Wednesday, May 30, 2012

22 Hilly Miles Done! Boom.

22 miles are in the books!  Okay, let me back up a bit, because I wasn’t exactly supposed to do 22 miles this weekend.  Whoops.  I had this extra week built into my schedule (well I had a few, one of the issues I’m having with my current training cycle is that it’s TOO LONG – next time 10 weeks is enough instead of 14).  Anyway, given how sore I was after the Lincoln City Half Marathon, I built an extra week of recovery into the cycle for the week after the Portland Half Marathon, but since I wasn’t sore at all (so strange, considering how terrible I felt and how hilly it was), I really wanted to boost my confidence with an extra long-ish run.

Plus, the stars were aligned – Jordanne and I were going to be together for a long weekend with no real plans so plenty of time for running, in a place known for it’s cool temperatures and a pretty ideal location for long-running (or at least there IS an opportunity for a long run even though the city is small).  This is in contrast to next weekend, which is the planned date of my 22 miler, which we will be traveling to a lovely little town where I’ll be too busy celebrating my dreaded 30th birthday for running for half the day (seriously – this run took nearly 4 hours).  And there really isn’t a place to run where we’re going – the town is TINY and we’d be running 10 2 mile loops or something.  

 Even in Lincoln City running 22 miles is FAR.  We covered quite a bit of the available roads.

Back to what happened.  This is becoming a ramble and a half!  I thought maybe we could do 18 or something – Jordanne wanted to do 20 and call it good.  I worried about doing this because I ran my longest run training for the 2010 Portland Marathon (my last marathon!) 4 weeks out because of vacation plans and I don’t think it helped to do that.  

Anyway, so I got up on Saturday morning and was raring to go but no one else was up.  So I puttered around for awhile, eating breakfast and drinking coffee, but I couldn’t take it anymore so I texted Molly and Jordanne and took off on a little jaunt.  I hadn’t made it more than 5 minutes before they texted me that they were ready.  Molly was ready – but Jordanne wasn’t exactly, so we milled around for another 45 minutes or so before we finally got going.  And then we were off!

 The three of us at mile 2-ish, waiting for the light to change.

Molly stayed with us for the first 2.5 miles and then turned around to make 5.  Jordanne and I crossed over the highway onto the lake road, which is truly beautiful but slightly dangerous in terms of traffic.  It’s a windy road that people drive too fast on and take the corners too tight on and it can be a little unnerving.  I’ve ran on it before during my Portland long-run training cycle and feel okay but I felt a little bad subjecting Jordanne to the dangers!  But it turned out fine. :-)

I also DEFINITELY accomplished my goal of having a hilly run:

Although there weren't any severely huge hills it was just constant CONSTANT rolling hills throughout.  Seriously NEVER-ENDING HILLS.  Total elevation gain of 1,176 feet. 
I actually felt pretty good the whole time, though I started to worry about Jordanne near the end, she was tripping a few times on the pavement (not picking her feet up high enough) and said she couldn’t really see and that she was feeling delirious.  I called JMan and he and her husband are saints and came and met us and brought GU and bananas, which instantly made her feel better, and I appreciated the half of banana as well.  Other than that, I had some almonds at mile 6, a GU (strawberry banana – it was  okay) at mile 9, another GU (vanilla bean – just like pudding, yum!) at mile 15, and tons of water (we refilled 3-4 different times though my bottle was never empty) with 2 tablets of Banana Nuun (my new favorite flavor!).  

AND although the overall pace was pretty slow (total time of 3:42:xx) for a little over a 10 minute per mile average, I was able to pick it up at the end and my last two miles were my fastest at 9:19 and 9:07.  

 Taking a "break" to eat some almonds at mile 6 on this very classy chair I found!

There were definitely times early on where I felt like we should definitely be farther than 6 / 9 / 12 miles, but get this… at the end I actually felt LIKE I COULD HAVE KEPT GOING!  Do you believe it?  I don’t!  I was extremely pleased.  

Afterwards I ice bathed it up (well, kind of, the water that came out wasn’t very cold and we didn’t have much ice – it wasn’t torture so I know it wasn’t very cold) and I felt great the next day!
Sights seen on the run: lovely lake views, some mansions, a dog who had escaped his owners and tried to follow us until we rescued him from the horrible traffic (why does this always happen to me?) – this resulted in some awkward half-pick-up lines from some old men who thanked their dog for bringing two beautiful ladies to him, a DEER which made me really excited, a sweet chair made out of a tree stump, the ocean, etc.   

 Proof I saw a deer!

GREAT RUN!  And glad it's done!

So – what do I do?  How far do I run next weekend?  I don’t think I’ll have time or the place to do a lengthy run on the weekend, however it’s possible I could squeeze one in on Friday or Monday.  How far should I go?  What do you make of doing my longest run 4 weeks out from the marathon?  Thoughts?  Any and all advice is seriously appreciated!