Thursday, September 8, 2011

More Than Half a Half

Many fellow bloggers have been recently writing about running in the rain, something I like to call the "Soggy Bloggyland" saga. In this episode, a seven-mile tempo run, a distance never covered by the lead character, me.

5:30 AM - I awoke feeling pretty good. Finn got a big boy bed this week and we've been trying to get him into that and out of our bed. He's done pretty well so far, but I did find myself uncomfortably snuggled up next to him in his tiny, narrow, and short bed a couple times during the night.

No rain yet, but the roads were wet, the temperature a cool 54 degrees. On the schedule:

1 mile warmup
2 miles @ short tempo pace (8:05)
1 mile easy (9:40)
1 mile @ STP
1 mile easy
2 miles @STP
1 mile cooldown

I knew from the get-go that I would be cutting this workout. The longest distance I've run to date is a 10K. In it's entirety, this workout called for nine miles. I didn't think it wise that I up my mileage by nearly three miles, plus I was wearing my newish NB Minimus. At first, I contemplated taking out the second two-mile tempo and last easy mile to give me a distance of six miles, but figured instead that I could just cut the middle part for a total of seven. My other dilemma was hitting the pace of 8:05 and not really knowing how fast I was running until the mile was over (another good case for getting a Garmin). Instead of obsessing about it, I went off how I was feeling, which was pretty good, but I think I could have worked a little harder (I always think this). Anyway, with my Be Seen reflective hat and my husband's head lamp wound around my wrist, I set out.

The warm up mile (10:06) felt fine. It was definitely still really dark out and I found myself blinded by the oncoming headlights of commuters heading to work (which seemed to be more than usual), but they must have seen me as they all gave me plenty of room.

The first two-mile set came in at 8:58 and 8:51. Pretty far off the assigned pace of 8:05, but I could feel myself holding back knowing I had so many miles in front of me still (stupid brain!) and this is also the uphill portion of the route (stupid hills!).

Halfway through easy pace mile four is my turn around point and I hadn't gone 50 feet before I could hear the whoosh of oncoming rain. And it rained...poured, actually. I actually laughed out loud and let out a "whoop" on the otherwise quiet road. The water dripped off the brim of my hat and my tech shirt and skirt were plastered to my body. Squish, squish went my feet. It felt really good and refreshing and fun.

It still hadn't let up any when I began the next two-mile set, but I did feel like I was cruising along a little more comfortably. Was I going fast enough? Not quite, but I pulled off negative splits with a 8:42 and 8:24! This made me feel like the run was a success even though I didn't hit the prescribed pace.

My cool down mile timed at 10:00 even that gave a total run time of 1 hour, 4 minutes, and 39 seconds. It was kind-of neat entering a number in the hour box of my running log. I have never in my life run for over an hour consecutively. As I was finishing up, I got to thinking that I ran over half a half marathon. Of course I also wondered how it would feel to keep going and run almost the same distance again, but found it hard to imagine. It's my plan to find out next year. But the other thing that got me excited is thinking that a sub-two half is entirely possible, don't you think?


  1. Absolutely possible! Keep up the great work.

  2. anything is possible if you put your mind to it!

    congrats on your new distance record and first run over an hour!

  3. I wish you would bottle your speed and send it to me! My 2nd half goal was under 2:15 and my "secret dream" goal was 2:10. You are doing so great I definitely see a sub 2 in your future! Wahoooooo!

    I have a this from the FIRST training plan? All of my long runs were supposed to be "slow" and I see you are throwing in tempo...Is that part of the plan? Also, my plans never added more than 2 miles to any long run (and that was 6 to 8 and then later a 10 mile week to 12 the next).


Thanks for your comments!