The 3M 23.5 Miler

Thanks to Scott Wedge for the photo! I’m happy to see I was smiling at Mile 10 (which was Mile 20 of my run)…Definitely looking stronger than I felt.

Going to bed early last night paid off because I wasn’t totally exhausted when the alarm went off at 4am. Let’s be honest, the last thing I wanted to do was go run 23 miles, but at least I felt well enough to try it.

My stomach wasn’t bothering me, but I noticed that I wasn’t really hungry at all. Last night, Shawn and I went to Galaxy and all I really wanted was some chicken broth and a few bites of mac and cheese. I’m still trying to figure out the source of this nausea and lack of appetite, but it doesn’t bode well during these long training weekends. I forced myself to eat a piece of bread with peanut butter and a banana. Usually, this is my food of the gods–(LOVE peanut butter and banana together all Elvis’ style), but it just didn’t sit well. I drank a bottle of water and drove up to our T3 Meeting point at 45th and Lamar.

So, the plan was to do a 10 mile warm up to the 3M Half Marathon start. In my mind, I was hoping to warm up at a 9:00min pace. Right out of the shoot, the fast folks were blazing a trail that was hardly a warm up for me. It was more like my scheduled race pace. Four miles into the warm up run and I was running an 8:37 pace and feeling like shit. I hadn’t carried any water with me thinking that I could stop at a gas station or steal some from a water stop table that might already be set up. This was a mistake as I was completely thirsty and dehydrated. On top of it, the mild nausea had returned (probably as a result of the dehydration). I was running with Jerry who wisely advised us to slow down so that we didn’t burn out. He also offered me some water from his bottle, which was a huge help. By the time we finished our 10.5 mile warmup, I was pretty spent and not feeling all that great. It’s scary, especially since our final avg for that part of the run was a 9:05 pace. It’s where I wanted to be, but not how I wanted to feel.

We arrived at the 3M Start Line 15 minutes before start time. I desperately needed a porta-potty pit stop before, but the lines were long. I decided to wait it out anyhow as my legs began to tighten and my temperature began to drop.

We made it to the start line in time and prepared for Part 2 of the day’s run. I knew it was going to be a tough one for me, so I encouraged Jerry to “run his race.” By Mile 1, he was out of sight and feeling good. I don’t know how he did it. He had very little water and no gels. Before the start, I forced a gel down even though it wasn’t tasting good at all. That was my first gel of the morning. It’s an interesting perspective of running when you’re not out there to be “the fast one.” I was getting passed by a lot of people including many Gazelles who went on to kick some butt. Even Jay said, “What are you doing back here? Did you have a 100 mile bike ride yesterday or something?”

“Yeah, kinda…And I ran 10 miles before this race even started!” My original hope was to run somewhere between 8:00s-8:30s for this race…of course, closer to 8:00s. However, it just wasn’t going to happen today. The first 5 miles clipped off quickly and I continued to ebb and flow between feeling good and feeling like total ass. Of course, it usually corresponded with whether or not I was on a hill at the time. Because I had neglected to drink enough before, I found myself walking the water breaks and taking two cups at every stop. I was so afraid of the tank going empty.

It’s also weird knowing that this was also just a long training run. I swear, you put a chip on, bring out a couple thousand people and set up water tables and you can’t help but kick into “race mode.” I didn’t mind being slower than usual, but I also didn’t want to be humiliated either. I wish I had a t-shirt that said, “I ran 10 miles before the start of the race” just to let people know why I seemed to be struggling. Along the way, I chatted with a few Gazelles (Susan, Frank, Rachel, Brian, Jay, Ann, Amy F., Monique, Katie) They provided a much-needed boost every single time as our meetings were spaced out throughout the course.

I choked another gel down at Mile 8 and hunkered in for the North Loop “hills.” It’s no Mt. Bonnell, but they definitely pose a challenge when you’re already fatigued. My splits continued to be decent for the shape I was in, but I was also paying a price for trying to run a decent Half-Marathon.

I saw Richard, Stephanie and Shawn at Mile 11 and stopped for a minute or so to visit with them. The last two miles are pretty fast so, again, I just put my head down and finished Miles 22 and 23 of my training day strong. It definitely wasn’t a PR, but an 8:19 overall pace is still pretty damn awesome considering.

I still have to figure out what’s going on with my body, but I’m definitely pleased with the training day. Did I mention it was utterly beautiful this morning watching the sun come up?

3M Mile Splits
1:49:06 (8:19 avg pace)

Mile 1: 8:55
Mile 2: 8:36
Mile 3: 8:24
Mile 4: 8:16
Mile 5: 8:00
Mile 6: 8:20
Mile 7: 8:05
Mile 8: 8:17
Mile 9: 8:44
Mile 10: 8:19
Mile 11: 8:38 (visit with Richard, Steph and Shawn)
Mile 12: 7:45
Mile 13: 7:42
Mile .1: .58

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3 thoughts on “The 3M 23.5 Miler

  1. 7:45 7:42 final two miles of 23 miles worth of running..on a day when you did not feel too good. I’d say that you had a very good day..great effort..you may now collapse

  2. OMG…I think you did great!!! Running 10 miles before a half marathon…what a great idea to have something to push your pace the last half of your long run.I’m not sure I could do that yet. My goal is to break 2:00 in a stand alone half!

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