Saturday, March 21, 2009

Long Run To The Old 'Hood

On the schedule today was a 14 miler.  I decided to run to the neighborhood that I grew up in - about 7 miles away - and back.  It's a hilly loop at times - the map shows about a 300 ft differential between the lowest point and highest point - but the hills are good for you, right?

I started out in the darkness of, I hate having Daylight Savings Time early!  It was also chillier than I had thought.  It ends up that it was 25 degrees when I left the house - I thought it was f-ing Spring already!!!  What's up with that?  Luckily I did wear gloves, but they were not my warmest pair, so for the first 20 minutes of my run I thought my fingers were going to freeze off.

Talking about freezing - since I didn't think it would be that cold this morning, I didn't add Gatorade or Nuun to my water bottles.  Of course those froze at the top, so I could barely suck any water out of them by the time I needed a drink.  I ended up slowing down to a walk a few times to unscrew the top of the bottles and taking drinks of slushy's great to have icy-slush in the summer, but not so refreshing when it's 27 degrees outside.

Since I was going back to the old neighborhood, I decided to pick some music that I grew up with.  I originally was going to throw a bunch of '80s music onto my iPod Shuffle, but I decided to put a bunch of Billy Joel albums instead.  It definitely brought back a lot of fond memories of listening to these songs - or playing them on the piano, oh so many years ago...and it helped keep the pace nice and easy.

My splits show that I kept the pace nice and easy - a 10:57/mile pace overall with an average HR of 155.  It ends up that my HR starts to elevate pretty significantly after 10 miles.  I'm not sure if I just need some more long runs under my belt or if I'm pushing the pace too much in the middle to end of my long runs.  I'll see how it goes in two weeks when I have a 15 mile long run.

Towards the end of the run, my legs were starting to get really sore.  I had contemplated stopping at 14 miles exactly, but somehow pushed myself to keep on going.  I ended up stopping at 14.25 miles - just up the street from my house.  I'm not sure why I couldn't push myself to "bring it home" and finish it up - but come on...I had just finished running 14.25 miles - can I really be that hard on myself?

Final stats:  14.25 miles, 2:35:53 - 10:57/mile, avg HR 155, max HR 172.

I just checked my running log to see when the last time I ran this long and found this little tidbit:  the last time I ran longer than 13.1 miles was on May 4, 2008 - the day of the Frederick Marathon when I ran 26.2 miles.  Leg soreness is definitely excused! 

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