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Just another 13 mile run.

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Just a 13 mile run…

Yesterday I ran with my running buddies from Complete Runner. I started using a heart rate monitor a couple of weeks ago. It's the end of week 5 of my 18 week marathon training program. I'm using Hal Higdon's Novice 2 program, but switching around the order of some of the long runs to make room for other things like 24 Hours of Booty and a half marathon.

I started using the heart rate monitor because after reading Rich Roll's book Finding Ultra. When Rich got a trainer, the first thing he had to do was slow down. He had to slow down to speed up! Why would this be? Apparently many beginning endurance athletes make the mistake of running too fast, getting their heart pumping and over the aerobic threshold. I'm no expert, but I'm trying to learn. Here's a link explaining it:

So, I bought a heart rate monitor to pair with my Iphone. It goes right below my sports bra and it's pretty simple and no more uncomfortable than the bra. The first time I used it, I found I was going too fast. I used some calculators and formulas online to guess at my aerobic threshold for now, one said 153 and one 156. I found in my first few runs with the heart rate monitor that I had to go almost 2 minutes per mile slower than I had before. It felt like I might as well be walking! Very frustrating, but if I work on it, it should improve my endurance.

So, back to my Saturday long run. I started out with my running buddies, but it soon became clear that they were going too fast for me to keep up and stay below my aerobic threshold. So I let them go ahead and I ended up doing a solo run. The plan was to do 12 miles. I had an audiobook, just kinda got in the zone and ran along. This run was at about 11:30 pace, about 1:30 slower than I usually do for long runs. It felt different, though. It felt good. At ten miles, I felt like I could go forever. I think, maybe I'll just keep going when I get to 12 miles. The problem was, I was thinking about how good I felt and not paying attention to the heart rate monitor. Next think I know, it is at 166 bpm, definitely above my aerobic threshold! I slow way down to settle my heart rate, and I can feel the lactate build up in my legs. There's something to this, for sure. I can feel it, every time I have pushed past about 160, the lactate builds up. The next couple of miles felt less effortless, I ended up slowing down a lot, even walking a little. It turned into a 13 mile run, because I had turned around a little late. What's another mile? It was not the fastest 13 mile run I've done but it was the easiest, even through hilly Umstead State Park.

At home, I made myself some delicious whole wheat pancakes with blueberries, applesauce and a little maple syrup. Yum. As I was cooking, Ian's sister calls to ask if I want to move furniture. At first, my answer is no. Who asks you to move furniture the day of? Family. Ha. Well, you know, it was an easy run really. So, we helped her move. Then it was off to Ian's parents for his dad's birthday party. I love nonchalantly telling people that I ran 13 miles that morning. Their response is usually bewilderment or just like why? "You just do this for fun?" Yes, I am actually insane and that's why I run. Good as explanation as any. I guess I could say I've tried pot and running and running is the better high.

Next week is a 14-15 mile long run, which will be the longest run I've ever done.
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