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.