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.|
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.|
|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.|
- 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.
- 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.
- On a record long run for you, try to stay flat unless you are used to running hills (I am not).
- 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.