It’s another record-setting long run Saturday. I had given myself permission to do my long run on either Saturday or Sunday this week, but I woke up feeling good today and decided to get it out of the way. I have been looking forward to this route for a few weeks for a couple reasons:
- The majority of the run was on a paved county trail (out of traffic).
- I would end in downtown Delafield (the next town to the east of us). This is somewhere I normally drive to, so it was an impressive running distance for me.
- I would immediately eat pancakes once I finished the run. 🙂
I checked the weather when I woke up, and it was 30 degrees with light WNW winds. This was awesome, because I would be running almost entirely south and east, so I wouldn’t have to run into the wind. It was supposed to get progressively warmer during the run, so I struggled a bit with what to wear. I settled on long pants, a long sleeve tech shirt with a short sleeve tech shirt over it, thin gloves, and a warm-weather headband worn wide over my ears.
I filled up my new water bottle, ate a banana, put a Honey Stinger Waffle in the water bottle pouch, and told my husband to meet me in Delafield in 2 hours and 15 minutes.
Almost everything about this run felt good. I maintained a slow, but steady pace. As soon as I hit the trail I saw an older couple walking in front of me in the distance. It seemed to take an awful long time to catch up and pass them, but I focused on not over-doing it at the early point of my run. I tried to remember where the aid stations would be in my race and eat my waffle at those points. I had a few bites at mile 3, about a third of it at mile 4.5, and the rest at mile 6. The waffle is a winner. It was a little dry to eat, but since I had water with me that was fine. I never felt it sitting in my stomach like I had with the raisins the last few weeks.
The weather was gorgeous. Bright and sunny with an occasional light breeze. I ditched the gloves about 2 miles in, and around the half-way mark I folded my headband over so it wasn’t covering as much of my head/ears. There were points when I thought I would have been ok with my Under Armor heat gear capris. By the end of the run, it was up to a balmy 45.
The water bottle was a winner. Because of the way it’s designed, you don’t really have to grip it—it’s just stuck to your hand. I didn’t notice any sloshing around until it was only about a quarter full, but that didn’t bother me. I really like the nozzle. You squeeze it and a bit of water come out. There’s no top to open and you don’t have to suck the water out. I think this regulates water better—I probably would have drank too much too fast if it wasn’t for that feature. It does get a little slippery once it’s hot and you’re sweating, but since it can’t fall out of your hand it’s more of a yuck factor than a usability issue.
I didn’t take a walk break until 4.5 miles in, when I was eating my waffle. I took two other significant walk breaks at mile 6.25 and mile 7, walking for about .25 – .35 miles each time. But, each time I was able to return to my previous pace, or a little faster. At about 7.8 miles I came upon a wayside station with drinking fountains and plumbed rest rooms. It was like an oasis. I was going to have just enough water to finish, but I knew a little more couldn’t hurt. I paused my Nike+ app and refilled my water, and it was almost like I had refilled my energy as well. I switched from podcast to playlist, and finished strong. Amazingly, my last mile was my fastest!
It’s a little crazy to think that I was running for 2 hours and 18 minutes. I had a small amount of knee pain starting at mile 7, but it didn’t hurt when I walked and was tolerable to run through, so I’m hoping it takes care of itself before my next run. The pace felt good and doable though, so I think I’ll probably finish the half marathon in about 3:25:00. I’m perfectly happy with that, because my goal is to finish and not worry about time. I’m extremely happy with how consistent my pace was. I’m on track to run the race all the way through, while walking through aid stations.
My husband’s timing was impeccable. I knew I’d be seeing him towards the end, so I really pushed to finish strong. For the last 1:30 or so, “Somebody Loves You” was playing, which was a happy coincidence. As soon as I heard the 9 mile notification in my ear, I saw his car coming down the road. I indicated for him to turn around, hopped off the trail to the street, and jumped in the car. We had a very short drive to a restaurant for breakfast, so I snapped my selfie and changed into some clean clothes, then enjoyed two buckwheat blueberry pancakes. Yum!
Today was definitely a great running day. My mid-week runs are now ramping up to 5 miles, and I’m going to take a step-back week next weekend. I’ll probably do my scheduled 10K, although I’m not signed up for a race. Then the next weekend my parents are in town, so I’m considering doing back-to-back 5 milers on Saturday/Sunday instead of one 10-miler. I can consider it prep for the Ragnar Relay in June. Then I can do a 10-mile run, followed by an 11-mile the next weekend, and start my taper for the race! Holy crap it’s getting close. I should probably register.