Not So Bad!

About three and a half hours ago, I finished my first 16-miler. I had to be a creative mommy to get the miles in. The plan was to get my big kids on the school bus at 8:05, and immediately head to the YMCA with my little one for the first three miles. We got to the Y at 8:16 a.m., I signed her in to the nursery (kicking and screaming), and I got in three miles. I took it slow and easy, warming up and running at a 10:40-11:00 minute pace. I knew that keeping my pace down would be CRITICAL for the later miles. My race plan called for an 11:09 pace, but I went faster for lack of time!

Then I hopped off, signed her out of the nursery (now totally happy and fine), threw her in the car, and rushed her to her 9:00 a.m. preschool about five minutes away. I dropped her off there and went to meet two friends who planned to run the 11 middle miles with me. I guess there was about a 20-minute gap between my first 3 and my last 13.

We started out at a 10:00-10:30 pace and kept it there for almost every mile. During the second mile, they both decided to go the whole 13 with me instead of leaving me on my own on the difficult last two. I felt fresh, the weather was good (mid-thirties to mid-forties and sunny) except for the high wind, and we were going along at a great pace. Around our 3rd mile, we took a slight detour and another friend joined us as we went past her house. Amazingly, she was just our pace, too. The four of us took turns leading and pairing off for conversations. It really made the time pass. At their 5-mile and my 8-mile point, we took a little break for gels/water at a service station. Then we were off again. We ran all over the Sango community in our little town--through subdivisions and condominium neighborhoods and on fairly busy roads and small ones.

After I'd gone around 13 miles, I really felt tired. I took a short walk break and it helped. I felt like I was slowing down, but actually, I was maintaining a pretty consistent pace. The last two miles were pretty tough. One of my friends talked me through them. I wanted to walk SO BADLY, but I didn't want to be the only one walking, and both of my friends were still running really strong. I felt those extra three miles pretty intensely at that point and had to push to keep up with them/maintain pace.

Overall, finishing 16 today felt no harder than the last couple of miles in the race last weekend. According to my Garmin, last weekend's average pace was 10:27 for the half-marathon (but my pace was all over the place from 9:29 to 11-something), and today's average pace was 10:27 as well (BUT a pretty consistent pace).

So, after three gentle miles on the treadmill, I ran the last 13 at race pace (unintentionally!). Both routes were hilly, but a big difference was last week involved 3 miles on gravel. I knew that took a lot out of me. But maybe I'm just that much stronger after last weekend. Doesn't every run make you stronger? I didn't expect 16 to feel like 13. I wonder how 18 will feel???

Body Check
Feet: Good. No blisters. One toenail is purple and lifted up. (I know what that means in the near future....)
Knees and legs: Sore. Steps are difficult. Right now I'm trapped in my bonus room.
Back: A little sore.
Mind/Heart/Spirit: Very good. I think I'm going to be a marathoner!


Melissa said…
I think you did great. To complete 16 miles is awesome. You are well on your way. As for the toenail issue. ha ha I lost 2 toenails. And even had a black toe but that was because I was wearing the wrong shoes. Doesn't help loosing the nails when it's spring/summer either. But put polish on top and no one will know!! ha ha Prop your feet up, grab a glass of wine and relax for the rest of the evening. You deserve it. See you Sunday at church.
Lana said…
In answer to "I wonder how 18 will feel?", you already know. The first 16 will be all right because, hey! you've run that far before. And the last two will be uncharted territory (which may involve a little discomfort).

And how do you think 20 will be after that?! Do you remember how excited you (probably) were the first time you ran 10 miles? I think the first 20 miler is sort of a rite of passage like that.

You're crankin', girlfriend!
MCM Mama said…
Great job! Glad you were able to fit the miles in. I had to be make my husband take days off work to get my 20 milers in LOL.
Run Mommy said…
16 is a great milestone! I love your creative parenting..I have to get up at crazy early hours to get the long runs in or is never happens. :) GReat work - you will be a marathoner for sure. :)
Laura Lohr said…
That is awesome getting your mileage in so creatively.

18 will be fine. Keep your head in the right place. For me, everything after 13 is all mental.

Congrats on your first 16!
Velma said…
I just found your blog - great! 16 is a huge milestone - it was much harder for me the first time than was 18. Good job getting all the miles in - way to be creative!
Bethany said…
Way to go!!! I love how you just make it work. Keep at it, you are rocking it!
ya for 16 and feeling great. I am jealous. I ran my 10 and thought I was going to die...damn wind... I was scheduled 16.. nope.. I wimped out.
Anonymous said…
Do you take ice baths after your long runs? I SWEAR by them & have not been sore after running 20 plus sounds miserable, but you will think differently when you are NOT sore after a long run!