March 07, 2011

18 unplanned. Again.

I *really* should follow my plan.

But I will not should all over myself.

Ok, I've followed it for the most part, but the difference between this training and training for the half that I did in November where I PR'd the shiznit out of that distance (yeah, just had to throw that in there) is that I am listening to my body way more than following what a piece of paper says to do.  Sure, I know that it is there for a reason,, but I feel like this time I follow the plan a lot more loosely than before.  And I am ok with that.  In fact, I love it!  (Shocking, I know!)

So when this week called for 16 and I got to the course and was feeling good, I jumped on board with my teammates and did 18.  So yes, my second 18 miler was again unplanned.

What a GREAT run. This was an awesome course!  Really scenic part of town I wasn't really aware of.  If you ever drive down 128 and pass the big reservoir in Waltham and see that really big office thing back there, well I finally know what is back there.  Lots of offices.  Oh and a really, really nice stretch of woods, houses, sculpture gardens and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots of hills.

This run was a series of out and backs focused around two water stations set up by the Dana Farber volunteers (YAY! Volunteers!) Basically one long stretch of road with 3 fingers. I loved this route. Not just for the scenic part of it, but because there were so many out and backs, we really got to see the whole team. 100 people or so running for a great cause, in crazy bright colors and crazy enough to run 18-20 miles is quite a sight to see in the snow lined streets in small New England Towns.

The temp was perfect too. I was going to don the capris but at the last minute (literally, I changed in the car) I swapped the capris for the tights.  I still went with the compression shorts under, a bright pink tech-tee, sleeves track jacket and bright orange hat.  I chucked the jacket and hat at the first water stop and was just fine.

I was feeling really good until about 8 miles in I really had to pee.  Like bad. 

Luckily, we decided to take the finger less traveled. (We wanted to get the hillier of the fingers done first) so I ducked off to the side to "tie my shoe" and then booked it to catchup.  

I thought for a bit that it would mean I would get out of doing the 18 since my team mates would surely turn around and run back for me, but guess who was stopped, resting at the turn around waiting for me to catch up.  Eh.  It was fine.  I booked my booty there to try to catch up.  Honestly, it felt pretty good to run free to catch up. 

The rest of the run, besides the crazy number of hills, was just fine....till the last oh.mah.gah. hill back to the club.  I knew it was going to be bad because we ran down it first, but I didn't realize how LONG that hill was.  LONG.  The last mile, no joke, the last mile, was ALL hill. With the last 1/2 mile going from 175ft elevation to 302 ft.  That may not sound like much, but doing it on the last 5 minutes of a 3 hour run is tough.  Maybe I should re-think what I said about heartbreak hill from the last post....hmmmm.....

I was really glad that Kim, my running partner this week who I ran with last week for our 14 miler, stuck with me the whole time.  She's a mom a 4 boys from a small town in Texas and a freakin' awesome, upbeat partner.  I have never met a more considerate runner.  She waived and said thank you to every single car that drove past giving us some space.  I found myself doing the same the whole time.  Good runner vibes.  We made it the whole time sans music and good conversation.  We also ran with Shifter, an 18 year (!!!) Dana-Farber team member ran with us for about 15 miles of the course too - we lost him when we blew past the last water station wanting to just get the last 3 miles done.  Check out his fundraiser 5 k!

Overall, I feel a lot less stiff than last week, even though last week was a shorter 14 miles (Ha! I know how that sounds!) and I shaved off about 15 minutes from the last 18 miler, and this one was way more hillier.
And the splits: 
5: 10:26
7: 10:33 
8: 9:43 <----- Had to "tie my shoe" and then run faster to catch up with my RB's

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