I've realized over the past few days that marathon training has now taken a turn and gotten more interesting. Mainly because my work schedule isn't going to be quite as 9:30 to 5:30 as it usually is. I'll be working more overtime, including weekends, which can put a wrinkle into training. This Saturday I had to work, so I knew that it would be in my best interest to push my long run to Sunday.
So, Sunday I woke up not so bright and early, which was fine since the weather here is much more comfortable now! I had decided not to run loops in the Park, but instead would head to the Westside Path for my run. I discovered that running from our apartment to the base of the George Washington Bridge and back is exactly 14 miles. I've realized that running as far away from home and then having to run back seems to work out pretty well for me so far.
I took along my Fuel Belt (three bottles Gatorade / one water) and two mini Luna bars and set off on my trek. I had barely started running when a guy came up to me and said, "Hey! Same pace!" I wasn't quite sure how I felt about this at first. We started chatting a little bit and it turned out that he was only running to 90th Street, so we ran together for just under 2 miles.
I wasn't sure I liked it at first, running with this guy Todd, but it actually turned out okay. It was clear that he was hitting on me a little bit, but that was not the worst thing in the world. Especially when you're running, sweaty, and wearing a Fuel Belt! I think because I didn't know him, it was almost easier to run at my own pace, especially since he had started off the whole thing by saying that we were running at the same pace. I probably sped up a little bit, but it ended up being totally fine.
We parted ways on the Upper West Side and I continued on with my run. After that, I decided that I would start taking a drink of Gatorade every 10 minutes and see how that worked out. It worked pretty well for the next hour. Somewhere around the 1:30:00 mark, I started to get more thirsty. I then decided that I'd take a drink of water every 5 minutes, so I'd be alternating Gatorade and water every 5 minutes.
I got to the turn-around point at 1:12:22, which I was really happy with and meant that I was running faster than 11-minute-miles, which seemed good. I stopped running at the turn-around point and took a two-minute (timed) walking break. I tried to eat one of the mini Luna bars that I had brought with me, but the first bite made me feel gaggy and the second bite even worse. I quickly ditched the idea of forcing it down and then just testing to see how far I can get on Gatorade and water alone.
I was actually really lucky because not long after the turn-around, Drew had agreed to meet me and run the last 4.5 miles back home with me. Right after we met, I ended up filling up my water bottles to keep up with my drinking every five minutes strategy. I actually felt bad while running with Drew because I was drinking so frequently, but he wasn't at all. I figure if he had been dying he either could have asked me for a drink or we could have stopped at a drinking fountain.
I sort-of wanted to stop at one point after running for about 2 hours. It was the first time that my right knee actually hurt. Mostly it's felt tired up to now on my long runs, but there was definitely something that was a little bit sharper this time around. Luckily, it didn't last long. Maybe I just landed a step or two funny, because about 3 minutes later, it felt back to normal.
As soon as we finished up running on the Path, but still had to run on some city streets to get home, Drew said that I picked up the pace a bit. I definitely had a time goal in mind for this run and I knew I couldn't beat my over-all half-marathon time, I thought I could have a faster pace than my half-marathon had been and I needed to push myself a little bit at the end to ensure that happened!
Turns out that my goal of 2:30:00 for 14 miles was totally realistic as I beat it by just over two minutes! (Ha! Soooo close!). No matter what, I'm really happy with that time. I only took one planned walking break, unlike the half-marathon where I took several unplanned walking breaks. I thought that today was a lot easier than that race had been. I don't know why. Probably because even though I had a time goal, it wasn't a race and no one would ever know.
My legs were pretty tired after running these 14 miles, but we did get out and do some walking around for the rest of Sunday, so I think that probably helped. I wore my compression sleeves Sunday evening and night and woke up feeling like I had regular legs on Monday.
I had been debating back and forth whether or not I should go running today or not. Because of my upcoming weekend schedule, I don't think I'll be running 15 miles this weekend. Which leaves sometime this week. I figured if I didn't run Monday or Tuesday, then I'd have fresher legs to tackle 15 on Wednesday. Then I could just try to make up the other miles after that. And if I don't quite get to 30 miles this coming week, I don't quite get to 30 miles this coming week. I'm trying to not overly stress about the totals and just worry most about long runs!
Distance: 14.00 miles
Maximum HR: 191 (90%)
Average HR: 178 (84%)