Recent undocumented long runs:
Week 9: 15 11 miles attempted 15 on the treadmill – big mistake.
Week 10: 16 miles great run, finished strong
Week 11: 12 miles on the treadmill
Yesterday I had 18 miles on tap. Carly went to the Pecan Festival on Saturday, so I knew I’d be flying solo. Also, who would willingly participate in an 18 mile run when they aren’t training for a marathon? No one. In light of recent attacks on runners on Austin running trails, I started later than usual so I wouldn’t be running alone in the dark. I made sure to wear my Road ID as well.
Also, I ran with my phone for the first time in I can’t tell you how long. The Droid X isn’t exactly the easiest phone to carry with you, so when I’m running with someone I usually leave it in the car. Added bonus of running with my phone: having a camera to take pictures with!
The views yesterday morning were gorgeous, but the temperature (as usual) was less than desirable. It was already 80 degrees when I stepped foot on the trail. Hey fall, Austin is ready for you – no need to take your time.
I ran 16 on the same trail a couple weeks ago, so I knew I’d have to tack on some extra mileage in the beginning if I wanted to run the same route. I knocked out two miles in the opposite direction before heading out on my normal path.
I hit the end of the trail at Twin Lakes Park
I did a large lap around the park to tack on some extra mileage and came across a rock climbing wall, pool/YMCA, and a small lake.
This was around the 5 mile point, and it was getting HOT.
I think this accurately describes the intense heat which was progressively getting worse. Oh – AND – there was a horrendously brutal wind whipping around during the entire run as well. Imagine what it would feel like to be running behind the exhaust pipe of a Greyhound bus, with the sun beating down on you at the same time.
Yeah, check out that hair. The wind and I were not friends today. Not even a little bit.
At the eight mile mark, I circled back around to the car for some refreshments – I came prepared.
Two different kinds of Gatorade, a Camelbak bottle filled with water, and a PB&J. This was probably the best PB&J I’ve ever had. It really hit the spot.
After the quick snack break, it was time to head out for the final 10 miles.
Easier said than done.
My legs felt strong and I wasn’t tired at all, but the heat was kicking my ass! The side of the trail I was on had hardly any shade and getting my legs moving fast enough to run was a constant struggle.
I took more than my share of sitting breaks, stretching breaks, and by mile 10 I had given up on running altogether. I just couldn’t do it.
One of my many stopping points. Ahhh, shade…
Finally, I came across this sign:
Hallelujah – time to turn around and head back!
Just after the turnaround point, my Garmin beeped for 13 miles. The thought of enduring 5 more miles was daunting. I really didn’t have a choice at this point though. So I trudged on.
Once the car was in sight and my watch read 16.85 miles, I made a deal with myself: if the temperature was below 100, I would finish up the 18. If it was above 100, I’d call it a day at 17.
I checked the weather app on my phone: 103 degrees. Game over. 17 was close enough – I’ll take it! Another long run in the books – it’s hard to believe marathon day is in just over a month.
Did you run or race this weekend? How did it go?