I started Thanksgiving early, peeling 10 pounds of spuds before everyone arrived at our place for the big Thanksgiving day 4 Miler through (twice) downtown Portland. It was cold and really windy, so Andy and I put on layer after layer after layer after layer. We piled into two cars and made our way into town and then to the office building they open so everyone can stay warm until the absolute last minute (and visit the restrooms one last time). The race started at 9 and we starting making our way to the start line at about 8:45. I did not want to get caught up in the race aspect of the day. Instead I just wanted to get my 4 miles in. I ended up starting out a little faster than I wanted and then just tried to hold on. In the end, I finished with a respectable 33:44. I could have gone faster, but not if I was going to run my mini-Dopey.
This was followed by more potato prep and then a trip to my parents' house where I ate way too much! I slept in on Friday and then procrastinated for a long long time. I was scheduled to run 6, but I couldn't find anyone to run with. And it was cold. And windy. And I was really enjoying being lazy. I eventually just walked outside and started running. I thought about making the turn that would make the 6 mile a 4 mile run and I also thought long and hard about stopping at 5 miles. But in the end, I ran the full 6. Finished in 55:46 or a 9:18 pace - decent for me.
This is the end of the 6 mile solo run (call it 'proof')
Renee, Anne and I were back at it on Saturday, scheduled to run 9. It was again really cold and our route took us by the water (a lot) which made it even colder. Other than the cold, it was a pretty uneventful run. Here's the finish of that run:
And then there was today. 19 miles. Ugh. I was up at 5:15, trying to make sure I didn't have any digestive issues out on the road. I left the house (uncertain about whether I would be successful on that front) at 6:15 and started dropping water and Powerade along the route. I did miles 3, 6, 9 and 17 while Anne dropped at Miles 12 and 15. I had a little time left after making my drops so I swung by a McDonalds, bought a coffee and visited their men's room. Eek. We started at 7 AM in a light snow. It was actually pretty cool to run in those conditions. We made it to 3 without issue (or hills). We got to 6 pretty easily as well. There were a lot of hills between 6 and 9 and the snow was starting to pick up (and stick to the ground). By 9 I was tired and weary. I started eating at mile 5 and was snacking just about every mile from 5 - 15, so I wasn't feeling poorly, I was just tired of running and my head kept going back to how much further we had to go. There isn't much worse than running 9 miles in the snow and realizing that you have not yet at the halfway point. Yuck.
At Mile 9 I started counting intervals. We run for 4 minutes and then walk for one minute. If we maintain a 10 minute mile pace (which we don't, but it's close) then we need to run 6 intervals (30 minutes) between each 3 mile water stop. So at Mile 9 I started counting intervals. I would count from 1 to 3 and then down from 3 to 1 and BOOM! there's our water (Mile 12). I did the same thing from 12 to 15. Because of the route, our final water stop was not at Mile 18, but at Mile 17 - only 2 miles from our Mile 15 water. This worked out really well as it was only FOUR intervals to get from 15 to 17. And then from 17 to 19 was along Portland's Back Bay - a route I have run hundreds of times. For whatever reason, Anne and I started talking about the Georgia/Georgia Tech and the Auburn/Alabama games at mile 17 and before we knew it (or before I knew it) we were at 18.5 miles and almost done!
Now I couldn't have run the additional 7.2 miles necessary to finish the marathon, but I could have run more - maybe another 3 miles (6 intervals). Had that been the plan all along, I think I would have felt differently, as Mile 12 and Mile 15 and Mile 17 wouldn't have felt as close to the end as they were today. In the end, we averaged 10:23's which is right where we want to be. We finished in 3:17:23 - yup, I ran for almost three and a half hours this morning - no joke! Each of our long runs have included some really tough times (today it was from 9 - 15), but I've felt pretty good when it's over and today was no exception.
Next weekend, we are back to a 10 mile run. The following weekend we will do 10 and then 20 (ouch). The weekend after that, we will do 21 or 22 and Anne and I talked about trying to do something special for that final long run (more soon).
Here's the map of today's epic run:
If this were at all legible, you'd see that it is far
So that's my mini-Dopey - 4 then 6 then 9 then 19. 38 miles in four days. The real Dopey is an additional 10.6 miles. Ugh!