Saturday, February 9, 2013

Long Run


When I don't have a race scheduled, I typically try to do a long run on Saturdays. Long is a variable term, as it's different for every runner. Many would consider my long runs a warm up and many would consider my long runs insane. I have been working my way through the "Couch to Half Marathon" training program for quite a while now. It was supposed to be only a ten week program but I think I started it in August or September and I'm still not through it. It must have been August, because I remember the Gopher to Badger and Pepperfest 5Ks modifying my scheduled runs. There were weeks that we had family things on Saturday mornings that limited my time for running and weeks that I had other races scheduled and wanted to focus on that. In all, I was supposed to run eleven miles today and begin my taper to the race day. 

I headed out by going the opposite way I typically start my runs. I usually go straight to our main street and run to downtown. However, I did that with my scheduled nine mile run a few weeks ago and got so bored running around the same few blocks over and over to get my mileage in that I wanted to avoid boredom today. I charged my iPod all night and set off. My iPod just beeped at me. Somehow it managed to not charge despite being plugged in all night. A silent run it is. I ran around my neighborhood and noted that as I hit the main drag to head into the downtown area I had tracked two miles. To help my motivation I decided to run out for the next 4 1/2 miles and turn around to head home the way I'd come. That put me at 6.5 miles before the turn around. 

As I approached downtown I knew I didn't feel like running around there today. It's pretty, but I run there almost every day. So, I turned east on Vine Street instead. If you know my city, you know that most of Vine is a large hill, which is uphill going east. I have always avoided this street because of the hill (it's about two miles long). I figured if I made it to the top my reward would be that I get to run down it when I'm tired and need a boost! As I got to the top of the hill, I realized I was no where near the 6.5 mark that I needed to turn around. This was frustrating, as I couldn't remember which streets up in that area have sidewalks or bike paths to run on and the roads are pretty busy. I was determined not to run on the road that early, especially such busy roads. As I passed the Y, I had to make a decision; cross the road and run around the neighborhood or keep going straight, towards a busy intersection. I couldn't remember if the roads at the intersection had paths, but the idea of the neighborhood wasn't appealing to me so I went straight. Unfortunately there is about a quarter mile between the Y and the intersection that has no path and has a large field on both sides. It was so windy! I could feel the wind going right through me. 

I was relieved to discover there was a path to the left at the intersection and followed that. About a half mile up the road the path abruptly ended. Another decision; cross the street and see how long the path lasts on that side, or turn around early. I was only at 5.25 at this point, but I decided to turn around. I figured I could make up lost distance zig zagging through a neighborhood if I wanted to. With about a half mile to home I was only eight miles in but had an overwhelming desire to be home. I booked it home and tracked 8.5 miles instead of eleven. I'm ok with that. 

After my run I went to the Y with my sister-in-law and we did 45 minutes of Tabata (Yikes!) and walked for another 30. I think I'll be lucky if I can move tomorrow! We are expected to get a large snow storm, but I'm hoping I can get a recovery run in before it's too bad. 

Can you guess which mile was the steepest part of the hill?

Peeking in on my 1000 miles in 2013 goal again, I averaged 12.87 miles/week  in the first six weeks of the year. If I want to reach this goal, I will have to average 20 miles/week the rest of the year. In the last seven days I logged 18.5 miles. I think I'm going to have to step up my game a bit.

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