Saturday, February 16, 2008

HIghest Milage Week EVER

Yesterday's Total Calorie Intake:  2276

This morning was my long run - and my longest run so far in the training plan - 12 miles.  I had never done a 12 mile training run...the only time I have run further than this was for the 3 half marathons that I have done.  Actually, I had never run as much during one week as I have this week - 24.9 miles in total.  My biggest weeks before were 20 miles - each of the weeks prior to my half marathons and the week of the half marathons (taper down at the beginning of the week with a 4 mile and 3 mile run and then the 13.1 mile race on the weekend).

I didn't have a particular route that I had done in the past for this distance so yesterday I did some research.  I went on to the USA Track and Field website and search their running route database and found an 11 mile loop route that went about a mile from my house.  I changed the route a bit to start in my neighborhood and - voila! I had a 12.25 mile loop (see below).

I was a bit worried how the run would go this morning.  I had been exhausted after my business trip and I had eaten a ton this week.  I got to bed at 9:30pm last night - which definitely helped! - but of course last night was our weekly Shabbat (sabbath) dinner so I ate a good amount and even had a glass of wine.  I know that I haven't gained back the weight that I've lost, but I felt heavier for some reason.  Lucky for me, the week where I have eaten the most was also the week that I have run the most!
One thing I'm starting to experiment with on my long runs is eating beforehand.  Since I'm not going to be able to complete 26.2 miles - and running for about 5 hours - on nothing but GU and Gatorade, I need to figure out what foods I can eat before running.  Last night, I brought a chewy granola bar upstairs and put it with my running clothes.  I ate this about 30 minutes before I started my run and it didn't cause me any discomfort during the run.  Hooray!
After I put my clothes on this morning I just sat quietly on the floor for a minute, relaxing.  I looked at my HRM to see what my resting heart rate was...54 bpm.  That was definitely a good sign.
At the beginning of my run, I was rocking!  I felt great, kept a good pace (I did not remember where the miles marked off on the route, so I could not judge my actual pace, but it felt like I was moving along nicely) and my heart rate was in the 140s.  The path I was running on was asphalt which is easier on my legs than concrete.  It was still dark, about 31 degrees with some wind (I did not realize the wind part...I really need to start looking at the wind chill before I leave the house!) and I was pretty much the only one out on the road.  What a great feeling!

I opened up my first GU about 1 hour into my run.  I was still feeling good, but I could tell that my energy was starting to deplete.  The GU did the trick.  However, at about this time, my heart rate started to creep up into the low 150s at the same pace I was at earlier.

I was listening to some great music from the 1970s.  No - not disco (although I do have ABBA Gold in my iTunes collection).  I had thrown a bunch of 70s albums by Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel, The Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, Jim Croce, Joe Jackson, John Denver, Jackson Browne, Elton John and Jethro Tull on my iPod and shuffled them.  Great music definitely keeps me moving!

Somewhere around 1:45 into my run, I started to feel not as good.  My heart rate was in the 160s and I forced myself to slow down.  I didn't have any sharp pains, and I didn't feel like I couldn't go on; however, my muscles started to feel a bit achey - like all of the pounding during this run and during this week was starting to pile up.  Then the doubts started to roll in - "if I'm feeling achey on a 12 mile run, how the heck am I going to finish 26.2?" and "perhaps the half marathon is a better distance for you...who are you kidding running a full marathon?".  As I went further, though, I started thinking back to when I ran my first 10K - I would start getting a pain in my knee at around 5 miles and now 5 miles is a walk in the park.  I convinced myself that if I can keep training within myself and log the miles, I should be able to finish the full marathon.

I finished my 12.25 miles in 2:17:28 - an 11:13/mile pace with an average heart rate of 153 bpm.  It is exactly the same pace as last week's 7.33 mile long run and a lower average heart rate.  All in all I'd say it was a great run!


madmax said...

I will usually eat something before a run. If I'm running in the morning I'll eat a bagel and before an afternoon run I'll eat a cliff bar.

Mike Fox said...

Thanks for the tip!

For some reason Clif bars don't break down as easliy for me and I end up having some discomfort and/or cramping up. It could have been due to me running too hard after eating them (this was before I started running with an HRM and I was overtraining), or it could be that it's too much food before running - Clif bars are about 250 calories each...the granola bar I ate was about half of that.

I could try half a bagel or an English muffin one of these mornings...we'll see.