My challenge for this weekend was a 7 mile run. I was aided from a few surprise sources. First, my nanny also sometimes babysits for an adorable 3 year old boy in our neighbor. Alex and my Zachary will go to school together for K-12 and are already BFFs. Alex became a big brother on Thursday (congrats!) and our nanny was staying with him overnight after leaving our house. She thought it would be easier for him to have a friend so she ended up taking ALL 3 of my kids to sleep at Alex’s house on Friday night. This meant NO kids to worry about on Saturday morning. Let me tell you, this training for a marathon thing would be much easier if I didn’t have to worry about supervising kids or getting them to weekend activities!!! The one downside is that I started my run at 8am because there were no children to wake me up at 5:30am. Life is all about trade-offs!
The 2nd source of assistance was more divine in origin. The weather was reasonably comfortable, especially considering my late start. My run started in the mid-70s and got up to the low 80s. That’s about the best I could hope for in August. Towards the end it started warming up considerably but it was still a great day, weather-wise.
My biggest challenge was finding a 7 mile course. Remember, most of my previous long runs have been done on a treadmill. I don’t have pre-set routes to use. It look a fair amount of time on various run mapping sites to find a good route. And even then I realized there are some modifications to make for future long runs.
One issue is that I don’t have a water carrying system. The water belts look uncomfortable and the bottles are so small. The backpack looks hot to me and maybe heavy too. As a treadmill runner I’ve become used to unlimited water access during long runs (and I probably drink too much because of that). I soon realized that my best choice would be a double loop with a stop at home. I would leave a 2nd water bottle in my driveway and exchange an empty for a full. The major downside to this plan is that I live on the top of a fairly steep hill. Please trust me that I didn’t relish going up the big hill twice but it was still a decent plan,
I stole back the Galloway run/walk timer that I had purchased for myself, until Tom stole it. I realized he wasn’t using it (still in the original packaging and without a battery) and I knew I’d like it better than staring at my watch for an hour and a half.I need to practice with the device more but I already love it. You set your run interval and then your walk interval and it beeps (and may even vibrate if I can figure that out) when it’s time to switch.
I started with a run 1 walk 1 ratio and was able to maintain that until the end. I packed my spi-belt with a cliff bar and some sports beans. These are jelly bellies with sugar/electrolytes for running. I found em to be quite sweet, especially at 8am. I’m also starting to realize that Clif bars and I may need to part ways. My digestive tract seems to disagree with them. I also have a bottle of water/Gatorade mix (pretty dilute). And off I went.
I tried to keep my pace slow but I returned to my house at around 52 minutes. The first loop was 4 miles and this is a few minutes faster than I usually manage for a 4 mile training run. I definitely felt the fast start in the 2nd loop (3 miles) but kept my run/walk interval to the finish. It felt good overall although I’m a bit sore now which means I probably needed to slow down the first loop a bit more.
Final stats 7 miles (or close to it – I think it mapped to 6.97) in about 1 hour 31 minutes (and some seconds). Just slower than 13 minutes per mile. That’s a faster pace than Galloway recommends for my long runs but I was able to feel good at that pace,
I think for my next long run I’ll drive to the high school track and park there. I’ll leave back-up water in the car and use that as the start/stop point for my loops. I don’t need to do serious hills for the Disney race and there are enough small hills in the neighborhood for training purposes. The big hill by my house is just silly at is point, especially if I do it twice. My mid-week runs end on the hill anyway and I think that’s good enough!