This week marks my longest long run so far (18 miles) & first week running over 40 miles, which is a big deal for me! As you can see from the photo I posted, a mini-scavenger hunt led me to a prize for my efforts – guess what?!? chocolate. My SO knows me well.
I ran 6 times, up from 5 in previous weeks. Usually my mileage peaks in the mid to high 30s, even at the most demanding part of my training, so it feels nice to venture into the 40s. The higher mileage should help me build endurance for my race, which is now only 7 weeks away (eek)!
The heat and humidity broke just in time for the weekend, which I feel fortunate about. My significant other had a 5k on Saturday morning and opted to do his long run afterwards so my options were to either run on Saturday evening (after having company most of the day) or early Sunday morning, finishing by 8am so that he could go coach an indoor running class that he teaches weekly. I planned to run Saturday evening – there’s nothing I hate more than feeling rushed when I’m running long, but by the time 6pm rolled around I was feeling exhausted and dehydrated. I’m an introvert so having a lot of people in my home legitimately takes away my mojo.
So, I pulled my tired self up at 4:11am on Sunday morning and hit the pavement by 4:40. I was nervous because the bathrooms in Central Park, where I almost exclusively do my long runs, don’t open til 7am and I hadn’t had time to take care of my business before heading out, but luck was on my side and I avoided getting intimate with any trees during my run.
I’ve been feeling pretty terrible near the end of my long runs lately, fading during the last few miles. I had the brilliant idea to wear my Heart Rate Monitor during this particular long run. Admittedly, I should be wearing the HRM whenever I run. I am of the mind that more data is better, however, I am also of the mind that having a hard plastic strap pressed against my sternum is not a good way to run. Sign me up for one of those new fangled watches with the wrist HRM, please. Someone tell Santa. On this 18 miler, I decided I’d try to stay in zone 1 (easy pace) to see if I felt better. My max heart rate is 190 so I aimed to keep 65-75% of max, between 124 and 143. To my surprise, this equated to an average pace of 10:40. Prior long runs on the same course were around a 10:00 pace so this run was substantially slower than usual. I also felt 100 times better than I have been feeling at the end of the run. I keep telling myself that these long runs are all about “time on my feet” and that there’s no pressure to be speedy. More advanced runners should build efforts into their long runs, but I’m not there yet.
Maybe it is because of the 4am wake-up, but I was absolutely exhausted the rest of the day. Rushing around doing all sorts of “mommy activities”, I was in such a haze. I cannot imagine what Saturdays will feel like during Ironman training. Hopefully I develop some stamina between now and then!
Despite the slow long run and the tired haze, I feel pretty good about my training this week and I’m looking forward to going longer and getting faster.
I would love to hear how your training is going. What are your best moments? Your most challenging ones?