Today was my first and only 12 mile long run before the half-marathon. The high water mark. It was amazing. The weather was perfect and I felt great. I want to write this post now so that I can record my food intake and everything before I forget it. Today worked so well, I want to repeat the food part of it on race day.
At about 6:45am I had my typical pre-long run breakfast of a handful of dry cereal, half a can of Diet Coke and some water. Meg showed up around 7:15 this morning and we left for Mahomet. Including Meg and me, we had 6 runners and a coach this morning. We stretched a bit and discussed strategy. Would Meg and I run the 6-mile loop twice? Or an 8-mile loop with an additional 4? I finally admitted that I wanted to discuss strategy because I was stalling. I was a bit nervous about the run. Meg suggested that we get started, so off we went.
We ran the first two miles in about 8 minutes and 8 min 30, respectively. We knew this was too fast and it was. By the third mile our bodies had slowed down for us to our typical 9 minute pace. I grabbed a small sip of Powerade after 2.5 miles and a tiny sip of water after 3.5 and 5.5. After about 6.1 (54-ish minutes) we ate our Jelly Belly Sport Beans (today's flavor: orange. Did I absolutely love them? Yes.). This turned out to be a great time to eat them. After about 5 miles I still felt fine but realized that my body was starting to give me gentle signs that it was depleting its sugar supply. By eating at 6 miles rather than 7 I avoided the fatigue that usually sets in at 7.5 miles. At 7 miles I chased the sport beans with some water. We inserted a 2 mile loop at this point, bringing us to 9. At 9 I had a bit more water (all this water totalled no more than 8 ounces). From there we ran back to the starting line (running total: 10 miles) where I had a hearty swig of Powerade before running the last two miles. Since we had the highest mileage of our team today (mileage is based on the event each person is training for) we were the last ones finished. The others were there at the finish line cheering for us. It was so nice! I finished with a huge smile. After the run we did some ab work.
Today's combination of weather and food was ideal. At no point did I feel particularly weak and at no point did I want to stop running. In all honesty, I had a great time. It felt good. Unfortunately my running partner wasn't feeling so great, so she didn't love the 12 miles the way I did. I'm confident, however, that come race day she'll embrace it with me (I hope I feel this good on race day!). Meg said my time was about 1 hour 45 minutes not counting our water stops. As long as the weather holds I feel pretty confident that we can finish the race in under two hours. Here's to hoping!
A 12 mile long run qualifies a person for a fantastic breakfast, which we had. Blueberry pancakes and coffee for me. Delicious. Other than Meg's not feeling so great, it was such a beautiful morning all around. The afternoon wasn't too shabby either--our yard sale was a huge success. With three whole days to spare, I've met my fundraising goal! It's all down hill from here! Thanks everyone for the encouragement leading up to today's run!