going to attempt 18 miles with no music? Um yes, I’m here, I’m trying.
Not even two miles in my stomach dictated that we stop. A few minutes later, back on track.
I stopped at mile 4 to take a Clif Shot (mocha – I have now figured out that I can handle mocha and chocolate, just not the fruity ones).
Mile 6 my stomach said to stop again. Sigh, ok…
At mile 7 I ran out of trail so I just kept running down the side of the freeway. It was actually pretty awesome. I ran all the way to mile 8.4 before I ran out of sidewalk to run on because there was a big sign smack in the middle of the sidewalk and I wasn’t about to run on the actual feeder road of i-10. So I turned around and headed back. The great and horrible thing about out and back courses is that there is only one way back to the car and that means you have to cover all the mileage. Smart move on my part.
Mile 8, Clif Shot Bloks in Mountain Berry (or something like that – soooo good, just like gummy bears!). Same at mile 12.
Mile 16 I tried a GU in tropical island or something like that – never again. I got it for free at the RNR SA race expo and even when I opened it I thought it smelled like shampoo. For the 1/3 of the shot that I took, that’s exactly what it tasted like too. So I tossed it and kept going to 18.
Around mile 8 I kept thinking about how I was about to fall completely apart. It almost always happens at some point during my long run and it becomes a struggle. But that time never came. It didn’t rain the entire time I was running, just a light mist, and I honestly didn’t miss the music at all – it was so peaceful and pretty where I was running at that the time just floated by.
I don’t know what those of you that do long runs think about when you run, but I don’t really think about very much. I just zone out. Sometimes I think about my pace and I’ll check to make sure I’m on track, but I don’t have any earth-shattering thoughts going on while I run. My main goal this time was to keep the pace near 9 minute miles so that I’m on track to run a sub-4 marathon in January.
2 hours and 44 minutes later (at a 9:09 pace), I finished 18 miles. The second I stopped running I hurt – it was almost easier to keep running then to walk. And while I stopped for water at most of the water fountains along the course, had 2 bathroom breaks, and stopped 4 times to fuel up, overall I felt strong the whole time.
C’mon Houston Marathon, I think I’m finally starting to feel ready for you.
How was everyone’s Thanksgiving?
Anyone have any superb runs over the break?? Brag to me