Thursday, April 5, 2018

Surviving a Tough Training Run

The weather was pretty nice... so I had no excuse not to run for 3 hours... right!?
     I wasn't feeling up to running that day... I had run 5 not-so-great miles the day before, and I had just had a job interview that morning, so I really wasn't feeling up to doing much.

     I think that BECAUSE I was so tired actually pushed me to actually go for my long run in a weird way. I wanted to prove to myself that I could run that far of a distance even when I didn't feel like it.

     My goal: run for 3 hours or 15 miles, whichever came first.

     I have wanted to run this far for some time, but over the past few weeks I kept stopping around the half-marathon point, mainly because I ran out of fuel/water. My legs have also felt tired during my runs recently, so that has been the tipping point at the end of each long run, and I would stop at 13 miles.

This time, I made a few changes:
  1. I packed twice the amount of water
  2. I made a plan of how much fuel I would take and packed more than enough
  3. I created a route that wouldn't allow me to stop at the 13 mile point
  4. I decided to take about a 10 second walk break after every mile

     It wasn't easy, but I did it! It was easily one of the hardest runs I ever ran (in recent memory). I think the recent weeks of marathon training has left my legs pretty tired,  and I was pretty stiff when I finished.

     I haven't run this far since the summer of 2014 when I was training for the Portland Marathon. Basically, it's been 4 years since I have run further than a half marathon. It felt so great to finish and to break past that barrier!

Feeling good after finishing my super long run that day

     Though inconvenient, I think taking planned walk breaks saved my leg strength so that I wasn't so tired when my mileage got above 10 miles. I kept my pace around 12:00 min/mile, which is about a minute per mile slower than my current easy run pace. I think the slower pace helped me go further too!

My mile splits over 15 miles. That's a lot of miles!

     If I need to, I may implement the walk break strategy during the marathon. I am not racing for a particular time, so this may make it more of an enjoyable experience.

     Funny thing is I still ran out of water way before I finished. I can't really pack more water than I did that day, so I guess I need to be more conservative with how much I drink in the beginning of the run. Luckily, hydration won't be as much of an issue for the marathon because they have aid stations.

     With about a month until the Vancouver Marathon remaining, I have decided I am going to check in more frequently. I'm not sure I will ever train for a marathon again... so I want to do a good job of documenting this experience!