Sunday, March 18, 2007

18 Miles on a Treadmill

I set a record today for my longest treadmill run ever. Prior to today, my longest had been 16 miles, when training for the Marine Corps Marathon.

The original plan was to run outdoors. I was going to park my car, run 9 miles to a location where I would meet up with my friend, and then we were going to run 9 miles back to my car. She is running a half marathon next weekend, so it would have served as her last long training run. Unfortunately, the wind combined with temperatures in the 40's made the idea of running such a distance extremely undesirable. Had it not been for the wind, I wouldn't have minded running in 45-degree weather.

I took a pack of Jelly Belly sports bean with me (I always feel so weird eating on the treadmill) and a bottle of water and started my run. I always wonder if other people notice how long I am on the treadmill and if they think I am just obsessed with running, or actually training for something. I had to reset the treadmill three times, because the maximum is 60 minutes. I decided to reset the treadmill every six miles-- here are my splits:  

First six: 58:35 (9:46 average pace) including a walk break at the end of each mile.
Middle six: 57:35 (9:36 average pace) including a shorter walk break at the end of each mile.
Last six: 55:20 (9:13 average pace) just one short walk break at the end of mile 13.

I ran the last two miles at a much faster pace, and I felt like I could have gone even further. I got sort of bored and not wanting to run anymore at around mile 12, but once I hit 15, I got a second wind. My overall time for this run was 2:51:30, yielding an average pace of 9:31. Spread across a marathon, I would get a time of 4:09:48, which is what I am hoping for in New Jersey at the end of April.

My feet have shrunk. I have run all my marathons in Brooks Adrenaline size 6. My size 6's feel way too big now, and I am more comfortable in the 5.5's. I ran this run in my size 6's and I stopped several times to tie them tighter for more support. I am now debating which shoe size to wear during the marathon. Do I wear the size 6 like usual? Or the size 5.5? This could make a huge difference in how my feet and legs feel.

I wore a new sports bra. For me, the biggest running "gear" challenge is finding a supportive, dry-wicking sports bra that doesn't chafe (even with body glide). The sports bras designed for bustier women don't support me whatsoever and the extra wires that those bras have are painful. I've decided that the best approach is buy an Extra Small sports bra (despite my cup size) and just cram these things in there so they can't move. I tried it today with a new sports bra and it worked!

My schedule for the next few weeks is as follows:
March 24: 9 miles (if anyone thinks I could do more and not have my 10-miler suffer, chime in!)
April 1: Cherry Blossom 10-mile race
April 6: 20-mile training run
April 14: Running the last 10 miles of a 50-mile race with Michael Hayden
April 21: 8 miles
April 29: New Jersey Marathon

All you runners who are reading this, please feel free to offer advice on this plan. I haven't done much trail running, so I need to be very careful doing the last ten miles of that Ultra with Michael. If I feel like the hills and the terrain are too much, I will stop and just do a longish run on Sunday.

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