Monday, July 30, 2012

What’s 2 More Miles?!

Sunday I had plans to run with my friends Tami and Felice for my long run.  We wanted to incorporate the Dyken Pond loop into our run because that was our route for our awesome 20 miler when we trained for New Jersey and it’s a really beautiful route.  Felice only needed 10 miles, Tami needed 18 and I needed 16.  Well Tami is the type of person that can talk you into anything running-wise. She is so positive and motivating you always want to go along with her plans.  They usually turn out to be crazy hard and hilly but so worth it in the end.  So that’s how I ended up planning to do 18 instead of 16.  I was going to meet at her house, run 4 with her to the Dyken loop to meet Felice, do the 10 mile loop, then run back to Tami’s house for 18.

Sunday we woke up to a lot of rain.  On the way to Tami’s house I realized I forgot my garmin- ran plus no garmin wasn’t a good start.  I then heard from Felice that she wasn’t going to be able to make it.  When I got to Tami’s she told me about a triathlon that was going on at Grafton State Park and how we could change our route to run up the bike route and cheer the bikers on. We figured we would save the Dyken loop for when Felice could run with us. We briefly discussed how this would mean we would be running up a huge hill and we really had no idea how far we would have to run up the hill to see them but again Tami makes everything sound fun so we went for it. 

We parked at the local school and took off up the hill. We must have run over 3 miles before we saw our first biker.  We were so excited and cheered loudly.  This guy was super fast because it was a while before saw anymore bikers and then we saw more and more.  After finishing mile 5, which was really tough, we looked up to see that the hill got even steeper and longer and decided that would be a good place to turn around.  We figured we would run back down then finish up our run on more level ground. The run down felt great.  We were flying after that tough uphill.  We kept seeing more bikers and cheering for them.  It was cool to see how fast some of the women were.  I was in awe of all the bikers because it had to be a terrifying ride down that hill in the pouring rain.

Once we got back down we made a quick pit stop to refill our water and headed out the same road we ran for the Make it a Great Day Half Marathon back in May.  We figured we could do a “flat” 4 out and back.  Compared to what we had just run up I guess you could call this road flat but it really wasn’t.  It was a lot of rolling hills.  I had a rough time on this road back in May so it was nice to run it again and although I felt tired because we already had 10 miles under us at that point, I felt so much stronger than I did in May.  Before we knew it we were back at the car and had 18 miles done at a 9:37 pace!

I am amazed at how far I have come since I began training for New Jersey earlier this year.  During that training cycle I was nervous leading up to distances like 18 and 20 and now I feel so much more confident.  I know I can handle them.  I’m stronger and faster than I was in the beginning of the year and even since May. 

Last night Tami sent me some info on our run since I forgot my garmin.  Here is the total ascent for each of those 5 crazy uphill miles:

Mile 1: 200 feet

Mile 2: 231 feet

Mile 3: 241 feet

Mile 4: 443 feet

Mile 5: 388 feet

This is the kind of run I would never choose to do on my own but every time Tami talks me into something like this I am so glad I did it! Although she is now trying to convince me to do an ultra in 2013 and I swear I AM NOT doing it...

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