I typically do not blog about a training run but I had the most amazing 22 mile run yesterday. As my "status" says....If it never happens again, I want to always remember the feeling. So for that reason, I am going to reflect on the day.
I was very anxious about this training run. I did a 22 mile run last winter in preparation for my first marathon. It was brutal and I came home and just cried. When I trained for the NYC marathon over the summer, no one I knew was running that race. I wanted to have friends to run with so I followed their training schedules and just made some modifications. I never ran a 22 mile run. Instead I did three 20 milers. So to make a long story short, this was only my second 22 miler EVER.
I really didn't care about time. I had gone out way too fast on my 20 mile training run and ended up having to walk. I felt awful and once again was close to tears. I just wanted to get through this run without walking and without tears.
I meet up with a couple of girls from my group at 6am to start our run. Most of our training group only had 12 miles to go yesterday so we wanted to get our first 10 out of the way before they started at 8am. Our plan was to go slow, somewhere around an 11 min/mile and just try to hold there. One of the girls I was running with is notorious for going out fast. I told her the plan and she agreed that it would be best to start slow. She said she just wouldn't look Garmin.
At 6am, off we went. It was a very crisp 31 degrees. I had decided to wear shorts with a short sleeve shirt and jacket as it was suppose to be near 50 by the time we would be finishing up our run. I struggled a little as I had made my Gatorade the night before and put in the refrigerator. I NEVER do that. Well it was cold coming out of the refrigerator and the temperatures outside kept it cold. Trying to hold it as I ran was like trying to hold an ice cube. My fingers were painful for most of the first two hours. In fact, I never took my gloves off for the entire run (even after I shed the jacket).
We were keeping a nice slow pace with an average somewhere close to 1108 for most of the first 10 miles. We got back to our starting location at 8 and the group was not ready to go out yet. The sun was coming up so we shed some cloths, took some supplements and STILL they were not ready to go. We decided to go on without them. Our plan was to run out to the first water stop at about mile 2 and then turn around and meet back up with them.
We had begun to pick up the pace slightly and now were running under 11 min/miles with the average pace going down to about an 1102 by the time we hit mile 12. We had thought that we would be getting passed by the faster pace groups but only one had come past us. So we figured, everyone must have gotten a really late start. At that point, we decided to just forge ahead. There was only going to be two of us from this point on as our other friend only had to go 14.
Me and Michelle talked and we were excited because we only had to go out another 3 miles and then we could turn around. WRONG!!! I had miscalculated. We needed to go out another 4 miles before turning around. I don't know if Michelle had realized my mistake but if she did she didn't say anything. I had mistakenly turned my Garmin off at one point and lost a 1.54 miles before I turned it back on....Ugh!
The miles went by fairly quickly. I was starting to get tired at about mile 15 and wishing that we were already heading back. I think this was more a mental fatigue because of my miscalculation. When we hit our mile 16 turn around, it was like we got our second wind. The sun was shining. We were running a different trail so there was hardly anyone out there. It was very peaceful and we were on our way back "home." It was a good feeling. At one point, I looked down and noticed that we had just done a 1010 mile. I told Michelle that even though I was excited that I could do that fast of a mile so late into our run, I thought it best to slow down a little. We still had many miles to go. She agreed and we did pull back. Our next mile was a 1021. Not really as slow as I had in mind.
At this point, we had both put on some music and were just kind of running in our personal zones. We had done quite a bit of talking all morning and so we were just chillin out. When we hit our last water stop, Michelle said to me "I don't care how the next 2 1/2 miles go, I just want to tell you that this has been the most amazing run. I have never felt so good, so far into a run." I laughed and said "me too."
We took back off and something happened. We started seeing other MITer's heading back and so we were exchanging pleasantries and I said to Michelle, "I am almost giddy." She said that was obvious as we were running under 10 min/mile now. There was a brief moment when we thought of slowing down but then I think we both just decided to go with it. I told Michelle that even if I tank at the marathon, I would always remember THIS run.
This run went against everything I had always believed. I never believed I could run a negative split in a long run. I had done it in a HM but never anything over that distance. I always knew that no matter how slow I ran, I would never be able to conserve enough to run faster at the end of a run.
Yesterday was amazing for me as a runner. It changed me! I am capable of so much more than I give myself credit for. It wasn't just about the negative split. It was the feeling. I felt like a runner for the first time
I don't usually sit down and analyze my mileage breakdown but I did pull my history out of my Garmin. I want to preserve this memory. So sorry that this is boring to most of you but here are my splits:
Mile 1~ 1134
Mile 2~ 1111
Mile 3~ 1117
Mile 4~ 1108
Mile 5~ 1109
missed mile 5-6.54
Mile 6.5-7.5~ 1058
Mile 7.5-8.5~ 1045
Mile 8.5-9.5~ 1051
Mile 9.5-10.5~ 1050
Mile 10.5-11.5~ 1039
Mile 11.5-12.5~ 1055
Mile 12.5-13.5~ 1050
Mile 13.5-14.5~ 1044
Mile 14.5-15.5~ 1027
Mile 15.5-16.5~ 1026
Mile 16.5-17.5~ 1018
Mile 17.5-18.5~ 1010
Mile 18.5-19.5~ 1021
Mile 19.5-20.5~ 1004
Mile 20.5-21.5~ 941
last 0.44 miles~ 407
Average overall pace 10:41.
This is better than my best marathon finishing pace. Can I remember this on race day? Slow and steady CAN win the race (well you know what I mean:)
Update: Just found out that there were pictures taken during our training run on Saturday. Here is a photo to help me preserve the memory. This is a picture of me and Michelle at about mile 17.