Sunday, September 13, 2009

Solo 18-Miler

Psyched out. That's how I was feeling about confronting my 18 miler this morning. I'll tell you why:
  • I was going it alone. I don't care who you are. 18 miles is a long freaking way to go alone, even with your friend, iPod.
  • It was chilly. Warm bed, coffee and Sunday paper were calling my name.
  • I drank quite a bit of wine last night.I haven't run 18 since training for my last marathon (so that would have been back in Dec.)

I mapped out the route - the back roads of Boulder County which is a propos ("appropriate" for all you non French speakers) as I am doing the Boulder Backroads Half next weekend. Roads are all dirt and rural which I love (although that llama staring at me was a bit disconcerting - I knew she was going to spit a loogie on my fuel belt - BTW, I've never written the word "loogie" before. Had to look up how to spell it).

I was planning on an out and back. Nine out, nine back if you need help with the math. I tried to find a way to make it sounds shorter - like three six milers or nine two milers or 18 one milers - but no matter how you slice it, it's just f'n long.

Once I got going it was all good. The way out is mostly up hill and quite challenging. I found my stride early on. My goal was about a 9 min/mile. I was doing a bit faster than that. About six miles in, there was a pack of dudes running towards me. When I got closer I realized it was the Strands team, the guys from the relay! That gave me a total boost. I trudged on. I got to the halfway point, stopped for a gel, Advil, blister band aid. No sooner had a started back when I had that familiar feeling - you guessed it - turd honking for the right of way. I was clenching, trying to avoid messing myself until I could find a warm, clean bathroom with an US Weekly Magazine. Or maybe just a bush large enough to hide my white ass when I squatted. Finally I scoped out my spot and laid one down. Then I had a newfound lease on life.

The next five miles were awesome and fast. I was jammin' to the Black Eyed Peas ("I gotta feeling, I'm going to finish this damn run after all") and my feet were turning over fast. Too good to be true - my hamstrings started to seize up and almost felt like they might collapse under me. I stopped to stretch on a fence and that helped get me to the end of the run.

Over all I felt pretty good for the whole run - there is always a lot of mental energy that goes into doing something like this. Running through and with the pain is part of it. I never expect to feel great while I'm running. If I am pushing hard and working how I'm supposed to be, I'm usually pretty dang tired. But the reward comes at the end and what a sweet reward it was! Guess what? Over 18 miles - 8:36 avg pace.

Now, to qualify for Boston I need to run a 3:50 marathon in November. That is an 8:46 pace. But I want to stay closer to an 8:35 just to give myself some wiggle room. So while today's run was only 18 miles (even though there is nothing only about 18 miles), I ran it at marathon pace which makes me VERY happy and proud.

Splits: mile 1: 9:00; mile 2: 8:55; mile 3: 8:57; mile 4: 9:11; mile 5: 8:36; mile 6:8:50; mile 7:8:37; mile 8: 8:40; mile 9: 8:55; mile 10: 8:25; mile 11:8:25: mile 12: 8:01; mile 13: 8:36; mile 14: 8:46; mile 15: 8:15; mile 16: 7:55; mile 17: 8:16; mile 18: 8:26.

Yeah, that's right. Mile 16 - 7:55!!!

So after a grilled cheese and a banana, I am glad the bathroom is nearby. These runs really jack with my stomach. But I have this feeling of accomplishment. I really did something today! This has been a 44 mile week for me in total...not too bad.

And one more thing, my son, 11, ran his first cross country meet yesterday. Did the two miler in 15:50. Didn't even crap himself.

23 comments:

  1. your 18 miler kicked my 18 milers butt this weekend! Good job!!!

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  2. OMG! Great freaking job! Your so going to get a BQ!!!! :) Awesome awesome job rocking it!!!! :) :) :)

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  3. Wow....you're one tough lady! 18 miles alone is rough! Glad you kicked butt...sounds like you're on your way to a BQ! Congrats to your son. Speed must run in the family!

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  4. Wow...awesome run!!! Congrats to your son too!

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  5. You are my hero, you know that, right? Good. Glad to get that out of the way.

    I ran my first half marathon today and tied your PR. Better luck to me next time. I definitely need to kick your ass so I can feel good about myself. I channeled you today and didn't pee my pants even though I had to whiz like a race horse from mile 8 on!

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  6. Thanks for the vote of encouragement today!

    You did great on your solo run and girl... I've gotta give you mad props for being so... TMI about the poo situation! Always cracks me up when you talk about crap! LOL! Good Job! I def see a BQ on the horizon!

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  7. Wow- that is some good running!!! You are headed towards a BQ for sure!

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  8. Solo runs are hard, especially the long distance ones, but doesn't feel even sweeter when you finish them?! Great job! My lonely 20 miler was good too, but I love that feeling when you're all done!
    And congrats to the boy! Now you have a new fierce competitor in the house! :)

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  9. Great news about your son!! Good for him.

    Good job to you alos for taking down the 18 miler. I agree, talking to myself for that long is hard. I'm so boring.

    btw, you take Advil in the middle of your run?

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  10. You, my Colorado friend, are. a. STUD. Even if we lived close enough to be training partners, I couldn't hang with you. Right. On!

    I would like to qualify for Boston someday. I won't do it running trails though. That's for sure! Glad you had such a strong run!

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  11. WOW, what an awesome run!!! I had one like that this Saturday... I was surprised how easy and fun it was! For some reason, I expect long runs to be torture (for some reason? i mean, for VERY clear reasons)

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  12. nice pace beth!!! those are all very good reasons to want to stay in...im sure we can all relate with those....but sometimes you just gotta force yourself out there. when you do- you never regret it (usually haha)

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  13. Ummmm . . . speeeeeedster?!?!!?

    Impressive 18 miler!

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  14. This made me laugh hysterically, only because I've been there with the whole bathroom in the middle of a long run saga. Hellooooo speedster! Someday I wish I can crank out that sort of pace for a long run.

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  15. Congrats to your son on his first cross country race! And way to go on your speedy long run - BQ, here you come!

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  16. Good run girl! It's a good thing you didn't run wit me this weekend; I wouldn't have pissed you off and slowed you down. I had a shitty run. I see that you have a half this weekend. Good luck! Let me know if you still want to run sometime; although it looks like you are way ahead of me on your mileage.
    Boston here you come!

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  17. You can so do Boston! Keep up with the great goals!

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  18. That's a frickin' speedy 18. Especially mile 16. Holy crap (but luckily no crap). BQ is for sure in your sights. :)

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  19. Great job! What an inspiring post! That is an awesome pace for that far! :)

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  20. Great 18 miler. Boston is yours! And congrats to your son as well! On the run and not crapping himself.

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  21. I am a complete weirdo and really love those long runs all by myself...um but yeah I'm not rocking your speed, that is my ultimate goal!

    did you follow a plan to get faster or have you generally just always been a speedy gal?

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  22. You are unbelievable, hilarious and an inspiration. Way to go! And tell your son I said congratulations :)

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