Yesterday, I did my longest run in my life so far with 15.09 miles in 2h 38mins.
The run was split up in a six mile warm up, three times two miles at race pace with a five minute recovery in between and then finish up with one to two miles cool down.
My game plan was to shoot for around 10:30 minute/mile for the WU, 9:30 minute/mile for the repeats and cool down with whatever is left in the tank.
It was just as cold as every other day this week around here, but sunny with blue skies and only little wind. I bundled up in UA tights and long sleeve, t-shirt, head band, gloves and shades and drove over to the Furman track to leave the car there, basically as my supply vehicle.
From there, I started my warm up over the campus heading for the Swamp Rabbit Trail and once I was on the trail always north towards Travelers Rest until the Garmin beeped for three miles. Starting out, the toes in my left foot were frozen, but during mile two they dewed and burned and once that was done, the feet felt toasty for the remainders of the run. I also had my first three Shot Blok pieces around the three mile mark as well as a perfect stranger saying "That's beautiful" to me while I passed him... I took it as compliment to my gait and kept on going. On the way back to the car, I had to slow myself down every now and then. You see, the way back is slightly downhill the whole time and that makes it easier to go faster than supposed to. On the second half of my warm up, I also felt a lot of discomfort on my right toes and ankle. I wore my new Mizunos again and I don't think those shoes are a good fit for me, especially not on long runs. Once I got back to the car after my first six miles, I called Terry and asked him to bring me another pair of shoes. In the meantime, I did some stretching and had another three pieces of Shot Blok.
After I changed into my Adidas (my toes and ankle felt better right away!), I started my first two mile repeat on the track. I pretty much nailed the pace with a lap time of a little under 19 minutes for the two miles. During the recovery jog, I had a little more to eat and did a pit stop. The second repeat was right at 19 minutes followed with five minutes of recovery. In the last repeat, I had a hard time holding a constant pace. I was either way too slow or way too fast and had to keep on looking at the Garmin and correct my pace. I also kinda ran out of steam by then just barely hanging on. On my second to last lap, I heard somebody approaching from the back fast. I ran my repeats in lane number seven to stay out of the way of the fast people, but for the last 15 or so minutes, I was alone on the track, so hearing somebody running behind me surprised me a lot since I just didn't know where the person was coming from. I thought to myself, I am exhausted, but I am ready to smack you in the face, so bring it on. (Note to myself: Watch out for paranoia around mile 13!) It turned out to be Terry. He did a trainer ride and then ran from the house to the track to finish up with me. So we ran my last lap together and when I hit stop to put my stuff back in the car before my cool down the Garmin was at 13.16 miles. I ran a half-marathon distance for the first time in my life and I felt it everywhere.
The cool down was horrible. I didn't feel that much pain on the last repeat, but once I did the cool down I was about to cry. The last two miles were long and slow with an over 11 minute/mile pace average, but I got it done... Before driving back to the house, we did some stretching and once we were back, I had the hardest time to get out of the car. I can't remember that I ever had such an instant soreness after a workout.
I was hoping that this was the only 15-miler, I will have to do for the MB half preparation only to find out this morning, that the next one is already lined up for this Sunday. Actually, this whole week looks pretty darn tough on paper... Oh well... I'll survive... Somehow.