Sunday, March 18, 2012

I have to just start writing and it is all going to come out hard and fast.  Today was such an emotional day for me.  This run for some reason signified so much to me.  I don't know when I knew this was going to  be a pivotal run, but I knew that it would be.
For some reason along the way I knew that 18 was going to be a big one for me.  I mean really  I am shooting for 26.2 so why should one 18mi training run be any different than a 14mi run or for that matter shouldn't I be more worried about the 20mi I have coming up in two weeks?  I'm not sure why but this was the biggy on my schedule.

Let's get to it.  I of course finished it (YAY!) and I just need to say I can't believe I did it as strong and as well as I did.  My husband believes in me so much.  We were talking last night about the run and his belief in me is amazing.  He had NO doubt I would finish strong.  I told him that I knew I would get the miles in and I would be ok with walking part of it if I needed to.

I should also mention here this was my very first long run I have run alone since my 10mi long run.  That was one of my worst training runs so I also had redemption in the back of my brain as well as fear.  Could I do this alone?  Did I have the mental chops to get me through all those miles?   All that time on my feet?  All that time passing people hoping that I finish my run safely...steering clear of anyone who looks shady.  I have never been a fearful person, but I don't know what I would do if something happened to me on a long run.  I fear for my husband and my children more than for myself.  I can take care of me, but who would take care of them if for some reason something happened to me???  How creepy is that?  I would be lying if I said I did not worry about that every time I am out running alone now.

So up to this point, my longest run to date was 15mi and that was a toughy! I had to skip my 16mi long run due to illness and the snowshoe re-TREAT.  (well worth it) I knew that those three unknown miles might be tough.
So enough of the small talk, let's get to the miles!

Oh one more thing...I re-fell in love with my iPod.  I finally got a playlist right and it helped me for sure along the way.
I also ran on a Sunday afternoon which is WAY different than my normal Saturday morning long run routine.  I did not know how much it would screw me up by doing this.  Luckily-it actually worked out for the good!  I'll get to that later but I may be on to something here.

Let's just go BOOM and check out these splits first of all:
Elevation Gain
Elevation Loss
Avg Pace
Best Pace

Each of these miles meant something to me.  This is a true representation of my run.  I didn't play Garmin games; I let it run the whole time.  When I slowed to walk for a GU and some Nuun, I let it run. I wanted to get a real feel for what my race time might be like.  I did however stop my watch just after mile 10 as I ran to the car to refill my water and to munch down a Stinger Waffle (oh how I wish I could carry these all the time)  I also did stop the watch sometime in mile 14 due to an iPod malfunction-or rather a user of iPod malfunction.

I felt like I started off smart and slow.  I had mellow music; Fleetwood Mac, Maroon 5, you know stuff like that.  Now I look at my splits and I was not nearly as slow as I thought I was!  I felt good from the start though and I knew it was going to be my day.  Of course the rain made an appearance and I was not prepared for that to happen but in the end I was dressed just right for off and on rain.  I ditched the jacket and was glad I wear quick drying wicking shirts.  Nike pulled through for me today.

Miles 1-4 were pretty uneventful.  I did take some time for a prayer and a few thankful words during mile 1.  I was then quickly blessed with a bit of sun and that was a nice change.  I took a Gu at 4 and moved on.  The first turn was at Mile 5 and it felt amazing because the last time I turned at that point it was not good and only got worse.
I continued to check in with my body and I could tell it was all going to work out.  I just felt strong.  By mile 6 or 7 I was in my zone and my club rappers had started in on the iPod-perfect timing.  Oh how I love to hear Flo Rida telling me to get Low.  I did start feeling a little low just before mile 8 but a Gu fixed it and I was back to cruise control.
When I got to mile 10 and the car, I was a little nervous.  I felt good, but I knew stopping and starting can be really hard.  I also just wanted to let the hubs know I was doing ok.
I got back on the horse after a quick stretch and refill and I still felt great!  The only issue I seem to be having is chaffing of the sports bra :P  I have tried different ones and no amount of body glide seems to solve it.  I swear I would spread body glide from head to toe if I thought it would help
This is from earlier this week.  I was healed, but it is even worse today :P
I have come to realize this tends to happen when the weather is actually over 45 degrees, which doesn't happen often, but it will be warmer than that for my big day so now I have to figure that little issue out.  Moleskin maybe?

I was feeling good, and really not watching my Garmin to closely.  I just wanted to run and "feel it", not sure how else to say that.  I happened to look down and realized if I just picked up the pace a bit I could run a half in under 2hrs.  I had it in me but alas I looked a little too late and there were just a few too many hills right there for me to do it.  I believe it was just over 2hrs though and that my friends is good enough for me.

My next turn came when I got to Redmond and the end of the trail.  The trail actually continues, but you have to run out on the sidewalk etc.  I don't go any further than that.  Not sure the reason other than it will get "too complicated" for my little brain at that  point.  That was just a little under 14mi.  I flet good and took a Gu and some Nuun.

Then the hardest part of my run came.  Mile 15.  I knew this would be a mental hurdle for me.  That was my longest distance to date and I just "knew" I would have to get though it.  I won't lie, I struggled.  I had to walk a bit for no other reason than I needed to.  Nothing was hurting (but yet everything was hurting) and mentally I couldn't just trick myself into "I'll just run to that tree and if I have to stop then I will"  I just slowed down took a drink, regrouped and got back to it.  That was all it took.  Once I gave myself that minute to process what I was about to do I was cool again.  My legs said "let's go" so I did.  I was easy to tell myself-you have less than a 5k to do, you do that on a Tuesday morning before the kids wake up-you've got this!  I told myself that a lot "you've got this" became today's rally cry.

I got to mile 17 and I couldn't believe it.  I knew I had it in the bag!  I also knew that I was going to get to the car before I hit 18, so that meant I had to run past the turnoff to the parking lot to get the last .7 of a mile on my Garmin because after I had come this far, there was no way for me NOT to hit 18 officially.  Just then Flo + The Machine sang me the Dog Days which is absolutely a power song for me.  It was quickly followed by LMFAO Party Rock Anthem-which was perfect because just as I hit 18 there was a WOO (or something like that) and I couldn't help but throw my hands in the air with a huge smile on my face.  At this point a couple was walking on to the trail and the lady gave me a great smile.  I couldn't help but say "Sorry I just finished an amazing run"  and I completely lost it.  Yup tears.  I almost couldn't catch my breath.  I wasn't panting like I was out of breath-I just was so moved by what I had just accomplished  Good LORD!  Can you imagine what I will be like when I cross that finish line???  I Will Be A Wreck!  Fo' sho!

I called Mike and he was like "are you ok" and I was like "this is just emotional for me"  

Then I had to get into the car.  Now-I won't say your legs feel fresh after 18mi, but you don't realize how beat up they are until you try to sit down into your car.  Then getting out!  That is a 10min ordeal.  I actually had to take about 2min to walk up two very small stairs to our front door.  It was almost a joke!

I got home just in time for supper.  This was great!  Mike had warmed up the oven so I stuck a quiche in that I had prepped for getting home-bonus as I normally don't refuel right away when I run in the morning.  I jumped into the ice bath-is it weird that I actually enjoy them?  They just feel sooooo good!  Then into a nice hot shower.  I finished up the routine with my legs up against the wall to flush them out so I could put on some compression sleeves.  Sometime in this whole routine though, I got VERY nauseated.  I am not sure what that is from and it is still with me at 930 at night. Several hours after I finished.  I couldn't even finish my celebratory beer :P

Sorry I am not as witty as normal, but honestly I am wiped out.  I have hit my end and I'm glad my story is done. How about a finish pick followed by a Woo Hoo!  I Did It!!

I never get my smile right when I take my own pic

This is how I celebrate!


  1. So awesome! I had a magical 18-miler, too, both times I ran them (the first time I ran one -- 14 of it solo -- I hurt myself after that and before my marathon; the second time was with Zoe last year). I also had a great solo 20-miler last year, and I hope you do, too! Well, not solo. Hopefully, someone can run with least part of it! But if you have to go solo, break it up: I did two 10-milers. Five miles out, five back. Potty break. Five mile out, five back. Worked like a charm. After the 20, I too was nauseous the rest of the day. Had to run to the bathroom a lot. Such a bummer after you burn so many calories!

    Congrats again on a great run and here's to many more!

    1. Kerrie-that is too funny! It WAS magical! I never would have thought to call it that and I am glad you commented that.

  2. So, so, SO proud of you! I'm running vicariously through you right now. :) Maybe after your marathon we can run together again.

    1. Absolutely! I think I will be glad to get back to some shorter long runs for awhile. I have loved training and I will for sure do it again, but I am ready to not be committed to so much time.

  3. I'm so happy for you! You really knocked this one out of the park!
    For me, it was the 16-miler that was the big one (and the 20). I had injured myself during a previous marathon attempt after the 16 miler so conquering that one was BIG. My mind was really playing games with me on that one. Then, after my 20- I finished downtown and ran around telling everyone that I had just run 20 miles! The convenience store guy I bought choc milk from seemed impressed :)
    If you find an answer to the chafing, let me know. I have the same problem w/ my HRM band and I seem to always have a scab there. Tightening it up usually helps but still get sports bra chafing too. Maybe too big?
    Look forward to hearing about your first half @ MI during the 20-miler run.

    1. I know-it seems like first thought would be too big, but I was just re-fitted and it seems like the right size. In fact it almost seems too tight when I start. Then once I start sweating it starts slipping. I think I am going to give moleskin a try to see if that will help.
      20 miles wooo...glad I will have you along for as long as I can have you!

  4. Another you wear a Road ID?