Friday, December 10, 2010

Long Run Friday report - 12 miles and lots of smiles

Eh, I'm tired. Kind of fits this post - no?
12 miles and I'm happy to report, I'm still standing, well kind of, I've actually decided to throw on some flannel pj's and write from the comfort of bed.  I will probably remain here until about 20 mins before my hubby comes home from work, at which time, I will power clean everything up, throw food on the stove and act as if long run day hadn't completely rendered me useless.

Oh well. That's how it goes. I look forward to the day where 12 miles is just my "usual" morning run but for me, it's still pretty hard core. In fact. it's very hard core. It's the first time I've ever actually run for 12 miles straight. The goal of my last two 1/2 marathons was to finish. So I pretty much ran/walked/crawled those 13.1 miles... there was no inkling that I'd ever run for 13 miles straight... I mean who does that? Well, I do. Now. :D

Anyhoo. It was cold today. Like really cold. But it wasn't awful because there wasn't any wind (THANK YOU LORD!) I'll take the cold over the wind any day. A few thing of note on the cold. It made me have to pee. While I was thinking of my hardcore athlete buddies Jason and Leslie - I thought it wouldn't be a good move on my part at only mile 2...  frozen pee? Likely to be gross and uncomfortable - I'll pass. But LOVING my park, I knew around 3 miles in there were some porta potties - and lucky me, they were open. So I took my first potty break in the middle of a run. Pretty uneventful.

Back to the road. So now, the biggest problem with the cold is how frozen the segment of my legs from my knees - up got. I mean, numb frozen. I had compression socks to my knees so calves were good - I had 40 layers on top - so good there but my knees to butt was a block of ice that made it feel like I was running with 50 pounds of ice cream taped around my legs.  I wonder if fat freezes quicker than muscle? If I could've shed that part of my body, I would've.

So my fat strong thighs never thawed out or warmed up. That made things challenging. I'm pretty sure you could've shot me in the ass with an arrow and I wouldn't have felt it. But what I did start to feel was my lower back ache around mile 9 (reminding me to work on my posture) and around mile 7 my achilles tendon (or something in that area) started to really bother me. The whole time I tried to keep myself "slow and steady" Long run day isn't about speed for me, it's about endurance for the miles... "slow and steady" I just wanted to finish strong. And I did. I did it in 2:22 - an 11:53 pace - not too bad. I'm happy with that.

And I finally ran out of park. The park I run in is great because it feels like it goes on forever. Well it doesn't go on forever, finally, I've learned - at mile 5.5 the park is over - so I had to run around a quaint, unfamiliar NJ town for a mile or so before heading back.

When I got home, I peeled off my shoes to find my toes a bloody mess (I didn't mean that in the cute "British" way - they were literally bloody. I have issues with toes rubbing and what not. Awesome.) So with bloody toes, aches and pains and frozen thighs I raise my arms in victory.  No one ever said that being an athlete was easy... ;)

XO
Jen

NOTE TO SANTA: PLEASE BRING THE UNDER ARMOUR winter pants on my list. Thank you. And the shirt too. I'm sorry for using the word "ass" in this blog - aside from that, I've been a pretty good girl.

PS: If you are interested - this was a very exhaustive article about the Biggest Loser marathon from Runners World. It was an interesting read and since we were talking about it the other day, thought I'd share.
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