So about that long run…
I got off of work an hour early and was greeted by a balmy 88 degrees. On my way home, I heard on the radio that the temperature broke the record for Denver. Sweet.
I decided that I was in no rush to get going on my run so I took my time getting ready, eating pretzels and packing my Camelbak. I had planned a 10 mile loop followed by a 6 mile loop, giving me time to come back to the house to get more water and to change shoes if I needed to.
Oh yeah, Thursday night I went and bought new running shoes from Runner’s Roost. I normally get all of my shoes from Boulder Running Company but I had a 20% off coupon from the Platte River Half for Brooks footwear at Runner’s Roost. You can’t argue with that.
I explained to the sales guy that I had gone through four pairs of my trusty old Nikes and they had been great until I started running more mileage. I showed him the shoes I had (I brought them along) and he pointed out several different brands that had stability shoes with larger toe boxes.
I tried on the Brooks Adrenaline as well as a pair of Mizunos and Adidas. The Adidas had a weird heel feel and the Mizunos were way too tight right when I put them on. But the Brooks… those felt pretty good. They were roomy, felt low to the ground, fit my heel well. I ran for a minute on the treadmill (I was in my work clothes so that was plenty!) and they felt pretty good. Since that was what my coupon was good for, I decided to go with them.
I took them to the Rec for what was planned to be a 4 mile tempo run. As I got started running, the tempo run turned into a nice, easy run. “Just get the miles in.” The shoe on my left foot felt great. But the shoe on my right foot felt too tight. I retied it at least four times. Didn’t work. After about 2 miles, the outside of my right foot started hurting. And then my right ankle. The run was sucking anyway, so I called it quits after 2.5 miles. I was a little nervous for 16 miles the next day. (And I was pretty sure that it wasn’t the shoes – just my foot being stupid.)
I made sure to drink plenty of water while I was at work on Friday and did some carbo loading from the vending machine:
After loading some new Lady Gaga tunes onto my iPod, I headed out on my run a little after 5:30. Right from the start, my legs felt tired. Not a good sign. But I hit Mile 1 at 10:52 so at least I wasn’t running as slow as I thought I was. Then I got to mile 2.
It’s a decent hill but definitely not as tough as some of the hills I’ve run. But it crushed me. I seriously have never felt like that on a run before - when I say it felt like a nightmare where I was trying to run and couldn’t, I’m not exaggerating. It was a horrible feeling. I didn’t even get to the toughest part of the hill before walking. All I knew was that if I didn’t feel better on the downhill, I was calling it a day. I couldn’t imagine trying to do 15 more miles like that!
Amazingly, though, I did feel better on the downhill. I didn’t feel great but compared to how I had felt almost the entire previous mile, tired legs didn’t seem half bad. I decided then and there that I’d rather feel like I was running fast and really be running slow, than feeling like I was running slow and be running fast. Running is not fun when it sucks.
The rest of the run was pretty uneventful but I definitely let go of any expectations about time (ok, I’ll admit I still wanted to run faster than a 12 min pace). I had worn a tanktop because of the heat and my backpack was rubbing on my back, which was not enjoyable. I took gels at Miles 4.5 and 9. But my shoes and feet felt good. Legs were meh but they were still moving, which is all I could ask for.
2 – 12:34 (hill)
3 – 11:04
4 – 11:39
5 – 11:59
6 – 11:16
7 – 11:40
8 – 12:33
9 – 12:34
10 – 11:33
.1 – 1:12
Total – 10.1 miles; 1:58:56 (11:46 average)
Back at the house, I stopped long enough to exchange my tank for a t-shirt (heavenly!) and headed back out. I had filled my Camelbak up, so I didn’t need more water, and it was already 8:00! It would get dark around 8:30 so I knew that I’d be running in the dark for the last few miles.
There was a big hill at Mile 2 of that loop too. (Who planned this route anyhow?)
That hill was more substantial and I ended up walking it as well. As I was running around the park at the top, I was actually feeling pretty great. The sun was setting as I made my way around the park – it was beautiful.
Besides the fact that I could tell my shoes were rubbing my feet (grrr!!), my legs felt pretty speedy. (They were actually slower, however.) I don’t quite know what happened to these splits but I was tired – I kept forgetting where my mile markers were (I actually couldn’t remember them the whole run, while is abnormal – good thing I wrote them down!)
It was dark as I left the park and started on my last 2 miles of what felt like a day-long run. Travis ended up coming to look for me, since it was so late. What a sweetie. He offered me a ride home but I declined – I only had 1 mile left!
1.16 – 13:40 (forgot to hit split)
2 – 12:13 (hill!)
2.92 – 11:53 (hit too early)
4 – 14:04
5 – 12:34
5.93 – 10:47
Total – 5.93 miles; 1:15:11 (12:40 average)
16 miles total in 3:14:18, 12:08 average
Even though it pains me to see the dreaded 12 at the beginning of my pace again, I feel like this run was an anomaly for two main reasons:
1) It was almost 90 degrees out when I started.
2) My legs were exhausted from the get-go.
I don’t think running on a Friday night had that much of an effect (I had actually slept pretty well the previous few nights), but it probably didn’t help.
And actually, I don’t think the heat was the biggest factor in this run either. I surprisingly didn’t sweat that much and while I drank my entire Camelbak over the course of the 16 miles, I don’t feel like that’s a ton. Although I did do much better with hydrating early in this run – I wasn’t nearly as thirsty toward the end as I have been on other runs (trying to get better about that since I realize I’ll have another 10 miles to go during the marathon!).
The biggest factor in this run I think was exhaustion. All of my runs last week were just plain crappy. My 8 mile run on Tuesday had some redeeming Yasso 800s but otherwise, those miles were also slogged out at on very tired legs.
Since this week is a stepback week anyway, I’m going to really step it back. I’ll still do my long run of 12 miles on Saturday and my long mid-week run of 8 miles tomorrow. But I took another rest day today and I’ll probably just do some light cross-training on Wednesday and Thursday instead of my 5 mile run – probably just walking or the elliptical. I’m also going to hold back on the speed work and lower body strength training until my legs feel back to “normal.” (I realize that they’re probably not going to feel 100% until I start tapering.) I would really like to avoid having another week like this past one!
As for my new Brooks shoes, I’m not ready to give up on them. I ran 16 miles in them almost straight out of the box so I think they have potential. The next thing I’m going to try is Nu Skin or taping my feet. (Travis requested that Plan B be cheaper than a new pair of shoes.)
And now I’m off to bed!
What’s the warmest temperature you’ve run in?