As soon as I found out that I had 18 miles (155-160 minutes) on tap for this weekend, I started trying to figure out when I would squeeze it in. I work one or two Saturdays a month and this was one of them.
My options were: Move the long run to Sunday and try to find an 18 mile route near my house. (I don’t like the Swamp Rabbit on Sunday mornings. There are too few people out there.) Run after work, sometime in the afternoon. Get up super early and run on the treadmill until the sun came out and finish outside all before work aka leaving the house as close to 8 am as possible.
I went with the latter. I love that I have several routes near my house that I can use but they’re all by roads and exposed to the sun, not to mention super hilly. With the temperatures forecasted to rise, I scratched off that option. (Plus, I really like the idea of having my Sundays remain a complete rest day.) Running after work was really never an option either. It’s South Carolina in August. I think it would be close to clinical insanity to run outside in the middle of the afternoon.
Having decided on the treadmill route, I had to plan everything out ahead of time. Mom graciously went on a breakfast run (Chic-fil-a biscuit and chocolate shake—yes, a chocolate shake is an amazing breakfast) so that I could get up at 4:30 instead of 4. I prepped everything the night before, both for the run and for getting to work. I would have just enough time to brew some coffee and grab my purse.
On my way up to bed last night I started doing the calculations. I wouldn’t have enough time to drive out to my starting location and back and still finish with enough time to shower so…160 minutes on the treadmill.
So…I survived. Here’s just a sampling of my adventures:
Covering the clock with a sticky note saying “Run, Forest! Run!” provides good motivation.
Doctor Who, season 2, is the absolute best distraction.
I drank so much water you’d think I’d float away. Seriously, I drained 3 of my normal water bottle and that holds 24 oz.
I drank so much water because I sweat more during this run than I think I have during any other run. Around mile 11 my sock started squishing. In another first, I stopped at mile 12 to peel off my socks, grab some new ones (which were much more difficult than normal to put on) and switch out my shoes. No point in putting on dry socks if you’re just going to put them into wet shoes.
My stride felt very different in my CloudRacers. (I had been using my Kinvaras.) I almost stopped again to make the switch back. I’m not sure what it was about the shoes that made the run feel harder but, unfortunately, that’s how I had to finish out the run.
I really don’t like that treadmill, especially at faster paces. Trying to finish out the run with 3 segments of 7 minutes hard, felt much more difficult than it should have.
I didn’t made 18 miles, 17.2 to be exact but I’ll take it. Running on the treadmill that long is not easy. I did contemplate running just a bit more so that I could bank enough mileage to make this week my first 50 mile week of the cycle. Thankfully, my limited time kept me from that.
I didn’t get bored. Seriously? Who am I? Like I mentioned above, David Tennant…I mean Doctor Who is a pretty good distraction.
Afterwards, I started thinking about the fact that—just like that—I finished my longest run since training for MCM last fall, almost a year ago. Crazy. Absolutely crazy.
While it’s quite an accomplishment to have finished 17 miles before 7:45, it’s not the best way to do a long run. (It feels pretty fantastic too.) Hopefully I won’t have to do this but one or two more times this training cycle. 😉