Random Rantings and Ravings from a Slow-Poke Runner in the Heart of the South. (A Weeekly (sort of) Blog about running and just about anything else)

Monday, July 31, 2006

Shane Runs A Half-Marathon!

Actually, 13 ½ miles! (Give me credit for that extra quarter mile)

I am training for the Tupelo 14.2 miler on September 3rd and this weekend came time to push my long run to the half-marathon mark. My longest previous run is 12 miles and I have only run double digits a hand full of times. The run would not only be my longest to date but also completes the first time I have run more than 30 miles in a week.

I left the house at about 6:05 am. I had my camelbak fully loaded with water, two powergels, and a cell phone. At about 3 miles I noticed I was feeling a bit sluggish and slowed my pace slightly. To this point I had averaged 9:30 minute miles, which I knew was a bit too fast. Keeping a slow and steady pace was important because I wanted to make sure and complete the entire run without needing to walk.

I felt my pace quicken as I ran through downtown. I just added this section to my long runs so it feels fresher and I really enjoy the scenery. I took in my first powergel at about 5 miles but had a little trouble getting it open. I had timed the run so I could throw the wrapper in a trash bin on the sidewalk so I had to slow my pace to try and tear into it so I wouldn’t pass the can!

I think it was around 7 miles that I noticed I was running way too slow and tried to pick up the pace. Without paying attention, I had slowed down listening to my podcast and had drifted into a slow jog. A mile later I went into the section that includes three large hills. The first two actually felt good and the extra work resulted in me powering down the backsides. The third one was pretty tough and I took in my second powergel right after -- at about 9 miles.

At 10 miles the sun really started to bear down and the temperature was rising fast. Despite the last powergel, I could feel myself getting weaker and I took more frequent sips from my camelbak. I knew my pace had drifted around the 10 minute per mile mark but I was afraid pushing it more may have resulted in a need to walk so I didn’t even focus on pace.

The last mile and a half was pretty difficult. I knew I was running longer than I ever have and the thought of finishing is about all that kept me going the last mile. It was hot and my camelbak was dry. However, I can’t say I was struggling too bad. I felt a slight queasiness and was tired, of course; but otherwise I was doing okay. I was not lightheaded or dizzy or anything like that. I have witnessed runners at races coming in on a half marathon and stumbling all over the place. I was nothing like that. I was steadily plodding along at a slow methodical pace.

I used the google map pedometer to measure 13.5 miles to the exact driveway. There were a couple little hills in the last ½ mile and then I had the drive in sight! After finishing, I took my ipod off and undid my camelbak belt. “13 ½ miles”, I thought to myself. I did it!
The time was just over 2 hours and 17 minutes. I was a little disappointed that I finished above a 10 minute pace but was more pleased to have completed the distance without walking a step. No, there was no finish line. There was no crowd to cheer me in, but I felt accomplished just the same.

My family cheered for me when I came into the house and I immediately ran water so I could collapse in a cold ice bath. I drank some Gatorade I had left over and my wife made me my favorite recovery drink – chocolate milk (fat free of course). I was not able to relax too much because I had to get ready soon after my bath so we could get to Sunday School on time.

I am still a little sore today. The easy 3-miler this morning was not too easy because of the soreness and I reminded myself that this was my punishment for oversleeping on Thursday. As a result, I am pretty tight and have to hobble a little if I I’ve been sitting too long. I am going to try and find some Advil and, hopefully, I will be ok by the time I do my intervals in the morning!

I am going to blog later tonight and need some advice. I have three long runs left (not including my taper run) and I’m not quite sure what distances to choose. I have a few scenarios in my head and hopefully some of you can help me decide. Until then…


Blogger Phil said...

Fabulous performance Shane! 13.5 miles is a long way to run. It sounds like you were hitting the top end of your endurance with this run, which shouldn’t be surprising considering you’ve only run more than 10 miles a handful of times. This is a big accomplishment however. You should now have the confidence to complete your race in September.

You were smart and didn’t push the pass too hard. The important point was to stay on your feet and get your body accustomed to the pounding associated with this distance. Did you eat anything before you started the run? If not, this may be why you started to feel a bit sluggish after 3 miles. I usually eat a power bar (or something equivalent) before a long run. It dumps 40g of carbs (plus 240 calories) into your system in an easily digestible form.

Again, congratulations!

9:54 AM

Blogger Shane (mississip) said...

I didn't eat anything before running and will have to try a powerbar next time to see if it helps and make sure it doesn't mess with my stomach!

The race start is 5 am so I won't have time to really eat breakfast, but I don't want my performance hampered either. Maybe a powerbar will do the trick.

10:19 AM

Blogger PLANET3RRY said...

favorite recovery drink – chocolate milk

My friend, who is a personal trainer, has a masters in kinesology and will go back to school this fall to get his PhD says that chocolate milk is the best recovery drink!

8:41 AM

Blogger Shane (mississip) said...

See there! Nutritious AND delicious! :-)

7:18 PM


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