Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Now THAT'S What I Needed!

Saturday was my long run. All week I thought I had 8 miles on my schedule. That's a logical thought process considered that I ran 7 miles last weekend. What I had forgotten what that in order to work in two 12-milers before the race, I would need to bump up the mileage a little more quickly. So when I glanced at my calendar on Friday, I saw 9 miles scheduled for Saturday. Well crap. That threw me off a little for some reason. Nine miles seemed sooooo far. And then I reminded myself that I completed all 39.3 miles of the Goofy Challenge just 10 months ago. Oh yeah, that little race.

So with that in mind, I headed out on Saturday morning. I arrived early for my usual 2-mile, suffer in silence warm up. I ended up doing the first 1/2 mile with Lisa and her friend. He's new to running so she's helping him break into the sport. The shins didn't seem to be screaming quite as bad so other than the 5 minute warm up walk and then a minute walk just after the one mile mark when I had difficulties with my Fuel Belt, I ran the two warm up miles.

After a quick trip to the car to ditch one of my shirts (I overdressed and was HOT), I met up with the TNT alumni and some of our new participants. Until the beginning of January, our weekend group trainings are very informal (no set mileage, no sign in sheets, no assigned coaches). This is the only reason I'm able to run at these trainings because normally I'd be coaching (which means race walking).

I headed out with a group and was having major Garmin malfunctions for the first mile or two. I highly doubt I was running a 22 minute mile. I have a hard time even walking that slow. It slowly started to catch up but then it never was in synch with the others who were wearing Garmins. I was running with a TNT alum, Kelly and her Garmin was reading 11:00 from time to time while mine was showing 12:30. We decided to call it 11:45. Which is a minute faster than my goal race pace. It was HARD. I was breathing HARD and I was dying for the 2.5 mile marker (and drinking fountain) because this is where some people were turning around and others were going out another mile. It's a good place to get a drink and to say goodbye to those turning back.

After I got going again, I had a hard time hanging onto the back of the pack. That's ok though, I was using Lisa, Mary, her hubby, George, Elizabeth and Meg (another TNT alum) as a carrot. I just wanted to keep them in my sights. I was able to do that but then I got a horrible stitch in my side. I lucked out that Mary turned back at that moment to check on me. The arms went over the head to alleviate the stitch and I took a short walk break. The others had made their turnaround and walked with us for a little while. The pain in my side went away and it was time to run again. Again, I stuck within eye sight for about a mile before I started to fade. But because I'm surrounded by the most selfless people in the world, Elizabeth hung back with me. I told her that I was fine (I really was!) and that she should run ahead to catch up with the others but she didn't. Elizabeth and I don't know each other as well so we were chattering back and forth, which was difficult because my chest was really tight and my breathing was really labored but at the same time, it made the miles tick away quicker.

With less than a mile to go, Lisa and Mary circled back for us (again with the awesomeness!). I really wanted to walk that last little bit but I was also keeping an eye on my watch. I had watched the pace wobble around 12:45 and 12 and then 13 and then 12:30. I knew that I really needed to push through and keep up the pace. And so I did. I had a short coughing fit when we made it back to our starting point but I made it.

So how do you run faster? Run with people who are faster than you. The Garmin clocked 9.28 miles in 1:56. Which is a 12:30 average pace....which is faster than 12:45. :) I'm a mathematical genius. I need to average 12:45 to PR at the Disney 1/2. I was certainly feeling the faster pace in both my legs and my chest when I finished but I was so excited!

And my carrot group humored me and got in a picture with me. Mary's hubby, took the picture for us:
L-R: Meg, me, Lisa, Mary and Elizabeth

I wobbled back to my car and sent The Pilot a text to let him know that I more than just survived my 9 miler.

I also ended up needing my inhaler when I got back to the car. Bo. I mentioned my breathing was all out of whack during Thursday's speed workout. I have felt "off" for a couple of days and now I know why...I officially have a cold. It wasn't until last night that I had the full snot face. Just in time for The Pilot to come home fore a few hours. That call for another BOO. He wants nothing to do with the snot face. I wonder why! :P

Right now it just feels like a head cold and nothing more so hopefully it stays that way. I'm listening to my body and getting some extra rest. I opted for a really early bedtime last night instead of a workout and I plan to do the same tonight. My colds tend to take a life of their own and turn into bronchitis so I hope that taking the time off instead of pushing through it will make the cold go away faster and not mutate into something worse than the snot face. At least that's my theory and I'm sticking with that for now.

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