March 11, 2002

Part One: Saturday’s Long Run

Saturday, Chris and I ran our scheduled 16 mile run. It went significantly better than the one the week before. I was far better prepared, but it was still a learning experience.

We started out running at about 8 a.m., so I got enough sleep the night before. It was overcast, but slightly warmer than the previous long run, so the occasional light showers were welcome. We decided to implement walking breaks from the very beginning of the run, in a 12:2 ratio. In addition, instead of running the 6.5-6.5-4 loops (total: 17 miles), we decided to run as if each 12:2 split was one mile (though I suspect it may have been slightly more.) So we meandered down side streets, I took Chris past two of the apartments I lived in during college (university), and we had a grand old time. We went through the Garden District, a lovely area with beautiful houses, big and small.

The first loop was probably 9 miles, and it went off without a hitch. We made it back to the car to rehydrate, stretch, use the bathroom, take gels, etc, and then headed off for the second loop. This loop was not so great for me. Though I drank plenty of water before we headed off again, it just wasn’t enough. About 3 miles into this loop, I started feeling dehydrated (chills, tickly feeling in my chest and arms, just funny overall) and we stopped at this gymnasium that had water fountains and bathrooms. (It wasn’t open when we passed it the weekend before, so we weren’t able to partake in it’s oasis-ness. It was truly heaven to find!) After this break, and plenty of water (but no gels) I felt somewhat better. But a few miles after this, the sun started to come out, and it started to get pretty humid. I started to get dehydrated again, and I just couldn’t run the 12:2s as planned. So we walked when I felt funny, and when I cooled down, we ran. Finally we made it back to the car after running for 3:45, which is what we were shooting for.

I learned a lot from this run, mainly (again) the importance of hydration. (Not that I didn’t already know this or anything.) But I’m used to running past water fountains during my runs, which the lakes in Baton Rouge don’t have. So I had to go miles (5 or 6 at a time) without water. At least during the marathon, there will be water breaks every mile. (We were thinking, though – hope they don’t run out of water by the time we get to them!) So hydration shouldn’t be a problem. We are going to walk through the water stops, which will function as our planned walking breaks. Should be good. And unless England has a freak heat wave in April, it should be cooler and less humid. I hope. Also, my shirt, which had a sort of high neck, got really hot, so a v-neck shirt is definitely in order for the marathon.

All in all, a really good run, though. I felt good afterwards and there was no real lingering stiffness, thanks to my new fail-proof recovery system. Soak feet in cold water, spray down legs with cold water at the same time, take some ibuprofen, take a nap. Woo! So, on to Sunday’s race…
.: posted by pam m 

Part Two: Sunday’s 5K Race, The 25th Annual Lakeside Hospital Scrub Shirt Classic

I had been looking forward to this race for a while, for several reasons. First, we get scrub shirts instead of t-shirts; second, there is lots of good food afterwards; and third, it takes place at the hospital where I was born. So in spite of the fact that I had to leave Baton Rouge at 10 p.m. on Saturday night to drive back to New Orleans, I was excited about this race.

Because this was Kristina’s first 5K since October and one of the few times she’s run since January, I didn’t expect to PR this race. Not to mention the fact that I ran 16-17 miles the day before! I expected my legs to be heavy and sluggish, and I would have been happy with a time of under 40 minutes. My previous PR was 37:01, and to run faster would require 12 minute miles, and I just didn’t think I had it in me.

But it was colder outside than my last race, and I seem to have gotten faster since then, as well. We hit the first mile split at 12:01. But it didn’t feel too fast! So we kept going. Mile two, 11:46. Eeps! We’re getting faster! We start to close in on some people ahead of us. Kristina starts whining about not wanting to go faster. Never mind that she used to be the one that pushed me during races, now she won’t let me push her. Regardless, we press on. Thirty-four minutes on my watch, and the finish line is well within sight. Could this be another PR? Kristina sprints slightly ahead of me, and crosses the finish line in 36:10. The man at the finish line yells to me, “You’re not going to let her beat you, are you?” and I yell back, “but I’m letting her win!” It was funny. I cross at 36:11. A new PR, by 50 seconds! Woo hoo! We got our medals (love medals!) and headed to the food. Mmmmm. Smoothies, pizza, chicken, bagels, yum yum yum.

Quads slightly sore afterwards, but nothing major. Today, I feel fine. I’m getting better at this running thing! I’m using the 5K in place of one of my 5 milers this week, since I raced it. Next run, an 8 miler tomorrow afternoon. And this weekend…18 miles in Austin!