long run recap: new distance PR

long run recap:  new distance PR

This past Sunday I had my long run of 3:00:00, my longest scheduled run to date.  To be honest, I wasn’t really nervous about it.  I was looking forward to running it and running it alone.  I wanted to hit 15 miles and felt like I had that in my wheel house.

I spent Saturday resting with the girls.  We went to my sister’s to visit with her and my dad, in town for my Oma’s 85th surprise party.  We had a great day hanging out with them and I felt ready for Sunday.  We left a little late, and had to pick up Pam from work.  Thanks to my sister’s “short cut” we ended up getting to Meijer 45 minutes late…doh!

Luckily we had some shopping to do, so Pam knocked that out as she waited for us.  And also lucky for me, she wasn’t mad.  We got stopped by a train and there was a lot of traffic.  We headed for home and got the girls ready for bed.

After we got home we got the girls ready for bed I started getting my
gear ready.  I filled my fuel belt bottles half way and stuck them in
the freezer overnight.  I got my refuel liquids set- water and more
Gatorade, and got my GU and Salt tabs packed up.  I mapped my route and
decided to do two 3.75 mile out and backs.  Pam showed me a spot to
park along the North Branch Trail, just north of us that worked out
perfectly- right on Caldwell, just north of Oakton.

After laying my gear out we got to bed and I fell asleep quickly.  I
woke up at 4:15 to get ready, eat, pack up and head out.  My goal was to get started around 5am.  I got parked, stretched and running at 5:20am.  Luckily I had my head lamp as it was still dark on the trail.  I started easy, watching my footing, making sure I was careful.  The plan was to run with my heart rate in zones 1 and 2 for the first half, and then push harder the second half.  I wanted a negative split.

My only issue with starting to early is that I spook easily…especially in the dark.  A quarter of a mile in I ran up on a buck, big em effer too, scared the crap out of me.  A little further on in that first mile I came across a skunk…uh oh, slow down, make nice,don’t get sprayed.  That would have made the other 14 miles interesting.

By mile 2 it was light enough that I didn’t need the head lamp.  The first 3.75 miles were on familiar ground, and seemed to pass quickly.  I’ve run that route a ton and have every turn, every dip and pothole memorized.  I had a GU every 2.5 miles and a salt tab every 3 miles while taking a drink every 10:00.  It seems to work so I’m going with it.  When I hit the end of the trail I turned around to head back to the car, the makeshift, mobile hydration station.

I ran the first half in 1:37:24.  Not bad, I felt OK.   I knew I’d finish.  I  hit the port-o-john, refilled my bottles, had half of a Clif Bar and got back to it…this time heading north.  I continued in zone 2 to start, and sort of felt out that half of the run.  I felt like I was moving well and enjoyed “exploring” part of the trail I’d never been on.

I hit double digits and was starting to fade.  I still felt like I’d finish but wasn’t sure if I’d get my negative split.  After making the turn to head back I started to think I’d run out of liquids before I got back to the car.  I finished off what I had with less than a half mile to go.  It was starting to get hot, but luckily I was in the shade more than in the sun along this part of the trail.

The last
mile, mile and a half hurt….a lot.  I fought hard to stay focused on finishing as strongly as I could.  With about a mile to go I thought I was spent and didn’t think I would make it.  I slowed a little, but didn’t walk.  I finished.  I ran the
second half in 1:32:40…
I gt my negative split.  I was surprised, not thinking I would get it…as tired as I was, I was happy.  I finished in 3:10:04, with a 12:40 pace.

Splitting this into two out and backs helped.  Had it been hotter I may have been in trouble hydration wise.  I had enough on me, but I don’t want to chance it.  Next long run I’m going to shorten up the out and back distance to be safe.

I was and am still stoked I ran 15 miles…something I couldn’t do a year ago!  From struggling to run 5 minutes in October to being able to run 15 miles now is awesome!  This run reinforced how far I’ve come but also that I have a log way to go to get ready for the marathon.  During the last mile and a half as my mind wandered, I started to wonder how I’d be able to finish in October.  I’m struggling to finish 15, leaving me with 11 to go.  How the hell am I going to do this?  Wow…

I’m not freaking out.  I know Coach Jen has a plan.  She’s led the way to this point, and I have faith she’ll have me ready. There are still almost two months to go.  Two really intense and painful months where I’m going to keep working hard while being smart.  It will be a fine line between working hard and not overdoing it and getting hurt. I feel like I should invest in bubble wrap.  Anyway, we’ll see what happens.

Not sure where i saw this, but I like it…a lot.

dont quit.png

I printed this and it hangs on my cubicle wall…just a reminder from here on out.


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  • AWESOME job, Dan! Seriously, 15 miles is NOTHING to shake a stick at..and this weekend a sandwhich run so we can accomplish more miles w/o taxing the body too much- good luck and hope you are recovering ok this week! :)

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