Well, after a long enjoyable 9 days in Wildwood with the family, all good things must come to an end. We headed home today, but not before I got my 18 mile run in this morning.
Isn't it a sin, to be on vacation, and have an alarm set, telling you that you need to get up!
AND, isn't it a bigger sin, when that dreaded alarm tells you to get up at 5:30am!
Well, that's what I had to deal with this morning. I would have much rather sat on our front porch deck last nite, with my wife & her father, having a nice cold beer, basking in a beautiful nite. Reminiscing about the fun we had this past week. Instead, I was in bed, trying to get a good nights sleep, knowing I had 18 miles to accomplish before we headed home.
It seemed as soon as I fell asleep, the alarm was going off, and I had to get up. I wanted to get out of the house by 6:00am, so I would be home by 9:00am. It was supposed to be a nice warm sunny day, and I wanted to get done, before the heat set in.
Let me just start out by stating the obvious.. this was damn hard!
I've run alot in the past, but a few years back, after struggling at one of the Hamilton Hangover 5 milers, I swore I was done "long runs", and was not going to do any races over 5k in length.
Well, so much for that!
After last Sunday's debacle, I wanted to start out in a good frame of mind, and look forward to the 18 mile challenge that lie ahead. While my time for last Sunday was good, by looking at my splits, I hated the run, as soon as I started and nearly avoided catastrophe, when I fell at mile 6. I prepared myself all day Saturday, both mentally and physically for the run on Sunday. I made sure I drank plenty of fluids Saturday, especially when I spent the morning on my father in law's boat, and the afternoon at the beach.
I started out the morning run, in the pre dawn, and it was really cool to see the sun rise over the back bays. I didn't take my camera with me, since I had no room for it. I did try for the 1st time, the Jelly Bean sport beans. (memo to self.. pack extra Gu's next time since no one sells it at a shore resort!). I was lucky enough to find a drug store with a GNC inside it, that sold the jelly beans. They were not bad, but I prefer the gels.
Other than a few people out fishing, I think I was the only nut up and out on the road before 6:00am.
I planed a route that would take me off the island, and loop back, so I could run the last 2 miles on the boardwalk. Nothing, beats the sights & sounds of morning on the boardwalk! It was a tough run, and I was determined to keep a consistent pace, not like last Sunday. I wanted to go long and slow. I feel for the most part I did just that. I was around the 2:08 mark for 13.2. I was pleased with that, because I felt the legs starting to get that heavy feeling around 12 miles. It didn't help that I ran the majority of the run into a slight headwind.
Around mile 15, man I was hurting. These miles are uncharted territory for yours truly. It was also around here, that I had a nice uphill, up a drawbridge, just as you get back onto the island. I popped into the WaWa there, at the bottom of the hill, to get another bottle of water. By now it seemed everyone was up, as the check out line was thru the store. I told the kid at the register what I bought, dropped my money and left. I couldn't wait in that line, I'd probably still be there.
Mile 16 wasn't much better than 15, but I just so happen to be on a chapter in Dean's 50 in 50 book, that talks about "baby steps". So that's what I did. I broke it down block by block, instead of thinking I had 3 miles to go, and if I wanted to complete the marathon, it would be 10.2 to go!
It's at this point you need to determine if you have it in you. I just keep thinking another block to go, and you'll be one block closer to the boardwalk. It worked like a champ! Next thing I heard was the Forerunner beeping at me, that we clicked off another mile.
When I hit the boards, I was toast. All I wanted to do was finish. Luckly, for me, I came up on a young guy, I'm guessing he was maybe of high school freshman age. He was just ahead of me, and I wanted to keep up with him. He wasn't setting a blistering pace, but he was something for me to focus on, instead of the hurtin' my legs where in. We passed each other a few times, and a little past the 1/2 way point on the boardwalk, the forerunner beeped that mile 17 was in the books. I could see my running buddy was starting to struggle a bit, so I yelled over to him that we just did a 9:42 mile. I told him that was my 17th mile of an 18 mile run, and to keep up the good work. He was apprecitative of it, and I think it gave us both a little jump in our steps. I told him what the mile marks where for his return trip, and thanked him for helping push me the last 2 miles. I was surprised to see that we picked up the pace, and I ran my fastest mile as my last mile, at 9:24.
When I got done I was spent. This was the hardest run I had ever done. It was the longest run I had ever done, and I was proud of myself for showing discipline on Saturday to do the right things to allow me make this run a success.
Final time: 2:55:53
Well, this is another full week of running, with my 6-8-6 milers Tuesday - Thursday.
1 9:35 min/mi
2 9:38 min/mi
3 9:34 min/mi
4 9:39 min/mi
5 9:35 min/mi
6 9:36 min/mi
7 9:48 min/mi
8 9:29 min/mi
9 9:44 min/mi
10 9:42 min/mi
11 9:43 min/mi
12 9:52 min/mi
13 9:53 min/mi
14 9:42 min/mi
15 10:08 min/mi
16 10:21 min/mi
17 9:42 min/mi
18 9:24 min/mi