That’s it- I finally completed my longest run ever, a 12 mile training run for my first half marathon, The Tinker Bell which is taking place in January.
I run, a lot (for someone like me) Doing 12+ miles in a week ain’t no thang for me anymore, but for some reason, doing 12 miles at once totally freaked me out. I’ve done 5ks, 10ks, 8 milers indoors- but I’ve never gone into the double digits outdoors in real conditions. I was nervous, super nervous.
I suppose I was nervous about two things- first, I didn’t know what 12 miles would feel like, or even if I’d have the stamina to keep going past my well-familiar 6 milers. I was nervous I’d get tired, injured or something would go wrong and I’d officially be told by my own body that I wasn’t ready for the Tinker Bell Half Marathon. The Tinker Bell Half is nearly a month away and it was time to find out how far I could go, and what I could do.
Secondly, I was nervous about where I’d run for that distance. Currently, I live in a very hilly area, so I need to drive to another area to find safe running paths that are safe for runners and relatively flat. Being in an unfamiliar area, running solo made me a bit uncomfortable but I was able to track down a relatively runner-friendly area using MapMyRun.com and drove the length of the trail just to make myself feel safer.
I’ve discovered a few things: First, I can do 12 miles so I can go confidently forward in the knowledge I can do 13.1 at whatever pace my body will allow. Secondly, Gu has a good flavor but feels like you’re swallowing Vaseline, not a fan. Thirdly, if you’re at 7.5 miles and your phone is at 20% battery life, losing your mileage on Nike+ is one hell of a motivator. And for a fourth point, I ran for the first time with a hydration fanny pack and hated it until I could wear it on the small of my back… still figuring out how I can stay both hydrated and comfortable.
Post Run: Rocking my new “Race You To The Castle” Tee from Raw Threads as inspiration for the Tink & Princess / Ralph gets just as tired as I do after a long run.
The run itself went well and I’m only moderately sore the day after. As previously mentioned, I have learned the lesson that one’s iPhone should be fully charged if you’re using it as both a source of music and for your GPS tracking. I use the free app, Nike+ and Pandora to do my long runs (my music playlist is only about 45 long) and after about an hour and a half, I looked to see my battery was at 20%. I shut off Pandora and used the fear of losing my running data as a motivator to keep going as hard as I could until I was done.
I finished my 12 miles in 2:25 with an average pace of 12:09. I ran on one Gatorade Prime, at mile 6 a packet of Gu and didn’t use any of my Sportz Beanz to keep going…I wanted to run on my own grit as much as possible. My goal will be to finish the Tinker Bell with an average pace of 11 minutes so that I can continue working towards an average pace of 10:30 in time for the Princess in February and Nike Women’s Half Marathon in April.
I’m so happy I got that 12 miler done, huge thanks to everyone who shared advice and encouragement on Twitter- you rock!
Additionally, I have some exciting news that really puts a little bit of joy in what has been a very, very sad week for our nation:
As you may recall- I asked my amazing readers for help to get a coveted spot on Team Refuel with the Got Chocolate Milk campaign. New members of Team Refuel receive a $500 running sponsorship, $300 in Team Refuel swag and an opportunity to participate in national campaigns including a chance to run the Rock N Roll Marathon in SCOTLAND. *SIGH!*
I’m so grateful to announce that because of your help, I was chosen to be on Team REFUEL! Huzzah!
Since I’ve signed up for 4 half marathons in 2013, being on Team Refuel is a huge boost towards my running goals as well as a financial help so I can afford them! I am so humbled and grateful for everyone that took the time to vote, often, several times.
I know we all have heavy hearts as we approach the holiday season- there have been some horrible national tragedies recently, and I personally am mourning the loss of a friend (unrelated to the shootings), so there is a lot on my heart and mind this week. The kind people I feel lucky enough to call friends on this blog and my social media networks are helping me see through the grief with a bit of gratitude.
I’ve been struggling to find words that adequately express what we’re all going through as a nation right now but I hope each of you are surrounded by the love and warmth of the season, and are taking time to be with friends and loved ones during this difficult time. I wish each of you a happy holiday season and that 2013 will be one of peace and safety for us all.
CONGRATS on the run and making Team Refuel! I lol’d at your GU comment – it does have a weird consistency but I love it. I’ve also been close to finishing long runs before and seeing your battery almost dead is the worlds best motivator. I’m so bummed both the Disney half’s your going to are sold out already. I see the Nike Half is in D.C. – I’ve been wanting to go there for a while, maybe this is a sign?
Hey Erica- ya, the runDisney events sell out so darn fast, but I know the Disneyland Half reg is coming up soon and the Disney World races don’t sell out as quickly. The Nike Women’s Half in DC has somewhat “sold out,” since it goes by lottery only and is insanely popular. If they do another wave of tickets, I hope you get a spot, I’d love to see you!
Congrats on the long run AND Team Refuel. It’s always so fun to hit new running milestones!
Thank you so much Faith! I’m so thrilled and excited..it’s such a blessing since I’m signing up for a ton of races this year to get in shape and push myself but it gets so expensive!
I got used to carrying a water bottle in my training for the Wine & Dine Half Marathon, so I was terrified of doing the race without one. With that in mind, and because I wanted to bring a camera, I bought a Nathan Quickdraw Plus handheld water bottle. I love it!!!!
Awesome Rachel! I am still figuring out what will work for me during longer runs. BTW, I’m totally jealous of the Wine & Dine Half….I saw pics, it looked awesome!
Awesome job! I’ve never ran more than a 10k yet but just got accepted into a 10-miler…. you are my inspiration!
Aww, that means so much to me, thank you! I know you can do the 10 miler… that’s a LONG way but I know if you’ve done a 10k, a few extra miles is a piece of cake!
Congrats, Shannyn! I just completed my second 10-mile run this weekend as part of my Princess Half training, and those double-digit runs truly do come with such an incredible sense of accomplishment! You’re awesome! 😀
I will have to see you at the Princess Half, and congrats on the 10 miler, that’s great!
Agreed! And thank you! 🙂
Congrats on the 12 miler! When we lived in San Antonio, TX we choose to run in town so we’d have plenty of bathroom and water stops. I’ve never been into running with a water bottle.
What other halfs are you doing? We signed up for NJ Marathon, proceeds benefit those affected by Hurricane Sandy. Growing up on the Jersey Shore, this one is special for me.
Hey Lacey, that’s amazing! I love races that benefit a good cause!
I am doing the Tinker Bell Half, The Princess Half, Nike Women’s Half in D.C., the Rock N Roll Chicago Half Marathon and I have a few others I’m trying to schedule in.
Yay! You did it!
Personally I hate GU, but mostly because the edges of the packet always seem to cut the corners of my mouth. =(
Have you checked out Ultimate Direction? I like their bottles that have handles rather than putting that much weight around my waist.
Thanks for the tip- I will check out Ultimate Direction.. and I’m glad I’m not the only one who hates Gu… it’s just so…weird!
Congratulations on finishing your long run! Team Refuel sounds awesome!
Thank you so much- It’s been awesome thus far! I know they offer a chance to run in Scotland or Madrid and I totally am hoping I’ll get to compete, it would be AMAZING. *sigh*