The long run of the week was supposed to be 14 miles, with the pace being about 30 seconds slower than MP for most of it, and kicking it in to MP for last 1.5 miles. Earlier in the week I thought I would just get up and do this run on my own. It seemed like too much effort to drive to the club (15ish minutes each way), meet up with people and do the run. It seemed like it would be easier to just do it on my own. Plus, I’ve NEVER run a long run with anyone else, let alone a group of people. I was nervous about me having to stop for my GI issues, about me not being able to keep up, or about me getting stuck with people that were going slower than I wanted, about having to waste a ton of energy talking the entire 2 hours, etc. But, then I figured that as long as I was actually going to be in town this weekend (versus alot of the summer weekends I’ll be at the cabin and won’t be able to do group long runs), I’d give it a try. I figured that the group workouts on the track and hills really helped push me beyond what I was comfortable doing, maybe the group run would do the same. It did!
My thoughts about it:
- 13.57 miles in 1:59:15 (8:48 pace)
- It bugs me to not have my long runs end on an even number. I should have circled the parking lot til I got to 14.
- It was nice to talk a bit, have the distraction of listening to others talk, and to have people to push me.
- It was 73 degrees and must have been a crazy high dew point. At the end of the run my entire legs were soaking wet and slimey. Ewwwww. I don’t think I’ve ever sweat so much!
- I didn’t have to stop for any GI or foot or phantom injury issues. Yipee!
- It was mildly irritating to stop at the water points and have to wait longer than I wanted to for the group to all get their water. I’m used to my runs being all about me. I think if we ran a route that I was familiar with I could have just said I was going to jog ahead after I got my water, but I didn’t know the route. And, honestly, I don’t know the protocol with group runs. Are you supposed to wait for everyone at stops like that? Today was probably different because Coach wasn’t with us leading it – he was kicking ass in a triathlon so one of the speedy guys was sort of leading it.
- It ended up being a good mix of people to give me exactly the workout I needed. There were 7 of us (a few more for the first 3 miles, but then they turned around for a shorter run).
- For the first 5 miles I stayed with the 3 who were going slower – it was a comfortable pace, but not quite as fast as I wanted to be (8:38; 9:10; 8:45; 8:56; 9:04).
- Then we stopped at a drinking fountain and I went ahead with the other 2 guys who were going a bit faster. I stayed even with them for a bit, then slowed so they were ahead of me, but still in sight, until 10 miles. The pace was exactly where I wanted it to be – it felt like I was pushing it, but didn’t feel hard (8:38; 8:41; 8:25; 8:39; 8:51).
- Then from 10 miles til the end, I was running by myself (with the speedy guys way up ahead and eventually out of sight and the slower group behind and not in sight at all after about the 7th mile). This part felt harder. Thinking about it, I wonder if it felt harder because I was by myself?? Maybe the group thing really does help, like take your mind off the pace, etc. The last 1.5 mile was supposed to be MP – that definitely felt like a struggle. (8:59, 9:28; 8:11; 8:23 pace for the last .4)
- I carried my handheld and drank 2 bottles of it (one with NUUN, one just water) and it wasn’t anywhere near enough fluid for the crazy dewpoint. I ran out of water at mile 10 and was feeling very dehydrated. The others didn’t have handhelds and just drank from the drinking fountain and another water drop. I don’t know how they did it. I have figured out that I’m one of those runners that needs tons of fluid (electrolytes) while I run. I had one gel too.
- My legs (and ass – weird) felt tired/crampy for a few hours after the run, and I felt dehydrated and headachey until 5:00 p.m. (even though I drank tons of water, NUUN and gatorade all afternoon). I’ll be interested to see how I feel tomorrow. I think I should be good.