Sadly, my long run did not go so well today. I was afraid of that! The 16-miler I ran a couple of weeks ago went REALLY great, which usually means I'm due for a bad one. Jerry got my hopes up when he came in this morning by telling me that the weather was really nice outside. I think we have different ideas of "nice" running weather. To me, "nice" (in September) is 50's and overcast, low humidity. To Jerry, apparently, "nice" means 72 and humid. ;) It was overcast, though, which made me happy!
I wasn't able to leave until after 8:30, when the kids went to church with my parents. Normally, I run much better on an empty stomach, but since I was getting a late start and wouldn't be home until after 11:00, I figured I'd better eat before the run. I had steel cut oats with brown sugar and craisins. Then I loaded up my CamelBak with water, my pepper spray, my phone, and a couple of ShotBloks.
My long run pace is supposed to be 9:38/mi, but I was just aiming for 9:30-10:00 ish. I've been giving myself a bigger range lately, because I don't want to have to look at my watch more than once a mile. The first couple of miles were okay; I was just thinking about how warm and humid the air felt, and hoped the sun would stay behind the clouds for a few more hours.
Just after mile two, I started to regret eating breakfast. I felt nauseous and really sluggish. For the next mile, I debated turning around and calling it quits. I honestly didn't think I could make it through 16 miles like that. Thankfully, just after mile four, I got a little burst of energy and started feeling better.
When I got to the state park, I was just focused on getting to mile eight, so that I'd be halfway done, and all I'd have to do was run home. Mile nine was my fastest, and that wasn't because I was feeling good; it was because I wanted to pass a boy! ;) I came up behind a guy who was doing run/walk intervals. During his run intervals, he was about the same pace as me. I didn't consciously speed up, but I noticed my pace was getting faster and faster, because I wanted to pass him. When he stopped to walk, I caught up and went past, then I noticed my pace was 8:50-ish, and it about killed me.
I wanted to stop SO badly to take a breather, but that would have been embarrassing to pass him and then stop, so I kept going. The rest of the mile was really hard, because I was trying to recover from that. At mile 10, I would have gladly accepted a ride from a stranger, creepy or not, because I just felt like my legs were toast. I ate one of the ShotBloks, and hoped it would give me a little boost soon.
My pace didn't really slow down, but my body really felt sluggish. It was hard to keep running! At mile 13, I ate another ShotBlok. Just before mile 14, I heard a car pull up next to me, and saw that it was my parents with the kids in the car, returning from church. I was so so so tempted to hop in and get a ride home, but I knew I just had two miles to go.
I started thinking about the marathon, and how this training is supposed to simulate the LAST 16 miles of a marathon, not the first 16 miles. So I was supposed to feel tired. It was a very tough couple of miles to go, but I managed to finish!
When I uploaded my run, I noticed that the time was VERY close to the last 16-miler I did. Two weeks ago, I finished in 2:32:49 and today, I finished in 2:32:21. I didn't plan that, but thought it was interesting!
I was SO relieved to get that over with. Two down, and just one more to go. Next week is 10 miles, and then the third 16-miler is a week after that.
I was surprised to see that my average heart rate was 153 today; on my last 16-miler, it was 146. That's a big difference! But it goes to show that my rough run today wasn't all in my head. Probably the fatigue (I just ran 31 miles in 3 days!) combined with the higher temp outside caused the extra stress.
After I showered and changed into some comfy clothes, I just wanted to sit on my ass all.day.long. But first, I wanted to go to Monica's bakery to get a cookie before they closed. I got a big chocolate chunk cookie (16 PointsPlus). The chocolate chunk cookies never look very appealing there, which is why I don't get them often, but they taste SO good. So I'm glad that's what I ended up getting for a long run treat!
Once I got home, I plopped myself on the recliner, curled up with a blanket, and watched a Lifetime movie. That's kind of become my routine after my long runs lately. Lifetime movies are the best for lazy, relaxing afternoons!
Don't forget, tomorrow is Motivational Monday! If you have a health/fitness accomplishment that you want to brag about, please send a photo and description to my e-mail: SlimKatie (at) runsforcookies (dot) com, and I may include it on the blog tomorrow.