Sunday, March 6, 2011

Was It The Cake? Or The Beer?

On Satruday I had quite a hectic day. I worked for 10.5 hours and was extremely busy the whole time and ended up eating three pieces of cake (with cream filling a loads of frosting) leftover from a retirement party. It wasn't my finest nutritional moment. I got home and had some take out (pad eggplant from Wild Ginger... SO SO SO GOOD) and then went out for drinks for a freind's birthday. I went to bed and could not fall asleep. I maybe dozed off for five minutes or so but then woke up again around 3:30. I didn't fall back asleep until 6ish and then woke up again around 8:45.

Add that on to a bunch of other stress and 17 miles doesn't sound particularly pleasant. But that was on the agenda for this Sunday morning. I didn't make it to our run club (obviously) so I sat in bed for another hour and then finally headed out.

Needless to say, I wasn't expecting a lot from this run. I even told myself to not pay attention to pace and just get the miles in. I only brought my Garmin to see how far I was going.

But once I started moving, I didn't feel too bad. I actually had to concentrate on slowing down a bit for the first few miles... I ran from my house to the Highline Canal and decided if I still felt okay I'd pick up the pace then, about 3.5 miles into the run.

Once I got to the trail I kicked it up what felt like just a bit. I checked my Garmin. 7:10. Okay slow down a bit. I tried and checked my Garmin again. 6:58. It kept happening. And pretty soon my pace was around 6:45. I kept trying to slow down, and I'd get down to 7:00ish, stop paying attention, feel like I was going WAY to slow and check to see how horrific my pace was only to see that it was back in the 6:40's.

I decided to just go with it. I knew there was a really good chance I'd be hurting the entire second half of the run but it seemed like my legs were more or less stuck in gear.

I kept expecting the fatigue to rear it's head. Each time I clicked off another mile I thought "This is it. You're gonna die any second now." The entire 10 miles I was on the trail I felt amazing. It was so easy. But I assumed once I got back on the road something would change. Not so much. I had to stop to cross University and thought breaking my pace would definitely slow me down. Nope. Another stop at and intersection? No. In fact, after the last one I took off at 6:25. Craziness. Also awesomeness!

Let's get all technical. Here's what it all averaged out like per mile:
Mile 1: 7:48
Mile 2: 7:58
Mle 3: 8:08 (there was a giant hill there)
Mile 4: 7:10
Mile 5: 6:50
Mile 6: 6:49
Mile 7: 6:47
Mile 8: 6:59
Mile 9: 6:49
Mile 10: 6:49
Mile 11: 6:49
Mile 12: 6:48
MIle 13: 6:43
Mile 14: 6:42
Mile 15: 6:38
Mile 16: 6:49
Mile 17: 6:27

Holy shit. Where did that come from? My whopping 2 hours and 45 minutes of sleep? The beer? The cake?? How can you be in such poor condition to run and then bust that out? I have no idea. I honestly didn't feel like I was going that pace. That's the kind of pace that makes other people nervous. I definitely got some looks when I passed people. And not always nice looks. One guy seriously laughed at me. He probably thought I was going to crash and burn in just a few feet. So did I! But somehow I hung on for what was quite possibly one of the best long runs I've ever had. My legs were all shaky and my brain wasn't really functioning properly afterwards but, wow. I'm pretty excited about it!