My long run this weekend was supposed to be an 11 miler. Spoiler alert, it wasn't. However, it was an awesome run.
I stayed with the 13 minute pace group for this run, both because I feel more comfortable at that pace, and because I really enjoyed the group when I ran with them a couple weeks ago.
I had made the decision to wear my camelback for this run. There was no way I was risking running out of water again! This is the first time I've run serious distance with the pack on, and I was a little worried about it.
I told the pacer that I was supposed to do an extra three miles (the base run for the majority of the group was eight miles.) When we took off, I settled in right behind the pacer to talk to a woman I'd talked with a bunch the last time I ran with the group.
At first, like before, the pace felt super slow. I spent a lot of time keeping myself from speeding past the pacer. Eventually I ended up running right next to her and talking with her. She is a beast! She was telling me about all the races she's run, including 50k races and mountain races.
This was the first time I used Gu while running somewhere other than the treadmill. I actually had a lot of trouble "eating" it fast enough. I did find myself needing to take a drink of water with each "sip" from the packet, and found my mouth felt really dry while I was taking the Gu. I ended up only having half the packet. Which presented a problem, as I had to cary the half full packet of Gu as we ran, looking for somewhere to throw it out. I'm still not completely sold on the Gu, but I'm not ruling it out yet. Next week I'm going to go with the Honey Stinger Chews and see how those work out.
A little past the half way point (so about a mile after the photo op) one of the Coaches had set up a water stop. She was almost out of water (the sucky part of being in the "slow" group I guess.) But had enough for a few people to fill up their water bottles. The Camel Back was still pretty full, so I didn't bother trying to fight for water.
When we started running again, my legs felt awful. For the next quarter mile I felt like I had lead in my shoes. It was a really odd feeling. Luckily, it wore off relatively quickly and I was able to get into a nice rhythm again.
The second part of the run had some serious uphills, but I was still feeling strong. I stayed right with the pacer and was still able to have a conversation, even while powering up a few hills. The only hill I really had a problem with came around the six and a half mile mark. It was an underpass along East ave, going under the highway. It was really sunny and warm at that point and after we passed under the highway, the road went up sharply, for a really long time (it seemed.) By the time we crested the hill, I was more than grateful for the brief stop we had to make because of a red light.
After that hill, I was feeling it, but I was still able to hang right with the pace leader. I wasn't quite as talkative, but I was still keeping up. The last hill, over an overpass, took a lot out of me, and I really had to push to crest it, falling a little behind the pacer. She thought we were short on distance (although my map says we weren't) so she lead us on a tour around the parking lots to make up the 0.2 mile distance.
Unfortunately, this tour lead us right past a rank dumpster.
As soon as we got next to the dumpster, I gagged. The smell totally did me in, and I had to stop, almost dead in my tracks, and put my head down to keep from puking. It was awful.
So I stopped my run right there and walked my way across the parking lot to the store. My legs were pretty spent at that point, so I called it, and did not go back out for the additional three miles. I felt good about the eight miles, but I wasn't ready to push it any further.
Unfortunately I have a toddler, so there wasn't much rest, and the shoulders made sleeping Sunday night problematic. However, I'm feeling much better this morning, so I'm going to try to do a makeup run tonight.
After chatting with some of the other people in the pace group, and evaluating how burt out I've been feeling, I have come to the conclusion that I may have signed up for the wrong training plan. There are two half marathon training plans, Beginner and Advanced. I signed up for Advanced based on the description (for people with one or more half marathons under their belt and 20 miles a week base milage.) I met both of those requirements at the time, however I now believe that I belong in the beginners group. I've emailed the coach about it, and am waiting to see what they say.