Friday, September 12, 2014

About those 12 miles

I ran 11 miles on Sunday but because of soccer and birthday parties and our crazy lives, I knew I wasn't going to be able to do my long run on the weekend. So I asked my MIL to watch LightRunner and just 5 days after running 11 miles, I ran 12 for the first time in a year

Now, I have gotten to the point where I am thinking that I will never run another half marathon and I'm tired of long runs and why am I doing this? I'm doing most of my runs alone so there's no girl power sisterhood feeling like last year. Jen is nursing a baby, Sara is doing the marathon instead, Tracy has gotten pretty speedy and will probably finish a good 10-15 minutes before me. So the motivation is a little low. And after running 11 miles just FIVE DAYS AGO I was pretty nervous about this run. I knew when I was doing the 11 that I would have to do 12 pretty soon after so I tried to be smart and ran pretty slow. Which wasn't hard because I had to pee the whole time until I finally found an unlocked portapotty in front of a house being built and it was the best pee EVER. I planned on doing today's 12 pretty slow too because the last thing I need is another injury. 

I had a plan to cut the 12 miles into thirds. For the first 4 miles I would run really slow, even walking when I didn't have to, just to make sure that I was really warming up and not starting too fast. I did this no problem. Then I wanted to run the next 4 miles at my race pace (10:00) and then slow down a bit for the last 4 and hopefully wind up with an 11:30 average pace (I just read that your long run should be 30-90 seconds slower than your goal pace so I was shooting for 90 secs.). But when I hit mile 4 there was a bit of a problem. My left foot--the supposed good one--started cramping up for no stinking reason but even more than that I had to pee again!! Argh with the pee!! So I spent the next couple of miles focusing on not peeing and not focusing on running faster. Such is life. I finally found a spot to pee in the woods and it was lovely. I decided to just try to make sure my second half was faster than my first since my overall plan got messed up. 

I did it.

My average for the first 4 miles was 12 which was right where I wanted it to be.

1: 11:04
2: 12:25
3: 11:53
4: 12:49

My next 4 was not 10 minute miles but they were faster with an 11:23 average time.

5: 11:46
6: 11:29
7: 11:01
8: 11:17

My last 4 miles were my fastest with an average of 10:43. I kind of wish I had reversed mile 11 and 12 for true negative splits, but I'm pretty happy with the outcome. 

9: 11:17
10: 10:37
11: 10:27
12: 10:31

My overall pace was 11:22. I am stoked. I still feel like this will be my last half marathon, but I am really happy that I did what I sent out to do. These 12 miles were FASTER than the 11 I just did and yet I feel so much better than I did after those 11 miles. If I could just turn off my bladder everything would be so much easier. 

My Beloved Bia knows me so well.
The back.
One of the reasons my bladder is fuller is that I went ahead and bought myself a Nathan hydration vest so I don't have to use the belt anymore. The belt was getting too irritating and just not working out for me. I looked at both the CamelBak and the Nathan vests and decided on the Nathan Women's Intensity Race vest. The reviews were pretty good. I liked that the bladder is removable and easy to clean. It can hold 70 ounces which is more than I need but I like the option. I need to drink so much more than most people because of the whole kidney stone thing so I really can't get away with just a handheld. The first time I ran with it I forgot to suck the air out so it sloshed the whole time, but it wasn't as annoying as I thought. Today I sucked it out and there was no sloshing. It's comfortable and so much easier than the belt. I tend to drink less if I have to grab a bottle out of a belt, but I don't run anywhere that I could easily refill a handheld. The pockets are so much easier to use too. There's a big pocket in the back that can hold my keys and tissues and spare money and whatever. My favorite though is the pockets on the front. There's a bottle pocket on one side and then a zippered pocket for your phone on the other. Because I have an otter box on my phone and I don't need an extra bottle, I put my phone in the bottle side. It fits perfectly and is in easy reach. I put my honey stingers in the zippered pocket and my pepper spray in the outer one on that side. It's the perfect setup. I think I might wear this for all my runs regardless of distance! It was reasonably priced and I haven't had any problems with it. No chafing anywhere, no unusual shoulder pain. I've only used it twice so I don't want to jump the gun, but if you're looking into a hydration vest I would recommend looking into this one.  
The front

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