Saturday, March 14, 2009

1 Down, 14 To Go!

I have to say . . . if today's long run is any indication of how this training program is going to go, I am REALLY going to enjoy it!

Now, before I continue, I have a confession to make. You may or may not have noticed, but I never posted anything about my long run from last weekend. Um . . . well, that would be because it was a COMPLETE disaster. Right from the get-go, I just felt exhausted and completely out of sorts; it was as though I had 20-pound sandbags attached to each of my legs! Although I set out with a goal of covering 10-12 miles, I quickly found myself adjusting that goal to "at least 7". In the end, I BARELY eked out 8 miles . . . and that was with a LOT of walking and stopping to "stretch" (aka rest) in between. And you know how sometimes, in the middle of a really great running period, one run goes so badly that it causes you to question everything? Well . . . that was me last Saturday. BUT. That negative thinking is history! I AM strong and I WILL conquer this program and the marathon to boot! Moving on to a much happier run . . .

I had some AWESOME weather for my 10-mile long run today . . . mostly cloudy with temps in the high-40s/low-50s. Absolute PERFECTION. Although I am usually a die-hard fan of listening to music while running long, I tried something new today that I think REALLY helped me. Wilson has always tried to convince me that running to the sound of podcasts is way better than running to music, and while I have never at all believed him, I decided I might as well give it a try today (just to prove him wrong, obviously). I downloaded a couple of Phedippidations podcasts to keep me company during my run . . . episode numbers 33 (The Marathon Mystique) and 41 (The 110th Boston Marathon). THIS? Was the best idea ever! (Sorry, Wilson. You were right, I was wrong. Just this one time.)

Before I knew it, 5 miles had passed and I was halfway done with my run! I took a sports beans and water break and quickly started back up, all the while listening to Steve Runner's wonderfully distracting podcasts. Although I started to fatigue a little with about 3 miles to go, I still managed to push it up the BIG half-mile-long hill in Prospect Park. This was a huge victory for me, considering I spent all of my LA Marathon training walking up that hill (at the time, I told myself that I was "conserving energy" for the rest of my run . . . LAME!). I pushed it hard up that sucker, and finished the eighth mile in 9:35. Pleased that I'd kicked the hill's butt, I decided I really wanted to push the last two miles and teach my legs what it's like to work hard when tired.

I tried my hardest to push the ninth mile, but some bad Union Ave. sidewalk neighbors were making it REALLY hard to get through. At four separate times I was forced to slow to a walk behind these groups who, for some reason, found it necessary to spread all the way across the sidewalk (death to you all--okay, that's taking things a little far--but seriously, get the f*** out of the way!). As soon as I got the chance, I would make a run for it and speed past them, but it definitely slowed me down quite a bit. Such is life in the city, I suppose! I made it to within a mile of my apartment and told myself it was REALLY time to kick it up a notch. I finished that last mile in 8:51, knowing I could have kept running had I wanted to. It gave me SUCH a huge boost of confidence . . . I am so grateful to have head such an amazing first (official) long run!

I got back to my apartment and thought it would be nice to take a quick walk with Wilson to kind of wind down and loosen my tight legs up a bit. We headed down to the Brooklyn Promenade and walked along the water for about 30 minutes. It was a fantastic walk, and it made me really happy to see all of the people running. It really is a fantastic spot to run/walk . . . check out the view:

(this gorgeous photo is by Mossaiq on Flickr)

At any rate, here are the numbers from today's run.

I completed exactly 10 miles in 135:51 . . . or a 9:35/M pace.

My splits were as follows:

Mile 1 - 9:44
Mile 2 - 9:29
Mile 3 - 9:30
Mile 4 - 9:36
Mile 5 - 10:00
Mile 6 - 9:48
Mile 7 - 9:57
Mile 8 - 9:35
Mile 9 - 9:23
Mile 10 - 8:51

For all those keeping track at home? Them splits right there would be NEGATIVE SPLITS! I'm pretty sure that has NEVER happened to me before on a long run, so I'm very pleased.

Now, it's off to celebrate with a pint or two ;)


The Laminator said...

Congrats on your feel-good LR today, Irish. It was such a perfect day for running wasn't it? I'm excited that your training is off to such an awesome start. It only means that you're get stronger and faster through the spring and early summer. Very nice!

Marathonman101108 said...

Congrats on a great run! Just so you know, my beer drinking blogging buddy, I downed a burger tonight and followed it with a trifecta of Guinness to celebrate my run...isn't it great when you can do that?! I couldn't imagine running in Brooklyn, since I'm spoiled here by being able to run on a trail or pedestrian free roads. Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

Great run! Doing long runs with either podcasts or audiobooks is absolutely great. I love the way time flies and turns the running experience into something completely different.

I do hope you gave them the Shoulder Brush - a technique advised by Frayed Laces. That ought to work ;-).

sRod said...

Sweet run! I love running in Prospect Park--except that the whole thing is just oen big hill. Kudos to you for sticking that out.

aron said...

awesome negative splits on the long run!!!

EmLit said...

Great job on the run! It sounds like it was really amazing, especially after last week's, and I think we've all experienced something like that before! And I completely sympathize with you regarding people who spread across the whole sidewalk. I also hate it when groups of runners do this in Central Park (or anywhere, for that matter). I feel like they should know better!!!