Saturday, November 27, 2010

The First 15 Miles are the Hardest

Date: November 27, 2010

Distance: 15.01 miles

Time: 2 hours, 31 minutes, 58 seconds

Location: Detwiler Rd again

Cats Spotted: 0 :-(

Dogs Chased By: Two. One was a pit pull and scared the hell out of me because I didn't see him coming until he was right next to me barking, and one was a little tiny shitzu that any of our three cats could have taken easily.

Stuck in my head: For some reason around mile 9, "Paperback Writer" by the Beatles was briefly stuck in my head.

Post race food: Breakfast sandwich and a donut, Dunkin Donuts

My goal today was 15 miles and, as you can see above, I made it. I set off from my parents' house as a starting point since down to the far end of Detwiler Road and back is 5 miles, which would give me two convenient bio breaks and stopping points, since this would be the longest run I'd attempted to date.

I ran the first loop in about 51 minutes, during which it snowed. I HATE SNOW. THERE ARE NO WORDS IN ENGLISH ADEQUATE TO DESCRIBE MY LOATHING OF IT. As I was about halfway down my second loop of Detwiler Road, with a bit over 6 miles under my belt, I realized that if I got back to the parents' house, I'd never be able to convince myself to head back out for the third lap. So I improvised my route and added distance by running side streets which would loop me back on Detwiler. I wasn't quite at 10 miles when I got to the end of it the second time, so I headed right up Millcreek, into uncharted territory, until my not-so-trusty Garmin (stay tuned for a future product review) said 10, and then I headed back.

Around 12 miles my legs emphatically were telling me that I'd probably been a bit over-ambitious, but since I had at least a mile to go if I headed straight back, I decided that I was going to loop around a bit more so I could meet my goal. I ate some pineapple Dole Fruit Bites, and I'd been drinking orange Gatorade (I love orange Gatorade) in addition to water throughout the run, so I had definitely consumed more calories than I ever had during a run, and it probably made the difference between 15 miles and 12 or 13. I'll have to experiment with other snacks, but for a run of this distance the Fruit Bites seemed like a good option since I could easily eat them as I kept jogging.

As I got back to my parents' driveway, I raised my arms in victory and probably looked pretty silly.

This was one of my best runs in my four year "career". (I feel like I'm bragging too much, but I assure you I'll be blogging some runs that I'm disappointed in, too.) It was the farthest distance I've run by nearly two miles, and my pace seemed consistent with my 13 mile training runs.
One the negative side, the lack of adorable fluffy cats along this route was quite the downer. I'll probably try this route again in a week or two, and will probably go a bit light on my midweek runs to help recovery.

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