Monday, April 14, 2014

A 15 Miler Officially Done

I saw it on my schedule...15 miles. I cringed at the thought since this would be the longest that I have ever run before. My record stayed strong with 13.1 miles and nothing more. But this past weekend changed the barrier of my long runs from training to freaking MARATHON TRAINING.

The night before, I treated it like a race day. I foam rolled, cut down on alcohol (stayed with wine to decrease bloating), ate some pasta, and went to bed early. I made arrangements to run with my friends, Elizabeth (remember her from The Great Urban Race) and Jim (remember him from the Karbach run). Elizabeth would join me on some of the time and Jim wanted to run all of it (training for the Ironman). I was happy to have friends with me, but I was nervous. These are both faster runners and run a lot more than myself since I run intervals.

On a side note, it's weird for me to say that I met up with friends to run some of the miles, because I read other bloggers picking up friends here and there to run parts or all of the long runs. I'm finally in that category.

The plan was to meet them at the adult playground area at Memorial Park to run one loop and then run to George R. Brown Convention Center downtown (six miles each way) and back for a total of 15 miles. I was excited to run a different route than I have ever done instead of just doing four loops around the park. In hindsight, I should have just stayed at Memorial Park.

Jim was late; so, Elizabeth and I ran the first loop without him. We kept an average 11 minute mile pace without stopping, but I think the first mile was actually under 11 minutes. I can't remember. I do know that we did 3 miles in 34:07 minutes. Again, I'm getting faster, but not there yet. Elizabeth and I had some good conversations about our exercising and just other stuff. When we finished, Elizabeth bid me farewell to run more with Jim. I can't wait to do the Splash & Dash with her in a couple of weeks.

Elizabeth and I after our 3 mile run. 
As soon as Jim met up with me, we started running in Memorial Park. He assumed we would run just the loops, but I wanted to run to George R. Brown. So, we did ran out of the park against better judgment. We decided to keep an 11 minute mile, but most of the time, I trailed him. He would slow down and I would catch up and sometimes, we ran side by side. We ran the first two miles without stopping. If you are keeping track, that's six miles without stopping. Yup...I understand the downfall of this method in which I will explain later.

My intervals turned into run until I reached the next mile on my GPS watch and then walk for a minute. I have been practicing five minutes run, one minute walk. Do you see the wrong about this statement? I really liked this, but naturally, I couldn't keep this up the entire way since I never practiced it before. However, now, I'm going to start working this into my training and already talked to JL about her trying it out, too.

Love this view. 
This is how I looked most of the run, but I still love this picture.
I ate a Passion Fruit Gu gel at the hour marker, which I hated and I realized that I'm not a fan and won't continue to try to make these work for me. Finally, we made it to George R. Brown where I could have kissed that wall. It was a monumental moment. When we got to downtown, I felt dehydrated. So, we walked over to Phoenicia Foods for a bottle of water, which I immediately fell in love with this store/bar/eatery/awesome place ever. I noticed that I didn't stop my watch. So, my timings were not right when we got back and I don't remember what it was when touched the wall. Oh well. I also ate some homemade peanut butter stuffed dates in the store, which were great to eat, but messy to get out of my bag. 

That's me at the George R. Brown wall after finally touching it. 
This was a cool wall at Discovery Green.

We left the store to head back to Memorial Park for the last six miles of this run. I ran without stopping until I got out of downtown and went to intervals of five minutes walk, one minute walk. I barely made it, but I did it. And then all hell broke loose. I was feeling my back (in the middle area, which is not good) around mile 7. It wasn't too bad then and I was certainly missing the time when it was lower in pain. My back proceeded to get worse and worse and worse. My body did the natural thing of overcompensating in other areas to take some relief off of my back. Yeah...that was not good, because other body parts started hurting just as bad.

Jim had to walk a lot so I could catch up to him, which I felt bad, but he didn't want to leave. I kept up my intervals until about mile 11 when we saw the hash mark and I had to stop for a rest on a bench. I ate some Stinger chews (love these) and finished off the last of my water. When we started running again, I tried to keep up with Jim, but I just couldn't. My walks turned into longer walks and I couldn't run up any hills. I told him that I admit my mistake; we should have stayed in the flat areas of Memorial Park.

When we got to the last mile, I planned to run it. I ran about 0.25 miles and walked the rest of the way. My body hurt so bad and I just couldn't push it anymore. This basically turned into my most miserable and worst run ever, but I freaking did it. I ran a total of 15 miles in 3 hours, 30 minutes. I am still in awe that I actually broke the 13.1 mile barrier. Afterwards, Jim and I headed to Canyon Creek for some really good food and a much needed beer.

Thankfully, this was close to the park and we had an excellent chicken fried steak with buffalo meat.

Lessons Learned:

  1. My nutrition felt great, but I did get dehydrated. I am looking at getting a running camel bak to have more water available to me.
  2. Run what you practice. I should have stuck with the intervals I'm used to running and not tried to run six miles without stopping. 
  3. On a record long run for you, try to stay flat unless you are used to running hills (I am not). 
  4. I just don't like the Gu gels.

I want to run this route again, because I know I can do better. I need to be smarter about my long runs and pick up my pace. I really need to work on my speed.

Thanks to Jim and Elizabeth for being there with me on this journey. I really appreciate it! And thankfully, I only have a 12 mile run planned this weekend. You are welcome to join me.


  1. 15 is a big deal! Congrats!!!!! You're doing great! Can't wait to hear about the next chapter of your training! Have a great week!!!

  2. oh, please teach me how I can look fantastic in every training pic just like you? :) {hugs}

    1. HA! Thanks Cintia, but I see your pictures and you always look fabulous. Next big run will be the long 18 miler. EEK!

    2. I'm sipping my coffee reading this. Can't even imagine! You looked wonderful at the end and your attitude is upbeat (yet honest) throughout! You're an inspiration, Krisit!

    3. WEll you aren't seeing a picture when I just finished. I really thought I would throw up. The bar picture is probably 45 min-1 hour after I finished. So, there was life back in me.


Thank you for your comments. I will respond shortly.