Monday, August 04, 2008

Bringing new meaning to the term "Long"

2886 calories. 2 hours, 39 minutes and 16 seconds. 26.65 kilometres.

It was a beautiful morning yesterday - clear, sunny and a cool 17 degrees C. I was up at 6:30, had my usual protein shake (mixed with water, not milk), half a banana and as much of my oatmeal as I could choke down. I was out the door at 7:00 and headed toward Fairy Lake. Hubby drove the car over and parked it at our meeting point - convenient for water refills.

I have never been one for running the same route over and over, but I've taken a liking to Fairy Lake for my long runs for several reasons:

-washrooms along the way
-many shaded sections
-limited hills
-no stop lights/traffic

But the main reason I keep going back is because I am able to break it up into smaller, more manageable distances. It is broken down into the run from home to the park (about 3K), the "north loop" (about 4K) and the "south (lake) loop" (4-7K depending on which path I take). Yesterday I tackled the distance one "loop" at a time and it really helped me get through it.

Don't get me wrong - it was freakin' hard, but it was not impossible.

The first half was pretty smooth and not too difficult. I held my pace steady at about 5:55/KM. Kilometres 13 to 20 were tough. It seemed like I had been running for such a long time already and had only put a dent in the distance. I tried not to look at my watch too much, but I felt my legs slowing and notice my average pace crept up to about 6:00/KM. Out of nowhere, endorphins kicked in at about the 20K mark. I suddenly felt empowered and took advantage of the energy boost to pick up the pace a little. The feeling reminded me of the home stretch of a race, when you can almost see the finish line. Unfortunately, it only lasted a couple kilometres, and the last 5 were very difficult. Everything was hurting and I was exhausted. I had to dig deep and find the determination to keep going. I told myself that I couldn't stop now, or I would have just "wasted" the last two hours to accomplish nothing. I willed my legs to keep moving steadily and somehow finished the run at an average pace of 5:59*.

I was relieved, proud and exhausted.... and wondering how I will run an additional 3 next Sunday. One week at a time, right?

Had an ice bath, stretched a bit, then went for a walk and a swim to ease my tired & sore muscles. Feeling pretty good today.

But again I ask myself, WHAT WAS I THINKING? :)

*If you read this post already, you may have noticed that I reported an average of 6:01. I assure you, dear readers, I am not fudging the numbers. Allow me to explain. Sometimes (particularly with ridonkulously long runs) the data reflected on MotionBased when I upload the run is slightly different from the data reflected on the watch when I finally hit that "STOP" button. So, the computer shows a pace of 5:59 whereas my watch showed 6:01. Which one do you think I'm gonna go with? ;)

1 comment:

Zorbs said...

Have you considered doing a HUGE loop around Newmarket? Leslie - St. John's Sideroad - Bathurst - Green Lane?

I used to not be able to make it 1 loop around the block (lived right near Sacred Heart) and I did 16 km this weekend, no big deal compared to you still...