I'm totally catching up on my mileage posts. It was 11 miles two weekends ago and 12 miles this past weekend.
So after dropping 5 pounds in 4 days, I was FULL of energy for my planned 12 miler. Not so much. I had only been eating normal meals for less than 48 hours when I set out for 12. It was also my first run since rolling my ankle (can you say hot mess?). The Pilot was home and I promised him that I would take it easy and turn around for home if there was any pain in my ankle or otherwise had any trouble. Normally if The Pilot is home, he would tag along with me on his bike or roller blades but I gave the poor guy my cold so he wasn't feeling so great. We were both hoping that I didn't pass along my stomach bug as well.
We were planning to leave for Indiana around noon to visit with his family so that meant I needed to get out the door and knock out the miles so we could get on the road. Because of the time constraints, I didn't meet up with the team at the normal trail and instead headed to the trail near our house.
I had to do a run walk combo for the first 3 miles. That was pretty discouraging. I just couldn't seem to find my groove. My ankle felt fine but my breathing was all out of whack and my shins were giving me trouble. But like usual, once I got past 3 miles, I finally found my rhythm and chugged along.
Proof that my stomach was still recovering from whatever I had, my Shot Blok at mile 5 didn't sit well. Blah. I considered turning around but with only 1 more mile until my turnaround, I kept going. I texted the Pilot at mile 6 to tell him that I was indeed going to do all 12 miles....at the 6 mile turnaround, I didn't have a choice.
A lot of people around here hate the Hilliard Rail Trail. Personally, I don't mind it unless it is 90 degrees and the sun is out. There is NO shade on this trail (it used to be a railroad track). It's straight, flat and kind of baron, especially once you get past the 3 mile marker. You don't see too many people once you get past mile 3. Usually the only people out there are the other marathoners and the occasional cyclist (or lots of cyclists in the summer). Most people would be bored out of their minds out there but for some reason, I enjoy the open space. The sky feels bigger out there and I really think it gives me the chance to clear out my head. No claustrophobia out there. For some reason, this song comes to mind.
As I took in the open space, I ate another Shot Blok at mile 7. This one didn't go over well either. Despite drinking lots of water with it, my stomach was angry. All I could think about was how many miles I was away from the World's Cleanest Port-a-potty. After about 1/2 a mile though, my stomach seemed to settle down. This is when it started to snow. It was a real fine, wet snow that wasn't sticking to the ground but it was pretty cold on the side of my face. It was a cold 4 miles to back to the car.
Normally I don't listen to music when I run/walk but 12 miles alone is a long time so I brought along the ipod. When on the trail though, I only put one ear bud in so I can still hear my surroundings. I have officially decided that I am in serious need of new music. It was the worst running playlist ever. I tried to throw some songs together that would keep me moving but it was pretty lame. And then I must not have read the playlist correctly because it should have been just long enough to last for 12 miles. At mile 10 though, the playlist ended. Fail. Mile 10 is my "bite-me mile." I mentally have trouble getting past that mile. This is the reason the 11 and 12 milers were so important to me. I needed some mental toughness so I don't stop running and walk the rest of the race. I dug the ipod out of my coat and flipped to another playlist, which was equally as lame. When I say lame, I mean that the 1997 Jock Jams was involved. If anyone has any suggestions for a new and improved playlist, I'm open! I need something with a beat that will keep me moving faster than 12:45 per mile!
I was hoping to avoid eating another Shot Blok because my stomach got so weird with each one but just before I got to mile 11, my stomach was growling something fierce. Since getting sick, I can't let my stomach get empty without starting to feel nauseous (and for the record, I am not prego!). I knew if I didn't put something in my stomach, I would get nauseous and dizzy. I ate one tiny bite off the last Shot Blok. It was just enough to settle my stomach from feeling hungry but within minutes, my stomach was all kinds of mad. I did a random mix of running and walking for the entire last mile. I was really disappointed but kept trying to remind myself that I was going to make it all 12 miles as planned. Not bad considering my health (or lack of) over the past couple weeks.
I came strolling back to my car in 2:35. Which, when I subtract the time I had to stop for cars to cross 2 streets, is right at the pace I need to PR at Disney in a couple weeks. In other words, I would still have 18 minutes to run in the last 1.1 miles. I could walk the last mile if needed. I'm feeling confident with my training and where I'm at right now. I think I will do one more 11 or 12 miler before tapering off to rest up for the race. Only 16 more days! Woah.