Sunday, April 12, 2009

So 22 miles was just a theory...

I had a great run today. It was the last long run of the schedule before I conquer the pig the first weekend in May. Nothing but tapering ahead! My plan was to go for 22 miles even though every plan you ever see tops out at 20 before a marathon. My theory was it would help me mentally. Yeah, well. I ran at Stone Mountain today which is incredibly hilly so what I lacked in distance I made up for in difficulty. (that would be the new theory...).

As I headed out the door, I was a little worried about the run. I had an insane number of tennis matches last week, topped off with two yesterday which all amount to quads that don't want to run much more. I knew the run might be tough if I felt the need to biofreeze my quads before heading out!

As it turned out, it wasn't bad at all. I decided to just put it on cruise control and finish the mileage instead of trying to stick with a particular pace. I didn't even bring the heart rate monitor or watch so there was no temptation to start looking at the times. I felt strong even to the end. On previous long runs at the mountain, I typically have to negotiate with myself to tackle the hills. You know, make it to the next light pole then you can walk to the next light pole - that kind of thing. Today, I just kept a steady pace and chugged up the hills. I did have a different hydration strategy today which helped. I had been stopping every 5 miles at the car for GU Gels and water and relying on the water fountains in between. On the last run, the water fountains were not all working so there were longer stretches than I would have liked without water. Today, I didn't wear the fuel belt but carried one of the small bottles with me for the final 10 miles so I could drink up as needed. It was a brilliant plan as the bottle was completely empty by the time I got to the car each lap. I probably should have just worn the fuel belt but it is uncomfortable to me (yeah, it might not be if I wore it more than once, I know...)

All in all, a great run by my standards. I saw one of my buddies from Tri Your Best out there riding his bike around. He slowed down to chat which was nice. I fully intend to get back to their shop for some group rides after I finish THE PIG. It is literally a mile from my house so I feel terribly guilty that I don't stop by often especially since I see them at the mountain almost every week. Maybe I will go pick up a new riding shirt this week :)

Speaking of "Tri'ing Your Best", as I was running I further developed my training plan for my 70.3. I managed to go from being intimidated by it to thinking it was totally doable during my 20-mile trek today. I won't be breaking records, but will finish and that is all I want to accomplish! Looking forward to getting started o n the training... How is that for a successful run? Not only did I log the miles but mentally set up my training plan for my 70.3 Ironman!


merider (M.E.-rider) said...

I play that "just make it to the light post" game too, but only I do it on a bike. Running is a sport I fear and I admire you folks who go do it! Sometimes if you leave the HR behind, you'll do your best because there is no pressure...just the joy (and pain). :-)

lindsay said...

20 miles is still quite very awesome! don't psyche yourself out mentally either about the last 6.2. you've put in a ton of work and you will do great in cincinnati!

Holly said...

Hooray for tackling 20 miles--and finishing with gas left in the tank! Good for you!

You'll be ready for that Pig.

Marathonman101108 said...

I was originally planning to run the "Pig" marathon until I got hurt. It sounds like a fun marathon, if you're ok with me calling running a marathon "fun." Great job on the 20 miler. I use the "right brain tells left brain to shut up" way of coping when I run. Simply put, the left brain is the NEGATIVE center of logic, and the right brain has all the creative solutions. So if I find myself wanting to be a wimp, I just tell my right brain to override my left brains way of thinking. Weird, yes. But it works!