Saturday, March 3, 2012

half marathon training [week 9]

Another week down. Less than a month until the half!
Monday was the usual three miles. Nothing remarkable here, except that my armband kept slipping off midstride. And when I say slipping off, I mean the stupid thing would fly off my arm and I'd have to catch it. To say that this makes it difficult to maintain a consistent pace would be an understatement.

Tuesday was a four mile run. I followed a path near my school. It was a pretty rough run. One of those runs where I felt like I could not catch my breath, like my legs were made of lead, and like it could not end quickly enough. Apparently a co-worker passed me and waved, and I scowled at him in response. I don't even recall this, but I imagine I had a pretty permanent scowl on my face throughout the run. I was pretty frustrated! I finished with a 10:30 pace, but felt it should have been better if I wouldn't have had to take walk breaks and could've made my legs MOVE.

Wednesday I managed to not die during the Tough Mudder workout and did two real pushups. I am so weak in my upper arms! Thursday was only a mile run. I finished one mile in 9:24, which is pretty fast for me. I passed a woman with a walker on my run and realized that someday, I won't be able to run. This helped me push through my tired legs and really give it what I could.

Saturday was the big one, my longest run before the half marathon. This is silly, but I tossed and turned all night long Friday. It was super windy. Every time I'd wake up, I would hear the wind howling. Last Saturday's long run was a miserable endeavor due to the wind, and I just couldn't handle another painful, cold run, you know? If last night was an indicator of what the night before my half will be like, I am not looking forward to it.
I drug myself out of bed at 6:20, complete with a lack of sleep and weather change related headache. I did not want to go, but I also just wanted to get it done. I set out slow. I altered my usual route, because I felt like I was getting bogged down with it. I live in a small town, so finding a route that would cover twelve miles is NOT easy. It most certainly involved going out and a back and it involved going through every side street and cul-de-sac in a neighborhood. I am not exaggerating. I started out on a country road that I don't usually run. It is hillier than what I usually run, and I reminded myself to keep it slow. Because I was running on the road and wanted to be aware of my surroundings, I didn't have my earphones in. I almost always run with music, but I found myself lost in the rhythm of my footsteps and breathing and the sound of the early morning birds. Even when I got into a neighborhood, I kept my earphones out. When I neared what I thought was the six mile point, I put them in. Until this point, I had no idea what my pace was, just that I was keeping it slow and felt good. I was a little surprised to hear that my average pace was 10:39, as I felt like I was going to slower than that. I am definitely not complaining!
At the halfway point, I'd planned on stopping and chewing a shot blok, but I felt good. I didn't want to stop. I have a problem with stopping, because once I stop, I don't want to start again. I kept going. Of course, by this point, the wind had picked up and it'd started snowing. I played a mental game with myself, telling myself that I was stronger than the weather. I knew I had a stretch around ten miles where I'd be straight into the wind for awhile, so I worked myself up for this moment. After that stretch, I had to stop for traffic at a little over ten miles. I only had to wait for two cars to pass, but I used this time (less than a minute) to pop in a shot blok and continued. My legs started to get heavy as I neared eleven miles, especially as I was going up hills that seemed MUCH bigger on the way back than on the way out. I was so excited when I got near the field behind our house and could see the back of the house. I may have thrown my hands up in the air!
I finished with an overall pace of 10:26, which made me pretty happy. I'm happy if I can do less than 10:30 on a six mile run, so to maintain it for twelve miles? I am proud of myself! This is the moment where I definitely see the nine weeks of training paying off, because seriously? I ran for TWO hours and five minutes. When I first started using DailyMile, I laughed at the space to punch in a number for hours because I couldn't fathom running for more than 45 minutes. But I did. Aside from two stops for traffic, I ran for two hours without stopping or walking! I kind of can't believe it.

One last thing. As I mentioned above, I've been having a ton of problems with my armband. I've also been kind of annoyed with an armband in general, because it gets heavy sometimes. Unfortunately, I am directionally challenged and NEED my phone to tell me how far I've run. Someone in a Facebook running group recommended that I try a Spibelt, saying that he uses it with his iPhone. It came yesterday, so I ran with it today. I can't say enough how much I love it! When it came in the mail, it looked SO tiny that I couldn't imagine it fitting my phone, but it did. I was able to run with my phone, two shot bloke, and a Gatorade G-series bite and had room left for money and a key, if necessary. I was worried about bouncing, but it fits snugly enough that there's no bouncing. After a mile, I forgot that I was even wearing it! Much, much better than an armband and more useful, too.


*Lissa* said...

AWESOME long run! You are doing so great with your training!

InTheFastLane said...

Week nine?!! Holy smokes you are rocking it.

And I never run with headphones, partly because I can't get anything to stay in my ears and partly because I don't like not being able to hear what's going on around me and partly becaue I just really really enjoy the silence. I hardly ever get silence. Sometimes running is my only quiet time.

So proud of you for doing this run today, even when you knew it was going to be cold and windy. Totally a real runner.

The Many Thoughts of a Reader said...


Bari said...

You are kicking serious butt!

Foursons said...

You are sooooo ready for that 1/2 marathon! How does it feel to be able to call yourself a runner?

Unknown said...

Oh wow, you are SO ready! You're gonna rock that half, I cannot WAIT! :)

Also, thanks for the tip on the belt. I may need to try that for my next one because I'm not that fond of the arm band either...

Brooke said...

awesome job on your runs!! :) remember the feeling you got from your pace/distance on your last long run - you might need to dig deep during the race and this confidence will help.