Monday, May 11, 2009

Twenty-two miler-- I did it!

A year ago, I had a great twenty mile run and then the wheels fell off at the marathon. Yesterday, I had a tough twenty-two mile run where everything seemed to go wrong. Maybe the opposite will happen and things will click on marathon day?

Here is the good, bad and ugly of yesterday's run:
good- I was actually looking forward to it. We had run two twenties already and the last one felt GREAT. Since so many training plans include twenty-two miles instead of twenty, I wanted to push it a little.
bad- Laura and I couldn't work it out so we could run together. I had to start super early because my in laws were coming down and we had plans for the afternoon. Laura couldn't go until later as her husband was working at the hospital. I wasn't looking forward to running that far by myself.
good- The weather was PERFECT. There was a heavy marine layer that lasted all morning. The temperature stayed in the low 60's. I wore a tank top and my arm warmers (hey... the low 60's is still chilly to me). I never got hot enough to need to take them off. I really hope that the marathon has the same weather.
bad- When packing up my iPod in the morning, I noticed that the battery was low. I could not find my iPod charger nor could I find the car charger! I hoped that I had a few hours of charge left. I started the run without music in order to save my battery for the part of the run I needed it the most.
good- I did remember to charge the Garmin.
good- My left shin, which has been giving me the most trouble, felt great as I started.
bad- My right shin was twinging a little bit.
bad- I had planned on running around Fiesta Island for an extra five miles. There was a bike race getting ready to start. I had visions of the scene in Practical Magic where the guy gets nearly run down by an entire peleton of cyclists.* I would have to recalculate my route and I am usually pretty bad about calculating mileage in my head.
good- Fiesta Island sucks anyway. I figured I could just run around various parts of the bay until I got the right around of mileage.
bad- My tummy was starting to bug me around mile 3.
ugly- Around mile 5, my tummy issues started getting serious.** Since I changed my route to go around Hospitality Point, I wasn't exactly sure where a restroom was. I probably should have turned around and used the restroom at Hospitality Point instead of venturing along the bay.
very ugly- I was having flashbacks to two of my big races. I had to desperately wait in a porta potty line at the Rock-n-Roll Marathon and I searched frantically for a potty during the AFC. I ran around Mission Bay Marina looking for a restroom. They were all locked, reserved for marina tenants. I walked up to some men asking where a public restroom was. I must have looked horrible, because one of them offered to unlock the restroom for me. OMG. Thank God. My situation was very bad.
bad- I was feeling pretty icky when I got back on the road. Oh my... I had a LONG way to go. I hadn't even run six miles yet.
good- I turned my music at this point. I was ready to stop hearing myself breath and veg out to some tunes. I hoped that I had a few hours of charge left. Luckily, I did.
bad- When I opened my Gu, I didn't tear the top off well enough so I had to squeeze through a tiny hole. As I tried to improve it, Gu came out everywhere.*** I had a sticky mess all over my hands. I tried to get it off with water, but felt sticky for several miles.
good- The next few miles were fine. I was able to keep my pace at or below race pace (9:10) for most of the splits.
bad- I started getting REALLY tired during mile sixteen. I don't think my last Gu had kicked in. Also, my legs were tired and were starting to cramp a bit. I had planned on picking up the pace and shooting for sub-9:00 for the last five miles, but I was having doubts. I ran mile sixteen in 9:44, my slowest split of the day. I ran the next mile in 9:20. I thought that I might need to reevaluate my goal and just try to finish all twenty-two miles.
good- I was able to kick it into a higher gear after mile seventeen.
bad- The effort I was putting out in these last miles felt monumental. I would be pumping my arms and feeling like I was sprinting only to look down at the Garmin and see my pace around 9:10 or higher. I started to seriously reconsider my sub-4:00 goal. It will be a huge effort to maintain 9:10 for twenty-six miles. I started thinking about other goals that I could shoot for.

I really felt like I was hitting a wall. Around mile eighteen I was really wondering why I decided to push it to twenty-two miles instead of twenty. I started telling myself that I could hit twenty miles and then walk the rest. But I had to get back to my car anyway...why not run it? I was really struggling, but I still didn't want to give up the goal to keep those splits under 9:00.
good, very good- I pushed through the negative self-talk. I pushed myself hard. I found what I needed inside me to run a great last mile. I am proud and happy to say that I ran mile twenty-two in 8:35!!!!!!!

Overall, I ran twenty-two miles in 3:23. That is a pace of 9:13. That is a few seconds per mile off a sub-four pace. While I didn't feel as good as I did a few weeks ago, and my confidence isn't quite as high, I did run twenty-two miles at a pace that is two minutes per mile faster than my pace for last year's marathon. I know I can finish this marathon and finish strong. Over the next couple of weeks, I will be trying to figure out exactly what my marathon game plan is.



*The character survives the barrage of cyclists only to be run over by a truck.
**I had made my self a nice batch of peanut pasta for lunch the day before. I hadn't plan on eating a big dinner. Kenny made the kids macaroni and cheese and I stupidly ate a bowl of it. I am sure that either of those meal choices may have contributed to my digestive issues.
***I know there are some of you who are giggling right now. Shame on you!

10 comments:

h2ojennifer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Irish Cream said...

Okay, I must admit I was giggling about the Gu incident too--BUT, that is because I have had the same, exact thing happen to me--it is THE WORST!

Also, I know it's hard not to let a run like this shake your confidence a little, but I have to say, I think it is very impressive and a REALLY good sign that you were able to maintain a 9:13 pace for 22 miles (while feeling like crap) at the peak of your training plan. I have a feeling you got the "bad run" out of your system, and you will NAIL that 9:10 pace on race day!

h2ojennifer said...

Okay Lisa,
So this is my combined response to 2 postings of yours. First I have to say I was one of the gigglers. OMG I am just picturing you running along with a sticky GU mess all over youself and probably having some out loud %^$#^!#@ things to say about. Good for you for getting through that sequence of events.
Next, really you may have been still filtering some of those Mojitos out of your system and because I am your lush ;) friend that makes them for you, does that make me somewhat responsible when you have a bad run(s). Wink, wink!!

Finally, to all Lisa's readers, way back when (last year) I was the friend she ran with in training for the 2008 RNR, now I am the friend she drinks Mojitos with. Yikes, how things change. Nothing but admiration for Lisa and the runner she has become. The marathon for me was on a check list. One of these days I am hoping there will be reference to our swimming together. That will be the next chapter right. TRIATHLONS!!!!

Mama said...

Good job pushing through the run and great pace! You are going to rock the marathon.

MCM Mama

Tara said...

Wow - 9:13

Your awesome Lisa - really awesome. :)

I have no excuse the next time I run - if my watch or ipod are not charged - who cares. I know I sometimes find excuses not to "run hard."

You are hardcore and I admire that tremendously. :)

aron said...

CONGRATS thats an awesome 22 miler, even with the "bad" stuff. sounds like you are ready for the race!!

Irene said...

Your 22 miler sounds about like my 20 miler on Saturday, complete with tummy issues and needing to find an open restroom. The guy I finished the run with said something like "bad dress rehearsal, great show." I hope that's the case with the marathon!

AKA Alice said...

Gu coming out...hahahahaha...but OMFG I HATE it when that happens...GAH!

I think I have been in EVERY. SINGLE. RESTROOM. in the whole Mission Bay, Hospitality Point area in the past two years. Glad the guys opened one for you.

You are awesome...sub 9 minutes in mile 22? I can't even imagine that!

RunnerMom said...

Well, you got it done at a great pace, at any rate. I'm sorry so many thing didn't go your way. (Reminds me of my last long run.) I'm sure this puts the odds in your FAVOR for race day!

How on earth did you pull out an 8:35 mile in mile 22???? W.O.W.

tgorourke said...

OMg, you read my mind - when you said about the GU coming out everywhere, I DID start giggling.... I am so sorry for that run going the way it did - especially about the needing the bathroom part - that is the worst possible thing that can happen on a run in my opinion. I've had that happen in the morning where I've looked at the swamp and thought "could I?" :-)

I want to tell you something that should make you feel better - my brother said that before he ran his PR marathon of 2:55, his last few long runs were really, really, really horrible. Then he went out there and ran the race of a lifetime. So block that long run and the other crappy day at the track out of your mind on race day. You can do it. You know you can.

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