02 May 2011

18 Miles

My lovely tour of North Tacoma
I knew in the back of my mind that Saturday was going to be a very important day for me.  I was able to complete all of my training runs for the week without any pain or swelling in my left ankle and I needed to know that it could also tolerate a long run without any ill effect.  I was a little nervous- 18 miles is REALLY far!  My mom joked with me and said "hey, why don't you just run to my house!" so I google mapped it.  It is exactly 17.9 miles to her house.  Now that is weird!  But no thank you, running to Puyallup was not on my agenda for the day.  Maybe next time!

I knew I should be heading out the door close to 8:30am so I woke up at 6:45 and ate my standard breakfast before a long run.  Then I went back to bed!  I didn't really fall asleep but it felt good to lay back down and be lazy for an hour.  The weather was a bit chilly but otherwise perfect for running.  It wasn't windy or raining (a miracle!).  I opted to wear my compression socks, running shorts, a tech tshirt and my nike running jacket.  It was nice that I could wear my jacket since the pockets allow me to carry things easily.  I brought my iphone so I had some music and my waterbottle of course.  I planned to stop by the house at least once to refill water and replenish my energy gels.  I was doing some experimentation with my fueling today by alternating between gels/chomps and actual food to see how my stomach tolerated it.

Resting in my nice warm bed!
I was out the door closer to 9 and headed off towards the Narrows Bridge.  I decided to loop around rather than tackling the bridge so I got  back to my house around mile 7.  I ran past my friend Marty at the intersection near my house, he waved and said "see you tonight at soccer!"  Right...I was going to play soccer tonight as well.  I had an energy gel at home, refilled my waterbottle with mixed berry Nuun this time (pretty tasty) and headed off towards Wright Park.  About a mile down the road I heard honking- it was my friend Ray (remember, he is the one that bashed me in the face with the soccer ball a couple months ago?) and he is parked along the road waving at me.  Next time I am going to tell them to carry spare water in their cars and take pictures of me- just like my own personal race haha. 

Mile 7 pit stop at home
As I was getting close to the 9 mile marker I remember assessing myself.  I was halfway done!  I love being halfway done and I was still feeling great.  My legs felt awesome, my ankle wasn't making a peep and my breathing was perfect.  My pace was also good, I was trying to stay around a 9:45 mile which I think is a fairly decent estimate of my race pace.  I decided to try my alternate energy source- pretzels- around mile 9.5 or so.  However, I did not have the patience to walk the entire time it was taking me to chew them!  So I thought hmmm...I wonder if I can run and eat at the same time?  Yes, I am talented enough to eat pretzels while running.  Sweet.  I arrived at Wright Park and lapped around it a few times.  I honestly can't remember if I went around 3 or 4 times but I did hit the 13.1 half marathon mark there at 2:07!  The flowers there were really pretty and there were lots of people out enjoying the day.  I also met a squirrel who practically climbed up my leg trying to get a pretzel.  Yes, I shared!

I decided to head back towards home knowing that I would likely have 1-2 miles to make up somewhere along the way.  I continued alternating between orange gu chomps and pretzels to keep my energy level up and it seemed to be just right.  I was at mile 16.5 when I was near my house again so I stopped in really quick to ditch my water bottle, my music and my coat!  I was so tired of carrying that water bottle and my music was starting to annoy the crap out of me.  And I was HOT!  But I was not out of energy nor did I feel like giving up so I did my last 1.5 miles happily with just my shirt, shorts and garmin.   

Overall, the run felt good.  My legs never had that heaviness like they did when I ran 15 miles a few weeks back.  I am relieved to know that my ankle held out and as long as I take it easy I will complete my training and run my first marathon on June 5th.  Less than 5 weeks away!!!

Happy to be done! 

1 comment:

  1. You live in the Tacoma area? me too! Great job on the long run there and good luck with your upcoming marathon. I have a runner friend doing the same marathon you are.