Tag Archives: 22 mile run

Last Long Run and Tapering

Well it happened – I ran my last long training run for the Vermont City Marathon this past weekend…and I lived to tell!

With a 22 mile run planned, I was more than happy that I would be running it in upstate NY rather than around Central Park again. My last 20-miler in CP was great, but I needed a break from the park.

So I headed upstate by train on Friday and was out the door by 8:15 a.m. on Saturday morning for my last long training run.

Since my last run went so well without my waterbelt, I wanted to try that approach again. I have really been hating that belt this training season, so I planned to carry a small bottle of water with me from my parent’s house and then stop at my friend’s house about halfway through to pick up another bottle.

My run began and it was the perfect temperature, overcast, and I felt pretty good. I planned a tough route with a bunch of major hills, but at this point I was feeling ready for it.

Here was my route:

I covered A LOT of ground. From Latham to Watervliet to Loudonville and back to Latham. I felt really great during the first 12 or so miles of this run. The second half of my run was MUCH slower, but I also had some major hills, so it’s kind of understandable. Here are my splits:

I included the elevation so you can see how huge some of the hills were. Mile 13 was the biggest and that hill is slightly insane. And me not taking my water belt worked out. I carried a small (8 oz.) water bottle filled with some NUUN water with me and drank it all by about mile 8. Then I stopped at my friend’s house around mile 12.5 to grab a second larger bottle. That got me through to about mile 20.

Overall, I am pretty happy with my last long run. I was hoping to keep all my miles slightly under a 9 minute pace, but with some of the hills I added, it just really wasn’t possible.

But I finished feeling pretty strong and my parents even commented that it didn’t look like I had just run 22 miles. They have seen me looking pretty awful after some runs, so that was a good sign.

The rest of the weekend was busy but also relaxed – I got to see some family and friends. I also did a short shake-out run on Sunday (4.5 miles) to bring my weekly mileage total to a record (for me) 50.34 miles! That is my new weekly distance record. I wasn’t so sure I was going to make it, but I got there. Pretty impressed with my 50-mile week!

And you know what that means… it’s time to TAPER!! The taper has commenced this week, and as usual, I have no desire to run at all. I need to remind myself that taper does not mean “stop running altogether.” The dreary weather really doesn’t help matters, but I’m just also feeling really lazy.

I skipped out on Monday’s run and then Tuesday night I managed 4 miles on the treadmill at the gym. I’m supposed to hit 34 miles this week and I’ll be lucky if I get to 25. Ugh – my motivation is apparently lost.

I know that some runners really hate tapering and have a hard time with it, but I feel like I go the opposite way. I want to take the taper to the extreme a just take a break. I’ll have to push myself not to become a totally lazy this week.

What about you – if you are a marathon – do you enjoy the taper, have a hard time with it, or take the taper too far ever?

Happy hump day all!

More/Fitness Half Marathon: This Race Deserves a Recap!

Hello all! How is everyone out there? Are you loving these two days of fabulous spring weather we’ve had (well at least in NYC anyway)?

I haven’t posted in a while, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been running. I’ve been logging the miles and completed two 20+ runs in preparation for the Boston Marathon a mere 15 days away. As I mentioned, the first 20 miler did not go as planned, and although we finished it, I felt like it wasn’t a great run.

My running cohort must have felt the same because about a week later she asked me if we could bump our last long run from 20 miles to 22 miles. As I’m convinced that anyone who runs marathons (myself included) has some slight masochistic tendencies to begin with, I was completely onboard with this idea although I was fully aware of the pain threshold involved.

All I will say about our 22 miler was that it felt amazing to be DONE with it. I enter different stages of pain during long runs like this and my running buddy (Lauren) has learned to ignore when “kind of mean Lindsey” arrives for a bit or “not likely to converse Lindsey” muscles her way in. But for the most, “pleasantly in pain Lindsey” was in attendance for this one. I did have one moment around mile 20 where I was tempted to throw out the idea that we just stop right there and call it a day, but I held my tongue and gutted it out. And it was all worth it in the end! I felt fantastic after we finished and didn’t even experience much residual pain.

Which brings me to what this post is really all about:

More/Fitness Magazine Half Marathon Recap
Let me just take a moment to remember this race last year. How would I describe it? One word: SOAKED!! This race happened later in the month last year and happened on one of the worst days of the spring. I finished this race and was soaked through and through.

So I was extremely pleased to see that the weather this year called for nothing but sun and cool temps. Lovely. I will admit that I did not get enough sleep the night before. Hubby and I got 127 Days on Netflix, but didn’t actually start the movie until after 10 p.m. So I didn’t get to sleep until probably 12 -12:30 a.m. Not a good way to prep or start.

But I kept things status quo in the morning and followed my usual routine. I headed out the door at 7:25. This year, when I saw that my bib number placed me in the very first corral, I walked right in, head held high. Last year I placed myself one corral back. Starting in the first corral was pretty darn cool. Mary Whittenberg actually started the race right behind me (and quickly passed me). I also passed Elizabeth Hasselbeck within the first two miles – that felt good.

Basically, this whole race felt good for me. I checked my Garmin during the first mile and was shocked to see 7:39 as my pace. I knew I needed to slow it down and I swear that I kept trying, but I also just felt good.

So I scaled back a bit, but would catch myself speeding back up. Finally I decided to just stop looking at my Garmin altogether. If it felt right, that would be the pace I would run. The first loop around went pretty fast.

Mile 1 – 7:39
Mile 2 – 7:45
Mile 3 – 7:31
Mile 4 – 7:58
Mile 5 – 8:04
Mile 6 – 7:44

The second loop began and I felt like I was slowing a bit. Cat hill was particularly rough, but then I felt a little bit better from there. And once I reached the very north portion and hit the 9 mile mark, I knew that I was way ahead of my pace for previous races.

Mile 7 – 7:47
Mile 8 – 7:56
Mile 9 – 7:48

After passing mile 9 it was up the HUGE hill for the second time and it was tough! By this point, we had caught up to the walkers who were on their first lap and this made things a little confusing. The walkers (and let me say that I fully support walkers in races and think it’s wonderful that they are out there) took up a MAJOR part of the course. The typical “stay close to the inside” rule that runners try to follow does not seem to apply to walkers. They were meandering all over the place and forget about trying to get to water stations while they are there. Thankfully, I had taken water at mile 6 and 8, so I felt okay, but I watched as other runners tried to work their way to the water stations unsuccessfully as the walkers crowded the area.

As I reached Mile 12, I was so happy to see that some of the volunteers had taken water and gone to the outside lane to try to help the runners who couldn’t make it inside because of the walkers. I gladly grabbed a water and continued on to finish things up.

The last mile stretched on and probably because I had run so much extra mileage as the runners were pushed to the outside because of the walkers. I pushed as hard as possible for the last few miles.

10 – 7:57
11 – 8:05
12 – 7:44
13 – 7:34
.28 – 1:57

Total – 13.28 miles in 1:43:34. According to Garmin, my average pace was 7:47 minute miles!

And I finished and actually felt good. I was smiling, thanking people, accepted my medal, ate and drank, and then headed home. It was an awesome race and a new PR for me. I ran it last year in 1:46:00.

The bad news was that I came home to find a gigantic blister on my toe. I could feel it growing as I was running, but it was a complete mess. I actually think there is a blister on top of a blister. Yuck. I know. My poor baby toe looks atrocious.

So any advice on blisters out there? I plan to make a trip to Jack Rabbit this week to get some no-blister socks and mole skin. I already have Glide, which I will be applying next run. Anything else?

That’s all folks! I promise I’m going to try to post a bit more between now and Boston to capture some of the tips I’ve learned about prepping for Boston, as well as to catalogue my travels to Boston and experiences in the city. 15 Days!!