Saturday, June 26, 2010

Torturous Twelve

Happy Weekend everyone! Today was my first long run of marathon training, and as the title suggests it was pretty unimpressive.

My alarm went off at 4am, and my first clue should have been that I was not wanting to get out of bed. I did get up, eat, get ready and headed out just before 5am. In the future the alarm will probably be set for 3am and starting at 4am. It was 80* with 82% humidy at 4/5am, and to think, it's still only June. I think I will be running at midnight come August.

I was on my own this morning which was fine, I figure I am going to be running this marathon all by my lonesome, and while there will be some crowd support, it will be nothing like in the major marathons so I might as well just get comfortable with plodding along alone.

The first 4 miles my intention was to go sans-ipod, at least until the sun started to emerge some, especially in the first 2 miles, it is not the safest feeling place. I actually talked to myself for the first mile and a half in case there were any attackers waiting for me in the bushes, then maybe they wouldn't think I was alone. I just laughed at myself for actually admitting this.

I had planned to do the first 2-3 miles slow and easy, use the next three to get comfortable and do the last 6 at goal marathon pace- well at about 2.5 I realized that just wasn't going to happen today, and I told myself at least the last 3 had to be at gmp. I felt so weak during the first half of my run, I was at a slow comfortable pace, but my legs just weren't in it enough to pick it up, I felt really discouraged that my body felt so weak. Why was I not able to pick it up, the pace never felt hard, I just never felt energized enough to push it much harder, normally I am all about negative splits.

Well I ran with no music and no breaks until mile 7 where I had to duck into the only clean gas station to use their bathroom super quickly, and took 2 shot blocks as I got back to it. I then did the last 5, no breaks. In the last 5 the sun was starting to come up, and I put my ipod in. I don't know if it was the pit-stop, the music, or the fact that all I had to do was get home, but I was suddenly energized. While slower than I would have still liked, the last 5 miles felt natural, comfortable, and I was focused. My body was responding to me when I wanted to pick up the pace, and I was able to get in the last 4 miles at goal marathon pace or better, and one other one in the middle for a total of miles at gmp.

I was pretty unimpressed with this run, I had been having an awesome first week, hitting all my times and feeling good, and while today wasn't totally abysmal, it certainly was a reality check that I am not as fast as I would like to think I am, and that training to run a marathon with a time goal is not going to be easy. I know I can't be expect to hit my goal pace every mile of every run, and I need to just accept that, even though normally a 9:30-9:40 pace is easy, on 10+ mile runs it is not as easy as with 4 and 5 miles. None of my times felt hard to hit, slow miles fast miles, they all felt comfortable, I just wish I had it in me to push harder, because I have done several 12 miles runs quicker than this.

12 Miles - 1:57:59, avg pace 9:50, avg HR 168
Mile 1-  10:05
Mile 2-  10:03
Mile 3-  9:58
Mile 4-  10:02
Mile 5-  9:57
Mile 6-  9:58
Mile 7-  9:41
Mile 8-  9:58
Mile 9-  9:40
Mile 10-  9:36
Mile 11-  9:33
Mile 12-  9:28

When I got home, the humidity had long since soaked through my clothes and I got immediately into the shower. The hot water alerted me to some very wierd chafing that took place today. I wore a different top that usual, one with a strange cut back, and I used a different camelbak today because I was alone and it is neon yellow and makes me super visable in the dark. Well the camelbak hit where my shirt wasn't and caused a small little line of chaffing on my neck- not fun at all!

I have never had issues with my camelbak before, and I know it was because of the wierd cut shirt. next week I will resume a normal racerback top and all will be well. The shirt can be changed, the camelbak cannot, not sure I could do this weather without it.

Sorry for such a Negative Nancy post, but that is how it went down this morning, and at the end of all this I want to be able to look back on it all: the good, the bad, and the ugly.


  1. Stephanie, great run! It was so humid and miserable out. We started at 5:15 and my body pretty much hated me! You have had an awesome week. Your times are getting noticably faster! Keep it up and dont get discouraged :)

  2. Don't be so hard on yourself! I def know how it can be to run in the heat/humidity...I am impressed that you got up at 4am to do thats dedication!

  3. I have to agree with the above statements! You can't be this hard on yourself!!! The weather is brutal ... I have a tough time in it, too!! It just will make us that much stronger! I ran two marathons where I never even thought about adding in fast or gmp miles! All easy long runs!! Running your first marathon for a time isn't going to be easy ... but, will be well worth it! Good job girl! One week down, one week stronger!!