Saturday, March 8, 2008

15 Miles!!! - Or How I got my revenge on the weatherman...and he got me back!

I thought about my long run and started to dread doing it tomorrow.  First of all the weather report was for colder temperatures - about 30 degrees when I was going to head out - and gusty winds.  Second of all, tonight we move the clocks forward - so waking up at 5am will really be waking up at 4am...YIKES!

So, when I was at synagogue this morning I saw that it had turned into a beautiful day.  Sunny and 50 degrees with not much wind.  I started thinking...perhaps I can get this long run in this afternoon instead.  I decided to not eat too much at the "kiddush" luncheon just in case I could swing it.  When I got home, my 2 year old was napping, my wife was resting and my 5 year old son asked to watch a video (how could I say no???).  It was a perfect opportunity for me to slip out and run.  But for close to 3 hours?  I got the green light from my wife, got into running clothes (shorts, a running t-shirt and a running baseball hat), got my water belt ready with H2O, GU and my cell phone, and off I went!

I was going to run the same loop course that I had mapped out for this morning.  It goes through the neighborhood that I grew up in and I stowed an extra water bottle in my parents' mailbox :-)

The first few miles were tough.  I still had my lunch digesting so I couldn't get into a groove running.  It was pretty sunny and I was thinking to myself perhaps I should have taken my sunglasses.

That thought was short lived...

About 2.5 miles into my run, dark clouds started rolling in and the wind picked up.  Oh no!  Here I thought I had timed my run right and now it looked like I could be soaked for the next 2 hours.  It ended up only raining lightly for about 15 minutes and then the sun came out again around mile 4 of my run.

Around mile 5, I crossed paths with a friend of ours from synagogue who was walking his dog.  I gave a quick hello as I passed him - Boy was he surprised to see me running near his neighborhood!

By this time the sun was shining, and it was a glorious day to run!  I got into a pretty good zone, made it around the loop of my old neighborhood and got the water bottle at my folks' house.

At around mile 10 I started to get a little pain in my left knee.  My heart rate was over 160 - and had been over 160 for a while since there were some big hills in my old neighborhood - so I decided to slow down and got my HR under 150.  Within a few minutes the pain was gone...and did not resurface for the rest of the run.

Everything was going well at this point.  I was thinking since it was such a nice day that perhaps I would walk my boys up to Five Guys for grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner.  I also was thinking that I would take an ice bath after the run to help with the inflammation of muscles and soreness the next day.

Unfortunately, those thoughts were also short lived.

The clouds moved in again at some point between miles 11 and 12.  Unfortunately, this was the real deal.  The temperatures dropped - probably by about 20 degrees - and the wind started to pick up.  Then they started to gust - HARD.  This was just about the time where I turned onto Darnestown Road - and I was running directly into the wind!  I was searching deep inside of me for something to pull me through running into 20-30 mph wind gusts.  Luckily, my iPod provided the spark.  It was at this point when The Theme from "Rocky" started playing.  That got me through running into the wind for a few minutes.

And then, it happened.  The rain started.  But it wasn't just rain.  There was hail as well.  BB pellet sized hail.  In 30 mph wind.  Coming straight at me - in my shorts and t-shirt.  After being welted for about 2 minutes I ducked behind a tree and stopped my stopwatch until the hail died down.  I figured that I had just gotten my ice bath.

Finally, after a few minutes the hail stopped and I got back on the sidewalk.  Ironically, I saw another runner about 50 yards ahead of me come out from a tree as well.  So, I wasn't the only one :-)  However, that runner was wearing a windbreaker...I was soooo screwed.

There were 3 miles left.  It was probably in the mid-to-low 40s by now with strong winds and a little rain.  I had already been running for over 2 hours.  Time to HTFU and finish this out.  It was me against the elements and I was not going to let the elements beat me!  I was concentrating so much on finishing the run that I was not focused on the fact that this was my longest run to date and that my legs were getting sore.  Getting home was my main concern.

At this point, my iPod developed more ESP.  As I was nearing my neighborhood, Daughtry's Home started playing.  This brought me up, but as I entered the 'hood I was starting to lose steam.  I started thinking that there was one song that I definitely knew would get me to finish the run out strong - the theme to Chariots of Fire.  And lo and behold, that's the song that came on for me to finish my run.

At the end, I was sore, I was cold, but I finished.  In 2 hours and 50 minutes - an average of an 11:04/mile pace.  My average HR was higher than it should have been on a long run - 159 - but a lot of that was the last 3 miles trying to beat the elements and finish out the run strong.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What do you use to hydrate during your long runs?