September 8, 2012 by Lisa RunFastMama
When my alarm went off at 5am this morning, it was pouring rain outside. You see, I planned to do at least 8 miles around the house then head out to a local park to run with my Team in Training group. It just seemed mentally easier for me to tackle the distance that way, plus it is much cooler out at 5am than at 7:30 when the Team meets. Mama is a morning person.
Well the rain screwed that plan up. One thing I have learned as a runner is to be flexible in what you expect to happen, and be able to adapt to what is happening. I hit the alarm and ended up with an extra hour of sleep before heading out to the park.
We all take off as a team for about a mile and then everyone splits up into groups based on pace. That is great, except for following a run/walk plan. You see, I stop and walk for 30-60 seconds every mile. There is another girl who does something like run 4/walk 3.
Today I did 18 miles pretty much by myself for the most part, and you know what, I LOVE running alone. It allows me to think, to connect with my body, and go my pace based on what I need to complete the required distance. I don’t expect others to want to walk every mile, but for me, it gives my muscles enough of a break to keep me energized as well. For the most part, I can pretty much always see the “fast group” ahead of me as well.
To participate in a group run, you don’t have to be always next to someone. You can still run in a group setting, but also at your own pace, or with your own plan, to make sure you complete the distance. Some love talking to get through those long miles, others (like me) just like to have someone to say “Hi” to on the trail. You know what, I think it is all good, and there is no right or wrong as we are all out there to accomplish the same goal that will get us to the finish line.
Now, onto my 18 miles that I ran this morning. Wow, that was my longest training run to date! I kept to the plan of making sure the Garmin was between a 10-12 min/mile pace and walking every mile. I also had my homemade mixture of Honey, Molasses and Salt that I ended up diluting with water. At even miles I took just a sip of the mixture, and at odd miles I took a small sip of plain water. Notice the engineer in me and all this planning, lol?
My paces looked pretty darn consistent:
Average was 10:43! That is quicker than I did the Bayshore Half Marathon – at the 13.1 mark I was right on that time of 2:21. Around mile 12, I thought I lost my keys and I needed a pit stop, so I headed to the boat launch where I discovered I put them in the basket. I had my pit stop and headed out for the final 3. This was the first run I did not put any BioFreeze on for! As I headed out again, I felt strong mentally, and of course my legs were sore, but nothing horrible. I finished strong and actually felt full of energy after my run!!! The time I ran 16 miles, I felt like I was going to flop over so this was a welcome surprise. I really think my mixture of honey, molasses, and salt kept my mind and body fresh. My legs were sore all over, but could have been worse with how hilly the run was!
You all know I love my data, so here is my FitBit Report from when I woke up till I got home from my run.
Wow, the run was like climbing 70 flights of stairs and I burned 2,200 calories. Looks like someone gets to eat a lot of good, food today!
I am so glad it is done, mentally it is a HUGE break for me to accomplish the 26.2 in Chicago on October 7th!
Do you like company when you do long runs or do you prefer running alone?