Sunday, August 7, 2011

Longest Run So Far

It's been awhile since I have blogged!  I'm not sure why because I have been staying pretty busy, but for some reason, I was having a hard time getting back to writing.  But, I figured now that I am in full blown training for my first full marathon, it was a good time to get back to it.

A couple weeks ago I ran my first run with the Nashville Striders.  It was a 14-mile run, one of a series for their fall marathon training.  It was a hot day, although thankfully from what Inez told me, it wasn't as hot as the year before, and the second time I've ran that distance.  The run didn't start out very well because I arrived just as they were taking off.  We got a few blocks down the road and I realized I hadn't even turned my Garmin on, and then when I turned it on it was still set for cycling from the day before!  Long story short, the run didn't go that well.  One of those "hit the wall" kind of days.  The bright spots were getting to run with Inez again because we hadn't ran together in a long time, and Rachel joining us for 5 miles of the run.  Oh, and discovering Bongo Java.  Their coffee is better than Starbucks and I can't wait until I'm in Nashville and I get to try it again.

Last week was an 'easy' week, if there is such a thing when you're training for a marathon and then today was our 16-mile run, the longest run I've done to date!  I was really struggling with the thought of running this run.  I think I was trying to think of any reason I could to get out of it!  I rode 16 1/2 miles on the bike yesterday (tough ride!!!) and my knee was kind of hurting.  I twisted my ankle on a trail run on Thursday and that was really hurting yesterday!  I had to get up at 4:30.  It looked like rain, whatever I could think of!

Anyhow, the alarm went off at 4:30 and from what I could tell there was no rain so that excuse was gone!  Ankle was still sore, but what are you going to do?  Anyhow, I got up, got myself ready and headed to Cool Springs for the 6:00 start.  I was early this time!  Gave me a chance to get to the bathroom and get situated before the run.  Much better than seeing everyone taking off the second you get there! 

Inez left me in the first mile for a bathroom break and said she would catch up, so I kept going.  I was running basically by myself as the rest of the group is much faster than me, but there is something about running with a group, even when you're not 'with' the group, that makes the run better.  It was hot at 6:00 and there was no breeze!  I was really hoping that the 35% chance of rain that Weatherbug was predicting would come through!

Well, Inez didn't catch me and I ended up running the first 8 by myself.  Luckily when I turned the corner onto Carothers there was a good breeze picking up!  It made all of the difference!  I wasn't running fast and I took some walk breaks, but I was feeling pretty good during the first 8.  I tried to pay as little attention to the Garmin as I could.  (Inez had basically asked me to leave it at home, which of course I refused, but I promised I would not mention how far we had gone or how far we had left to go. -- Did I mention how tough the 14-mile run was for me 2 weeks before??)  I did sneak some peaks though, of course!  I tried to pay attention mostly to my heart rate and was pretty impressed that so far I was staying in my aerobic zone and I tried to concentrate on that.  I have to admit I probably used that as an excuse to walk a hill or two, but a friend told me yesterday it was about time on my feet so I took the walk breaks in stride!

I took a couple of photo ops during this run and this was the first one.  This is the hill on Liberty Pike that is part of my Nissan 5-Mile Loop!  Although normally I am running down it!  When I saw it I had planned on running the entire thing but I didn't!  I don't think I even ran half before walking the first time!  Then I employed my run to the next light post strategy and that got me up and over it just fine.  However, one of my new goals is to run this entire hill during the Viva la Diva in November.  Mind over matter, right!?

I took this picture while I was running.  My phone was in a ziploc
bag and I didn't bother taking it out so it's not the best picture
in the world.

I took this one on the car ride home. Oh yeah,
the car behind me was really enjoying that!
On the other side of the hill was a water stop provided by the Striders.  Did I already tell you how great that organization is?  After that about a mile until the turnaround and halfway point!!!!  This is the portion of the run where I saw most of the rest of the group.  Yep, you got it, they were on their way back!  Oh well, I kept my turtle pace and just planned on finishing the run!  I was actually feeling really good at this point.  In fact, except for the first mile (11:16) this was my best mile (11:18), that's how good I was feeling.  I don't think that it hurt that there were major storm clouds in front of me! 

Yes, I wanted rain, but this was screaming major downpour!
Luckily this storm passed us up.  I made my turnaround at mile 8 and hooked back up with Inez.  We ran/walked the last 8 together and it did rain which was awesome.  I never once mentioned the mileage or pace which I know she was grateful for!  (I was watching though!!!)  I didn't hit my goal pace, but as someone (Gail Lage) pointed out yesterday, it's not the pace I need to be worried about but logging time on my feet!  That was a big mental help for me!  The other mental help came from Donna who told me to concentrate on tomorrow's run and not the 18 or 20 that I'm doing in the next few weeks.  I can't tell you how much that comment helped my psychie!

Anyhow, I'm still not sure I've got this 26.2 in me, but I'm not giving up!  (Yep, my friend Jill pointed out that I'm not one to give up on something. -- aren't friends awesome!!??)  I do feel a little better about it after getting this 16 in the books!  I can't say I'm looking forward to 18 next week, but I'm ready to get out there and try it!


  1. Susan, you are amazing! I oftentimes want to quit during a run or cut it short because I feel like my pace isn't where it should be (or where it was pre-surgery). Ridiculous, I know...and it pretty much makes me a big baby and a sore loser! I'm inspired by your attitude! We still need to get together and run/ride/run some bleachers!

  2. You are awesome! You have come so far and are kicking butt and taking names.