This weekend was taken up by a hockey tournament, as are most long weekends since we started playing travel hockey in our family. We've got four games over the three days of the weekend, and as soon as the schedule came out, I was trying to figure out how to fit in my 18-mile run into all the activity. When we found out that today's game was right after noon at a rink in the town just north of us, I pulled up gmaps-pedometer and starting plotting out a route, with the idea that I would run to the ice rink in time to be ready for the puck drop. I woke up at 7:30, had some oatmeal, and since I had almost everything laid out from the night before, was out the door by 8:10, well before the boys woke up.
The problem is that the rink is less than 18 miles away, even taking a fairly circuitous route. So to make the mileage, I had to actually head toward the rink, then circle around my big block before getting going in the right direction. Mentally, that was really tough to do, especially was I wasn't really feeling the love this morning, and I was so, so tempted to just turn toward home after three miles and say, "nope, it wasn't my day, didn't feel it." But then I remembered that I had not only posted my intention on infernal Facebook, but also told the other parents from the team that I was running to the rink. So, they were all expecting it, and if I bailed, I'd have to fess up, and that wasn't going to happen. I had no choice but to dig in and run.
For the most part, the run was uneventful. I stopped a few times along the route to take in part of a PowerBar, and I had my double-barreled water bottle belt with my water/Gatorade mix for my fluids. Energy-wise, I felt great for the whole thing, and even though I slowed down in the second half of the run, it was more from soreness and discomfort than from energy issues. The route I chose through the middle part of town had more elevation changes than I expected, and that caused a lot of muscle pounding by the time I hit the highway overpass on the north side of town. The last three or so miles were also along a road that had no sidewalk, so I spent a lot of time jumping between the shoulder and the grass on the edge of the curb. I thought the grass would be a softer surface, but it ended up being pretty uneven and caused some soreness along the insides of my ankles; I ran along the street as much as possible, but by then, it was nearly noon and the traffic had picked up enough that I really couldn't safely run on the shoulder. The result was that I slowed down a lot, and ended up doing all I could to just finish. It also got pretty warm out, and the long-sleeved shirt that was perfectly suited for most of the morning was getting to be kind of unbearable. I drank all of one of my 20 oz bottles and more than half of the other, then followed it up with another 20 oz during the hockey game, and still felt like I was dehydrated for most of the day.
It ended up that the route I took, even with the roundabout early on, put me at the front door of the skating rink at exactly mile 17. I should have probably done a lap around the ball fields next door, and that would have put me at mile 18, but I just couldn't do it. So, 17 it is. Next week is scheduled for 20, followed by a half-marathon the week after, then another 20 miles before taper. I feel like I"m stronger than I've been in the past, and if I can work in some more hill workouts during the week, as well as at least one speed workout a week, I'll be in good shape for Cowtown.
Splits with notes for posterity are below. I thought my Garmin was dead earlier this week when it shut down on me after two miles when it said it had 8 hours of battery left It's definitely on it's last legs, so I've got to start looking around for a replacement.
Mile 1 - 10:19
Mile 2 - 10:29
Mile 3 - 10:38 (about the time I started thinking about bailing)
Mile 4 - 13:06 (stopped to call home about making arrangements for the boy during the game)
Mile 5 - 11:25 (had to stop for lights and navigate across I-20)
Mile 6 - 10:34
Mile 7 - 13:48 (waited FOREVER at a light, before changing direction to get moving again)
Mile 8 - 10:58
Mile 9 - 10:49
Mile 10 - 11:53 (lots of stoplights around this section, also way rolling)
Mile 11 - 15:41 (stopped to fix sock, fuel up, update FB, stretch)
Mile 12 - 13:53 (sent a text, took photos of the bridge)
Mile 13 - 11:37
Mile 14 - 11:27 (lots of downhill in this section - little faster, but I paid for it later)
Mile 15 - 13:59 (first section along the grassy median - bleargh)
Mile 16 - 15:03 (stopped to take a phone call, place order for a S'bucks smoothie)
Mile 17 - 12:59
Running time: 3:28:46
Average Pace: 12:17/mile
Total Calories burned: 2175