Sunday, March 6, 2011

Done and done

Yesterday was kind of a big day for me. I ran the farthest I've ever run at one time, and I'm pretty pumped about it. I woke up feeling excited but nervous about what the day held: a 17 mile run. I ran 12 miles last week, and those miles were TOUGH. I knew going into it with a good mental attitude would help power me through those 170 minutes of non-stop running, so I stayed positive. I also did something new with my music, listening to two episodes of NPR's This American Life before switching to some pump-up tunes. The TAL episodes helped the first two hours go by quickly but didn't psych me up/make me run super fast like some songs can do. I felt like my pace was manageable for 17 miles, and in the end, it definitely was!

I decided that instead of doing almost-three loops of Central Park, I would go back to running in one of my favorite spots, the West Side Highway. It was a beautiful day and I set out in a T-shirt and cropped running pants around noon. Everyone else seemed to have the same idea though, and it was pretty crowded out there. I was dodging strollers, dogs, and other runners the whole time, but it was really a great run. I made it almost to the tip of Manhattan before I turned around at 8.25 miles, and added some mileage on the way back by running out on some the piers/parks.

At 14 miles, I was elated -- it was the farthest I'd ever run and I was still going! It was definitely a motivator to keep going. At times, I thought to myself, "You know, it'd be OK if you just ran 15 or 16 miles instead of 17. 17 is FAR." I'd usually counter that with, "Well, it'd only be 10 or 20 minutes more if I just run 17, so why don't I just run 17?" That definitely did the trick!

Here's my map:

  • Mile 1: 10:04
  • Mile 2: 9:33
  • Mile 3: 9:50
  • Mile 4: 9:54
  • Mile 5: 10:00
  • Mile 6: 9:49
  • Mile 7: 9:56
  • Mile 8: 9:54
  • Mile 9: 9:56
  • Mile 10: 9:42
  • Mile 11: 9:43
  • Mile 12: 9:37
  • Mile 13: 9:22
  • Mile 14: 9:43
  • Mile 15: 9:45
  • Mile 16: 10:11 <-- running/falling up the stairs to get from the river to street level
  • Mile 17: 9:35
Average pace: 9:48. I took two Powerade gels with me, and took them around miles 8 and 14. They definitely help -- though I had my usual breakfast, I could feel that I needed some calories and these little guys really do the trick. Along with the gels, I was pretty darn geared up:
Post-run with SpiBelt, CamelBak, iPod and headphones. Not pictured: Garmin

I sometimes feel super lame when I'm out running with all this maybe other runners are calling me a nerd runner for having all this gear, like maybe they think I'm just running three miles and am overdoing it a bit...but I just keep on going, knowing this stuff is useful to me. I don't usually run with my CamelBak, but I bought it this summer for fall marathon training and found it to be useful then. Since I didn't want to go 17 miles without any hydration (water fountains are still turned off on the West Side Highway!), I thought it would be a good thing to have...and it definitely was!

Here are some photos from my lovely run:
Oh hellooo there Statue of Liberty, aren't you looking liberated?

View of the Empire State Building from Tribeca

Today I did some yoga to help stretch me out. Even though I spent 20 solid minutes stretching yesterday, I knew more stretching wouldn't hurt, and it's nice to do something active the day after a long run.

Next week: 18 miles. Woo! I'm now infinitely more confident that I can do 18 now that I've successfully tackled 17 miles. 

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