The run beat me today.
Seriously, I haven’t had a run this hard in a really long time. The reason? Two words: hills and heat
Backing up a bit…
Last Sunday I heard from someone also running Y2Y that the course is hilly. Immediately I realized that running on the fairly flat Swamp Rabbit Trail was doing me no favors. It’s a little late in the game to throw in a bunch of hill work but I could get at least one long run done that included significant hill work. So I changed my long run route from the Swamp Rabbit to my old route closer to home. The real test would be seeing if I could also maintain a sub 9 pace aka my new goal for all my long runs.
I’m counting that goal as still alive but with an asterisk. (I’ll get to that in a few paragraphs.)
Since I would be running a route that did not include any water fountains I decided to stash a Gatorade at the approximate halfway point. I figured that I would drink half of it then and then finish it off on the walk back to the car. Spoiler alert: that didn’t happen.
When I started running the weather was beautiful. I wish it had stayed like that. Instead, the sun came out in full force and turned up the temps. Those temps started to go up just like the terrain. There are some serious hills on my old route, hills that just never let up.
I kept hammering at those hills but started feeling fatigue really early on. I actually thought about just throwing in the towel on the second half and just making it back to my car. That’s how lousy I felt.
I’m stubborn though so I told myself to just make it to my gatorade. I’d stop and drink the entire bottle. Hopefully that would refresh me enough to get through the rest. I’m not sure that was quite enough but I do know that I would not have been able to finish had it not been for that rehydration.
I kept telling myself to put in the work. I want to get faster. I want to get a BQ. To do that I need to put in the work. (I won’t tell you how long it took my brain to figure out that phrase while I was running. My thoughts were more than a bit muddled at that point.)
I knew that my second half was easier but it still wasn’t as easy as my legs wanted by that point. I felt like I was plodding but somehow I managed to keep my body moving at about a sub 9 pace. (Full disclosure: apart from the water bottle stop I did stop 3 other times to try to catch my breath and calm down my heart rate. I did stop my Garmin at this time. I’ll get to the pace calculations at the end.)
I was so happy when I reached the turn around point in the second half. All I had to do was plod back to my car and I could be done with this run. It was at this point that my newest favorite running song came on “Something I Need” by One Republic. (Get this song. It’s the absolutely perfect running song.) This was the only point in the run that I felt like I was enjoying myself.
Too bad that had to end and the wind had to join the party. Seriously, the wind decided to blow against me the rest of the way back (almost) even though the route include three different nearly 90 degree turns.
Because I’m really bad at calculating new route distances I had to add on a tiny out and back before making the final turn. I was so done by that point.
Once I crossed the last street I put my head down and focused on putting one foot in front of the other. I finished with a time of 2:03:28 on my Garmin.
That’s my moving time. Even when I felt like I was plodding I maintained a sub 9 pace except for one mile of 9:08. I’m pretty impressed by that.
Elapsed time was 2:11:10 which according to coolrunnings.com’s pace caluclator translates to a 9:22 average pace. That’s not that bad either.
I’m actually pretty pleased with this
rude awakening run. (I’m also dreaming of longer runs too especially thanks to iRunFar’s twitter coverage of the Lake Sonoma 50 miler that I’m following while writing this post.)
Since this post is already longer than I planned, I’ll talk in a separate post about how it might change my goals for Y2Y and how I’m going to, hopefully, mix up my training.