Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Another New Personal Distance: 18 Miles

As previously toyed with, I ended up doing my 18 mile long run Friday afternoon.  After putting in a looooooooong day Thursday, I was more than ready to get out of work at noon on Friday.  Thursday night, I had every intention of waking up early Friday morning to eat cereal and toast for breakfast and to make a green smoothie to make sure I was properly fueled for my long run.

When I hopped out of bed, I was shocked to see that my blender was still filthy.  Uh...looks like someone forgot to turn the dishwasher ON.  Ooops.  No time to scrub that caked on crap.  Quick!  Cereal.  Forget to grab toast.  Excellent.  Protein bar, that'll hold me over.  [This my friends is why I plan things ahead, because my brain is mush in the morning.]  Cereal + protein bar is enough fuel to hold me over til lunch time.  NOT enough to hold me over for an 18 miler in lieu of lunch time.  Dodo brain.  On top of it all, I was fighting a two day headache.  Poop nuggets.  In fabulous/awesomeness/ohmygoshness news, the weather was glorious.  We're talking 30 degrees with wind gusts up to 21 mph.  Ok, I hate wind, but at least it wasn't Frigid McFrigidPants.
When I was getting ready to head out, I had to laugh when I grabbed my sunglasses.  Nothing says "legit runner" like fake D&G oversized sunglasses.  I've been rockin' these puppies for my last 3-4 long runs, and look like a complete fool, I'm sure.  You try running for 2 1/2-3 hours staring into snow banks reflecting the snow rays!  This chica does not want any extra premature wrinkles, k?

I started the run with the intention of running 9:40-9:50 mm.  Per Glenn's suggestion, I shouldn't be doing these LRs faster than +:30 from my goal pace.  Um...hi.  This pace HURTS.  I don't know what my deal is, but this is a horrifically uncomfortable pace for me.  Somewhere in my brain relaxed easy pace = form goes to hell.  I took my first GU at 4.5 miles and was so stinkin' excited for it.  Tummy so hungry.

1. 9:25

2. 9:37
3. 9:59
4. 9:49
5. 9:43

I kept plodding along during the 2nd quadrant of my run (yes I like to break up my run into quadrants, I also like to factor fractions and percentages while I run.  I'm the epitome of a number's nerd, danke!)  Highlights of this quadrant was an intense skunky smell.  I started looking every where to make sure that it was just the smell and not the offender, when a black squirrel darted in front of me!  I've never seen a black squirrel before, it was crazy.  [Sidenote:  When asking Mr. Nature aka Nick about it, turns out I'm not crazy, black squirrels are very uncommon in our area.  Made me feel better to not be 100% loco.  Perhaps just 80%.]

It was also during this point that I ran farther on the trail than I ever have before, and let me tell you, I will not be again.  I ran in a very not-so-super-safe area.  Eek.  I accidentally ran just below the bluff that the State Penitentary sits on.  :s  As in, if I'm a prisoner and I make a break for it, I'd be heading for the trail that Jerbear is cruising along on.  I will tell you that I have never been as alert of a runner as I was during that 1-2 mile total.  iPod off, head swiveling, high tailing it (ha! ok, that part didn't happen, I was tired.)  I had to chuckle when I saw a sign with a bike going up a steep incline.  Now you're just toying with me and my hatred for inclines/hills. :p  Awesome.

6. 9:46
7. 9:36
8. 9:57
9. 9:57

At the turn around, I pretty much just wanted to be home.  9 = 18, right?  Told you I was a math nerd.  Instead, I trudged along.  Going back over hills that I had previously cursed.  [Yes Jeri, it is a good idea to plan 4 miles of hills in the middle of your 18 miler.  Genius lovebug.]  It was during this time that I realized I still had two GUs left and only one planned GU break (one every 4.5 miles for 18 miles does NOT = 4, again excellent math skills, good thing I'm practicing!).  To my delight, this meant I could take MORE during the remaining 9 miles to hopefully combat my shitty fueling.  Math fail = win!

Highlights of this one sixth (3 miles) of my run:  seeing a dude running along in shorts.  Now I realize it's above freezing (by 2 *whole* degrees) but really??  Now you're just showing off your super human insulated skin.  Fool.  It was also during this portion that I was running into those lovely up to 21 mph wind gusts.

10. 10:03

11. 9:48
12. 9:43

When I started the remaining third of the run, I pumped myself up:  less then an hour of running to go!  You know you're a runner when you can get pumped about that on a LR, eh?  I also was getting myself pumped up because all day I had it in my brain that I had to work for 4 hours + run for 3 hours + shower/get ready/pack + drive one hour to see the boy.  Hustle lady! 

At this point the extra GUs really did help.  Once I rounded the corner at mile 13, the wind was somewhat at my back and I said a big F you to the slow LR pace.  I let my legs do their thing, and it felt goooood.

13. 9:36

14. 9:27
15. 9:28

I had a pleasant run in with my alma mater's cross country team with about 2.5 miles to go.  Coming up on a highly muddy/puddly area I see mud and yuck a-flyin' into the air as the boys were whizzing by me in the opposite direction.  Most girls would probably be excited by this, but unfortunately I'm not very attracted to runner boys.  Gasp.  I know.  Sorry runner boys out there, but give me a boy who played college football, or looks like he played college football, and I'm pretty much guarenteed to be gaga and googly eyed.  I love me a big muscular teddy bear, what can I say?

With a couple of miles left I hadtogotothebathroomrightnow hence the faster than necessary paces.  GUs make you go...  Who Knew?  They probably shouldn't steal that for their marketing campaign any time soon.

16. 9:33

17. 8:59
18. 8:40
I finished the 18 miles in 2:53:15 for a pace of 9:38.
Needless to say my shoes don't look nearly as *new* as they did a few weeks ago, prior to seeing anything but the treadmill.  My socks:  Also not so pretty.  Immediately after the run, the only thing I noticed hurting was my lower back.  It was tiiiiiiight.

Major downfall of the excessive puddles and mud:  running almost 3 hours in wet socks = mad blisters.  Oy.  We're talking water blisters, still the sole (thankfully) blood blister, and air blisters.  Yeouch.  When I finally got to Minnesota later that evening, I requested that Nick carry me everywhere because my feet hurt so bad.  He declined.  Rude.

Things I learned (or in some cases relearned) from 18:

  1. Fuel you dumb @$$.  Fuel and then fuel some more.  Just to be safe, fuel on top of that.
  2. It is necessary to have more time elapse between a hard tempo run and a long run.  36 hours does not cut it.  2 1/2 days at least.
  3. For runs over 16 miles, I should probably have more water than my 12 oz. handheld. Must stash water bottles in the future.
  4. Focus on form with a slower pace.  Your knees will hate you otherwise.

Speaking of complaining, I pretty much spent the whole weekend complaining to Nick about random aches and pains, because I'm a *bit* of a complainer.  At one point I said:
J: maybe I'll just become a marathoner and call it good.  One is probably good enough, right?
N:  Or you could just do them once every 6 months, that wouldn't be so bad, right?
J:  Or I could do 3 in 3 consecutive months to be a Maniac!  Or I could do 2 in one weekend!
N:  What?!?!?!?  People actually DO that?!?!?!?!?

Heh heh.  It's kind of nice to see a perspective that is removed from the crazy runner world every once in a while. 

I *may* have seen Alice in Wonderland this weekend, hence the many references.  More on that to come.


Jamie said...

Long runs will always show you what not to do :) nice job and congrats on the new personal distance!
I too saw Alice - can't wait to see what you thought of it.

Mica said...

Ooh, I remember these long-run discoveries ("Oh, hey! I sweated out all my electrolytes. I am crusty!"). congratulations on the PDR!

J said...

Nice job on the long run! I cant imagine running that long!!

Trying To Heal said...

damn woman, you are a machine! I def work on my posture for longer runs because my back always hurts the next day!

feel better!!

Heather said...

Holy fast finish on that 18 - impressive!

Dana said...

I saw Alice in Wonderland this weekend too, not sure how I felt about it... I wish it had been the first one! Great job knocking out your 18miler!

baker said...

wow! awesome work! youre looking at a sub4 marathon no doubt!!!

Alyssa said...

Kick ass 18 miler! and love the shades!

Since your Bf lives in Minneapolis you should think about doing the minneapolis half marathon in june (or full!) It's done by team ortho and it's one of the best races i've done! I'm playing with the idea of trying to get marathon maniac status as well.. who knows though. I'm not sure if the bod can handle it ! haha...
I visit my friends from time to time in the mini-apple so if we are ever there the same weekend we should run together!

Jules said...

Great job on your 18-miler! I am so impressed that you do these long runs on your own. I don't think I could run for that long solo.

Loved Alice in Wonderland :)!

Anonymous said...

ha!! GU should definitely NOT steal the "bathroom" thing for any advertising purposes. no bueno..

glad you survived!! get yourself some FOOD, woman! You gotta stay fresh for the upcoming 20-er ;)

Generation X (Slomohusky) said...

The sunglasses? Fun. PSA - Can anyone living near S. Dakota get my favorite S.D. runner some even bigger tinted windows for her eyes?!

Great job on the mileage, no matter how muddy or tough.

Glenn Jones said...

Way to go Jer! I think the 18 miler is the hardest distance to mentally go. It has all the pain of the 20 miler without any of the glory. Way to kill it!

Regardoing fueling - are you a science geek like me? If so, read this article. Proper intake should bebetween 200 and 300 calories an hour in race conditions. Less and your body will start to shut doen. More and your body will purge (yucko!). Yup. This is more involved thatn you thought huh?

Anonymous said...

didi the glasses stay on your face???? styyyle!!!!!!!!!1

CONGRATS 18 miles is a loooonggg way. i have not had a good 18 miler this go-round. i keep trying and keep failing. you really did a great job. and your last few miles show that especially!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

18 miles? in the wind? CRAZY, I'm impressed with you girl :)

Jen Feeny said...

Look at those negative splits at the end there! Hello speedy mcspeederson!!!

Alright missy time to start getting your act together on the fueling! We don't need a passed out Jeri somewhere near the state pen!!!

Good job overall and congrats on tackling another unexplored distance!!! (FYI - I LOVE 18 milers, I don't know why but I just always do!)