Sunday, September 2, 2012

Sunday Long Run 20 miles

I got to pick the route for the long run this Sunday and I'm happy to say that I actually finished the 20 miles and didn't bail or make a shortcut.  We started off at 7:40 am and left from my house and ran on the Black Creek greenway to the Lake Trail and then into Umstead doing the two loops of Sycamore and Company Mill and then back on the greenway to finish.  I took a bathroom break at the Lake Crabtree Park (~5 miles) since there are real restrooms there and ate 3 Clif Shot Blocks (100 calories) before starting up again with Lisa and Jim (Barbara was already ahead of us).  We caught up to Barbara (or she slowed down to make sure we were going the same way) and got onto Old Reedy Creek road.  This was a bridle trail road (wide, dirt road) and ran here until we hooked onto Company mill on the left side.  I saw Barbara, Jim and Lisa in the distance (~0.2 miles) while on the bridle trail but didn't try to catch up to them because I wanted to make sure I had enough energy to finish 20 miles (in other words, I was going pretty slow!). At this point though I had finished 9 miles in 2 hours and 11 minutes so it was a little better than my previous 4 mph pace (not by much but an improvement!). I was feeling grateful when I saw the left turn on Company mill because the bridle trail was getting to be tedious.  Once on the singletrack, I gained some energy back and started moving with short, quick steps (it felt like I was running at a good clip but Strava tells a different story of a 15 min/mile pace). I hooked a left onto the Sycamore loop and a mile into the loop, I took a break and ate a banana.  Yes, this time I brought real food and it was awesome.  The whole time I was sipping in my Nuun-flavored water from the Nathan water pak and I really liked not having to hold a bottle in my hand or stop and get a drink.  A banana is definitely going to be integral in all future longs runs.

After Sycamore was over, I got back on Company mill and met up with Jim, Barbara and Lisa at the bridge that takes us back to Harrison avenue.  We didn't cross the bridge though since we were only doing the lollipop part of Comany mill and not the stick.  They had stopped because Lisa was stung twice (yellow jackets I think) and she had not taken it very well.  We started up again and I ran behind Lisa for the rest of the loop on Company mill.  My stomach was rumbling so I ate a pack of Sport Jelly beans.  When we came out of the singletrack, we met up with Barbara at the water station on Old Reedy Creek rd.  Jim was no where in sight, we lost him on the Company mill trail. I had finished all my water so I drank half a bottle of water using Lisa's water bottle but didn't refill my water pak (mistake) since I figured I wouldn't need to drink anymore with 4 miles to go.  We waited a few minutes at the water station hoping he would show up but then it started to rain, it rained hard.  We decided to keep on trucking.  Barbara and Lisa pulled away from me and after 1.5 miles, I gave up on trying to keep up with them. I was just trying to focus on the fact that I only had about 2.5 miles to go.
Company mill 14.8 miles

Company mill, 14.8 miles

I said hello to some mountain bikers I knew before getting off of Old Reedy Creek and onto the Black Creek Greenway. Here again, Barbara and Lisa were waiting for me.  I told them to keep going and gave them the landmarks that would help guide them back to exit near my neighborhood. They ran ahead of me and I kept up a slow pace.  There was another water fountain near my old apartment complex so I drank some water there (again didn't refill since I wanted to not lose too much time!) and kept going. Then I hit a wall, it was mile 19!  I had no legs anymore and felt like lying down right there on the greenway. I sat down on the ground for a minute or two and ate my last pack of Sport Jelly beans.  I then put one foot in front of the other.  Lisa called me and said they weren't sure which way to go. I was about 2 minutes away from them and when I met them, told them we had reached 20 miles and only had 0.6 miles to go. At this point, Barbara sprinted for the finish because she was really hungry and wanted to go home and eat something and Lisa and I walked slowly back up my neighborhood greenway.  That last 0.6 miles was the longest ever!  Back at my house I gave Lisa my last banana and she left. I then hobbled over to the kitchen, poured myself 16 oz of chocolate milk, collapsed on the carpet and drank my chocolate milk.  Jim finally came back maybe 20-30 minutes later. He had walked the last 4 miles, it wasn't the best run for him.

Run distance: 20.6 miles
Run time: 5 hrs and 35 minutes!
Lessons learned:
Nuun water was good, I had no cramps in my legs and think it was a benefit to have the Nuun in there plus using the hydration pak! 
For 20 miles, I need 300 calories in sport food and a banana, I possibly need 400 calories but that is up for debate, I definitely should have had the last pack of Jelly beans before I did the last 3 miles.
I ran 3 times this week before this long run and that really helped me.  I'm going to keep up the program of short slow runs, one speed interval run, and one longish tempo run. 

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