Sunday, September 30, 2007

Oh endurance..

Friday's 20 miler was never going to be swift or easy. I had been plodding through the week's runs, getting them all in, but at no great speed. Friday arrived as a real autumn day, windy and overcast and cold so you can imagine my enthousiasm about the task in hand.. Anyway. It was an endurance run. It took me a long time, I got really tired and contemplated giving up quite a few times. At about 17 miles I stopped at a point in the woods and seriously contemplated just lying down on the path - of all the things in the world, that's what I wanted to do - but I knew I just wouldn't get up again. So I plodded on. On top of everything, my iPod sensor is not working so well on my new shoes. I wonder whether the fact that they have newer, bouncier soles means it's not picking up every step, because I ran with my Polar footpod on as well (which I've calibrated over the years and which has proved accurate in every race I've run) and, even though I'd calibrated the Nike+ with it this summer, the Nike+ was off by .8 of a mile over the 20. Not a great deal, but enough when you're struggling through the 20 miler I can tell you. So I stopped when my Polar said 20.4 and my Nike said 19.62. It took me 3 hours and 41 minutes which wasn't terrible - especially given the walk breaks and the moan breaks and the self-pity breaks..

And really - it wasn't too bad. All along I kept thinking "I'm training for endurance this run. I'm training myself to cope with a bad run, with a slow run, with a run where my legs are just worn out". My expectations of my performance were not high but I just forced myself to see it through.

Highlights? Well, I really experimented with the gels and I am able to suck down the chocolate ones even at 18 miles. Usually by 15 miles I am unable to take anything on so that's good. Also - my dear husband came out and joined me for 3 miles which I SO needed at that point. Just someone else to talk to as I trudged round my circuit made a huge difference. Another great highlight was my discovery of Podrunner mixes which I know MarathonChris and Charles use - that certainly helped to keep me going.

And when it was over I did lie down and feel SO relieved to have it done with.

And amazingly - I managed to run 8 with my friend Sally yesterday. It wasn't fast but still - again I told myself I was training myself to run with tired legs.. I seem to be putting in a fair few of those training runs at the moment.

There's a mild temptation to put in 6.89 miles this morning so I can bring my monthly total up to 170 miles but there's no two ways about it - Charles has won this month's Nike+ challenge! And I think I probably need a rest day after this week - my legs are aching and tired even when sitting at my desk..

So let the taper begin. 3 weeks till D-day..

10 comments:

Susan said...

Petra,

I am so proud of you! You did exactly what you should have -- you stuck with it. I know it must have been hard. Wow - 20 - wow!

3 weeks -- how exciting!

A man at the marathon I volunteered at yesterday told me that I was obviously ready for St. Jude NOW (the race is in 9 weeks). That made my day.

Road Warrior said...

I've found that using different sneakers (same brand/style, just different wear) can have an effect on the Nike+ system. I definitely recalibrate when I get a new pair of shoes. I wasn't sure from your post whether you had recalibrated before or after you started using your shoes.

Regardless, a very firm congrats on the 20 mile run. That's fantastic, Petra! From the sounds of it, that's your last long run before the Amsterdam marathon. We're rooting for you!

MarathonChris said...

Great job on the 20 miler!!! And in 3 hours 40 min??? This "plodder" would love to do 20 in that amount of time :-) Those long runs are endurance runs, indeed!!! You were probably training your will more than you body! Way to go!

It's taper time for you :-) You will have to post how folks can track you during the race!! :-)

Well done!

Road Warrior said...

Oh, I couldn't care less about the time it takes us to finish the 200m relay. If it's more than 24 hours, then it's more. No big deal. I don't think we'd all have to do 20 miles, though I haven't broken each leg out yet. Some are longer or short, harder or easier. We'd sure be quite familiar with each other after that.

IrishBlue said...

Way to tough it out Petra!! The 20-miler...wow. Now, that's some running right there.

Maddy said...

You are incredible! You stuck to it and that time is not too shabby!

I wonder if your battery is dying in your sensor (there will be a red flashing something, maybe a shoe) in the upper left of your iPod display screen. My first sensor died after 36 hours of use.

I bought my second one at Target because they have a liberal return policy if the battery goes south too quickly.

ShirleyPerly said...

Petra, great job getting that 20-miler done! You got some vital mental training in and will surely benefit from that during your race. Also glad to hear you were able to eat a gel at mile 17. To run a marathon well, you need definitely need to keep your body fueled past mile 15.

Enjoy your taper, you've earned it!!!

lizzie lee said...

Petra, you did great. Remember, that courage is what takes you to the 20-miler, or 15, or whatever number is. If a given run is a bad run, or a slow run or a run where your legs are just worn out, still you are doing great. We are alive.

take care

CewTwo said...

What can I say but, "Ditto!"

I am so amazed by you. I felt like the training run was amazing and I wish that I had your endurance! 20 miles, wow!

Give the hubby an extra hug for all of us. Coming out and supporting is great, but to accompany you on a training run? What a guy!

As far as the Nike+ challenge went, I think that everyone was a winner, especially you! You did in a few days what it took me running several days to accomplish!

Let's hear it for the girl!

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