September 17, 2011

Lessons Learned from the Long Run

My plan for today was 20 miles. I ran 18 but I'm ok with that. I wasn't at first because I ended up cutting all of my runs short this week for a number of reasons: getting kicked off the treadmill at the crowded gym, knee pain after Tuesday's Yasso 800s and a decision to take Friday's run easy to avoid further exacerbating anything that might be going on with my knee.

If my training plan shifts from 1 18-miler, 2 20s and a 22 to 2 18s, 1 20 and a 22, I'm have to be ok with it because I listened to my body.

My alarm went off at 6 and after a quick breakfast, I took a cab to Central Park (realize along the way that I forgot my headphones at home) and met up with Celia bright and early this morning for her Team for Kids training run and did 14 miles with them. The first few went by really fast although my knee was nagging me a bit which started to worry me. I took a Gu at Mile 5 and around Mile 6, my hamstring started hurting so I stopped to stretch it but by Mile 7, I felt like I was putting a lot more weight on my right side than my left so I stopped to stretch again and then I felt ok. The lemon lime Gu at 8:00 in the morning did not sit right with me and by Mile 10, I found myself running for the nearest bathroom. You don't need the details but I spent a lot of time there. When I got out, I stopped to stretch some more and then continued my run.

By this point, I knew that running 16 miles before the Fitness Mind, Body & Spirit 4-mile race, which was scheduled to start at 10, wasn't going to be possible but I was determined to get in at least 14.

Celia and I lost each other early on and I find myself running alone for most of the run. Surprisingly, my lack of headphones wasn't an issue at all. I always run with headphones. Lately, I've been trying to run my shorter 3 and 4 mile runs without them but I do that very rarely. It helped that I had Chris Brown's "Forever" stuck in my head the whole time, but I definitely realized that hey, I can run without music!

When I hit Mile 12, I grabbed my stuff from where I had left it with TFK and made my way to the starting line. I ran the first mile of the race and back to make an even 14 and then lined up in my corral where I met Gia (hi Gia!) and another super sweet girl wearing an I <3 Sweat shirt! (Seriously, sweaty girls are taking NYC by storm!)

As soon as I took off, I knew that the race was going to be tough. Even though I had only ended my 14 miler 10 minutes before, my legs were starting to cramp up fast and I knew that the first mile ahead of me was full of rolling hills. I was hurting pretty badly and was starting to question my ability to finish the race when Christine jumped out and joined me! I can't even begin to tell you how amazing it was to see her. She definitely put the pep back in my step and gave me the boost I needed to cruise through a strong you can see from the NYRR Event Gallery:

Yup...I <3 Sweat...and that's what I look like after running 18 miles. 
My stats from today:

Mile 1 - 9:32
Mile 2 - 9:14
Mile 3 - 9:06
Mile 4 - 8:50
Mile 5 - 9:05
Mile 6 - 8:57
Mile 7 - 9:34
Mile 8 - 9:13
Mile 9 - 8:49
Mile 10 - 8:57
Mile 11 - 9:17
Mile 12 - 9:17 (woo consistency!)
Mile 13 - 8:59
Mile 14 - 9:47
Mile 15 - 7:26
Mile 16 - 8:56
Mile 17 - 8:31
Mile 18 - 8:56
Total - 2:43:32

Lessons Learned

  • I can run without music!
  • I do not like the Central Park Bridle Path
  • Sometimes you just really need to listen to your body
  • It's ok to alter your training plan to make sure that you have the best run possible on race day
  • I am definitely capable of achieving my goal time at Marine Corps and possible even faster.
  • I need to learn how to run more consistently
  • I look lovely after running 18 miles
  • Running friends make everything better. 
Thanks Celia and Christine for an awesome run, Gia for being super friendly at the start, and Ali for telling me where the Starting Line was and then checking up on me while I was stretching. I <3 Sweat...and Runner Friends. 

Have a great weekend everybody!


  1. I think that's a fantastic picture! A blog header worthy running photo for sure. Glad everything went so well!

  2. I love how you are so dedicated to running. I am seriously trying to get back to be that way!!

  3. woo hoo! nice time! wish i was coming to mcm... boston 5k again next year??

  4. YEAH! Congrats, Christy! What a great run! And that picture is pretty fantastic!!!

  5. Oh my gosh ... I cant believe you ran 14 before the race. You looked flawless!! Great to meet you and congrats on the fantastic run.


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