Saturday, June 23, 2007

Down and Up

Yesterday I did run, but it was just 6 easy miles so I didn't really have anything to say about it. I'm probably going to start writing only occasionally about my runs as I have started using an online training log that works better than this blog. Unfortunately, it doesn't have all of my previous miles for the year logged, so I'll keep updating the running total (all puns intended) on the right.

Today is my long run day and I must admit I was not convinced I was going to complete the 16 miles I had set out to do. As half the game is always mental this meant I was behind from the start. I feel like this has been a hard week for me as I haven't really caught up after the hard workout on the Mesa Trail on Tuesday. But I figured I would go through the motions and see where I got to. Preparation begins the night before, and I made sure to carb up and keep hydrated before bed. I also laid out all of my running stuff so that it would be ready to go in the morning. This makes it easier to get up at 5, knowing that I just have to roll out of bed and I am practically out the door.

Five o'clock came and I was pretty much awake already. I got up and had a bowl of granola before sunscreening up and getting dressed. I was at the trail head by 6:20. I started the run feeling pretty good and got my first 4 miles done on pace (about 9:15). I kept at it but at around 5.5 miles my legs were starting to feel pretty tired. As I headed down the backside of the dam I calculated my pace again and somehow managed to figure out that I was 5 minutes behind! I was unhappy that I had slowed so much but still I kept going knowing that I would take an energy gel at 8.5 miles that would help out a bit. When I stopped to take the gel I discovered that my key had put a hole in the package and it was leaking all over the pocket in my shorts. I was just about ready to call it the worst run ever. As I headed up the big climb to the top of the dam I started feeling much better. The shot of energy and caffeine was really boosting my spirits and by the time I crested the dam I was ready to bring it on home. My legs still felt tired, but I was there mentally and I knew my training would get me through the rest of the run. By the time I hit 3 miles to go I was ready to kick it up, and I finished the last 2 miles in 8:00, and 7:39. A strong finish to a tough run. Overall it took 2 hours 24 minutes to do the 16 miles, averaging a pace of 9:00, and I can't figure out where that extra 5 minutes came from.

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