Sunday, January 27, 2013

Long Run and Week 4 of HM Training Complete!

My long run went surprisingly well.  I was kind of nervous going into it because a) I haven't ran 7.5 miles in probably around a month and a half since switching my plan up and b) I had such a great "easy" 3 miler on Saturday that I couldn't have 2 great days in a row, right?  Well, I'm happy to report that my long run was just as amazing (if not more so, due to the sheer feat of running that far in the first time in a while) as the run on Saturday. 

For breakfast, I ate a bowl of old fashioned oats with about a tablespoon of sunflower seed butter and a drizzle of honey.  Yum.

There was very little slush to contend with since we didn't get any additional accumulation.  The temperature was around 22 when I went out.

The gear: Nike Hyperwarm Thermal pants (I love love LOVE the fact they make these in an XS.  Other companies need to get their act together and give a little more love to us petite girls.  I can't tell you how bad it sucks to be RACING and have your size Small pants/capris slip down on you because they are too big.  FAIL!).
C9 by Target UA Coldgear knockoff fleece lined compression fitted long sleeved shirt
SmartWool socks <-- These are a godsend.  Seriously.  Buy them.  Buy them lots.
Pink Zip Jacket (Xersion brand from JCPenney)
Thick white headband
Manzella gloves
Brooks Adrenaline 13 GTS shoes
Nike+ GPS Sportwatch
iPod Shuffle
iPhone, running Endomondo for my friends over there and for backup.  I'm a Capricorn.  I've always got a plan ABCDE
Amphipod Handheld insulated hydration bottle filled with water and 1 squirt of Great Value Brand Cherry Sport drink mix (knock off of Mio Fit)
Clif Shot Blox in Black Cherry Flavor - stored in the pouch of my Amphipod

After reading my gear list, it just occured to me that maybe I should do some reviews or something on the gear I use.  Maybe I'll take Fridays to do that since I have no workouts to report that day.  This isn't sponsored or anything, just my thoughts on the gear I've grabbed as a newbie runner and what I think works and why and what doesn't.  I'm painfully honest.  That's a good thing?!  If I can help just one person make a decision on something that's worth it. 

Ok, so I headed to North Park once again.  The kids have been thrilled to be able to sled ride again, so they came along to use the hill.

I spent some time reviewing my past long runs, and I noticed that the runs that I have the biggest smiles next to and the ones where I'm raving about how well they went I had started very slow and kept slow for at least the first half before throwing it into gear and burning through the end.  So, I wanted to try to stick with that.

The first miles (probably up through mile 4) of this run felt so effortless.  I was having a good time, enjoying the scenery, greeting people, and had a big smile on my face.  The hill just before the 5 mile point is always a bit of a challenge, but I love it and think it helps to do it rather than cutting through the easy way past the tennis courts like so many do.  TAKE ON THE HILL, PEOPLE!  KILL IT!

The hill crests and starts to head downhill right at the top of the sledding hill the kids were on.  Victoria saw me and waved, I was smiling and waving as well.  I still felt really good.  I yelled to her that I still have around 2.5 miles to go, but I'd be back.  I took 2 Shot Blox around the 5 mile point.

The big downhill is trickier for me than climbing the preceeding hill.  I let gravity do its thing and pull me down, and by the bottom I'm running at rocket speeds (for me, anyway).  It's not uncommon for me to hit 7 m/m at the bottom.  The problem is that at the bottom is only a small level part before you have to climb a slight bit again.  When I'm running that fast, I have trouble slowing back down to my pace and end up taking the next hill a bit too fast and feeling very worn out during and after even if I've felt great before.  This happened a little during this run, but thankfully not too bad.  I forced myself to slow the pace down as well as I could and went from there.

I went out a mile and a quarter and then turned around and made my way back to my family.  When I stopped my watch and started walking I still felt good.  I felt like I put out an effort, don't get me wrong, but I didn't feel like I was doing a death march back to the van.  I had some light soreness in my knee, but I did about 15 minutes of stretches and iced it when I got home.  It feels ok now!

Post run I ate a chocolate dipped coconut Luna Bar, finished my sport drink, and started on my water with EmergenC.

Splits:
Mile 1 - 10:08 <- I was really aiming for 10:15, but I figured as long as I kept my splits close I'd be ok.
Mile 2 - 9:59
Mile 3 - 9:52
Mile 4 - 9:56
Mile 5 - 9:40 (downhill!)
Mile 6 - 9:50
Mile 7 - 9:40
Last .57 - 9:17

Overall: 7.57 miles in 1:14:24.  Average pace: 9:50.  Yay!

My #PlankADay was 3:31.9.

This week went great!  Aside from having to do my weekday runs on the treadmill due to the Arctic temps, I came back and had a great weekend in the park!  I did a fantastic job keeping my easy runs easy and then rocking out my Tempo run.  On my long run, I accomplished my goal of running smart by keeping my splits close, especially in the beginning.  I got in my strength work at home and at the gym, and my planks have been consistently over 3 minutes, with a few being 3:30+!

This week I ran 21.58 miles in 3:27:38.  Average Pace: 9:37.

I'd say week 4 of Half Marathon Training is successfully in the books!

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