Longest Run Experiments

Happy Sunday!

Yesterday was a big day for training.  It was my first run in a week due to the holidays and it was also my longest run of my training – 9 miles!  I know for some that is nothing but for me it was a big deal.  And it wasn’t easy.  It was humid and I did a lot of experiments on this run.  I was a regular ol’ scientist.

I know that you’re supposed to get comfortable with gear, fueling, etc before a race so as I’m getting into the longer runs now was the time I chose.  Here are all the things I did that were new to me:

– Breakfast – normally I just wake up and go, especially on the weekdays when all of my runs begin before 6am and before the sun comes up.  Even for long runs I like to sleep in and just roll out of bed and run.  So yesterday I had a cup of coffee and a waffle with almond butter about an hour before I headed out.  It didn’t cause any problems, I’m not sure if I noticed any difference at all.

– Drink during the run – I carried a water bottle on this run and am so thankful that I did.  Jeff got me an Amphipod for Christmas which was great because it kept the water cold and I was able to put my keys, ID, and some cash in the little compartment in case I needed to stop or had an emergency.  Because it was so hot and I started out too fast for the distance, I would not have made it without anything.

– New route – My normal route is comfortable for 7 and 8 miles, but instead of just doing a random loop for the additional mile, I changed up the route and headed down to the beach.  It is about 4 miles from my house so it was nice to be near the beach for the mile I spent there, but there were too many people and I spent most of the time dodging pedestrians and it wasn’t quite as enjoyable as I had thought it would be.  I think if I were to try this again I’d drive down to the beach so I would be able to get on a path there that didn’t have as many people.  Overall though I think it is good to switch up the route so that you don’t get too comfortable doing the same thing all of the time as well as for safety purposes.  I run only in safe areas but who knows what kind of creepers are out there counting on runners to be on their ‘normal route’.  It’s sad to have to think that way but it’s better to be safe than sorry.

A big highlight of the run was seeing this guy:

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I think he was pondering the meaning of his iguana life and wondering why so many people actually believed that the Mayans had a clue when the world was going to end.

With all of these changes yesterday, here’s how the run looked in terms of splits:

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I lost my negative splits 🙁  But I figured that I would after I saw the first 2 miles.  I was just going too fast with as many more miles as I had to complete.  Lesson learned.  It was also clear from looking at the heart rates.  According to the genius Garmin gurus, they classified my average training zone as 5.  In terms of a training effect, or what this particular exercise is doing to improve my aerobic fitness, a training zone of 5 is “overreaching”  or in other words, you’re pushing way too hard dumbo, ease up!

Overall the run was a success, I now know that I need to start out slower and have a better planned route.

After I finished my run, I went to meet Jeff for lunch since he was just finishing up at work for the day.  I somehow locked myself out of the house without my car keys, so I had to break into my house.  Note to self – breaking into the house was far too easy.  Not so good.  Good thing Jingo will protect us with all of her ferocity.

Today is a rest day, and I am trying to tackle our spare room which has become that closet  in Monica’s apartment from Friends – it’s a holy mess right now and is in dire need of help.

Do you do experiments with long runs?

Did you ever have to break into your own house?

What are your plans for New Year’s Eve?

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