Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Awesome 18 Miles Despite Insane Head Wind

Taken by Abby after I conquered my run.
I was so happy, and also wanted to show off
my awesome new compression sleeves :)
I had one of the best runs of my life this Sunday. I wanted to blog about it immediately, but things got way too hectic this week, so I'm only able to get to it now.  I planned an 18 mile long run on Sunday to make it my first 60 mile week. The plan called for 8 miles easy and then 10 miles at marathon pace. 

I had a similar run two weeks ago, but 2 miles shorter, so only 8 were at marathon pace. That run went alright, but my "marathon" pace that I set in my head was around 7:45. I was able to finish it averaging that, but it was way too hard of an effort, and by the time I finished, the idea of running 10 more miles at that pace was insane.  

I decided for this last Sunday's run to not push it as hard, so that when I finish, I'm not feeling like I've given everything I've got. The first 8 easy miles went by without a hitch and I was feeling good. I took two GUs with me and had the first one right before the faster stuff started.  It was not easy managing this with my ski gloves on.  Why was I wearing ski gloves? I'll get into the weather later on in this post. The first mile of the "marathon" pace I wanted to be in the 7:50 range to see how that felt.  Well, it did not feel that great.  I started that mile going up a hill, and then I turned into a head wind (This is the theme of this whole run) so when I was half way through it, I looked at my Garmin and realized I was pushing fairly hard to maintain an 8:10 pace.  This was very disappointing, but I pressed on hoping I would get into it as the run progressed.  After I turned again, out of the head wind, I started to speed up naturally and finished the first mile in just under 8:00 pace. 

The second mile went a lot better.  Now I started to feel more comfortable and was settling into what marathon pace should feel like.  Not too easy, but still something I could maintain for a long while. That second mile I was cruising along at sub 7:40 yet my HR was below 160.  This was great and I settled into a 7:40ish pace for the next couple miles, feeling awesome. 

And then..... 

<Insert suspenseful music here>

I turned on to Hillsborough rd. 

Me running against this ridiculous head wind
As you can see in this awesome picture I created, that stretch from mile 12 to the beginning of 15, was all nonstop, crazy head wind.  It was about 17mph and it did not let up at all. When I first turned on Hillsborough, to make matters even worse, it starts with a hill.  The combination of the hill and the headwind slowed me down to an 8:15 pace, but pushing harder than I was before when I was doing 7:40.  I was so angry.  I actually yelled "ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!". Soon after I yelled this, and I got past the hill, I decided that I needed to get under 8:00 pace at least, so I pushed just a bit harder, and my pace started to come down.  That 2.3 mile stretch was a killer, but I got through it, and all under 8 pace, and truth be told, still not that crazy hard compared to my last long run.  I really felt like I had this battle with the wind, and this time, I was the winner.

After I turned off of Hillsborough, I was able to return back to my 7:40ish pace and was still feeling strong.  I was very happy at this point because I was running hard, but not giving it all.  My last mile, I took in a bit harder and came in at 7:22, but still felt great. When the run was over, I was absolutely ecstatic! The weather was so miserable, about 28 degrees but with the wind it felt like the low teens and I had the most amazing run.

Compression Sleeves

Just one last thing I wanted to tack on to the end of this.  This was my first long run wearing these compression sleeves I picked up at Prinecton Running Co.  and I just wanted to say I absolutely love them.  I plan on wearing them for all of my long runs.  I'm thinking about getting another pair as well, but they are pretty expensive at $40 a pop!

1 comment:

  1. Nice job on that long run Dimitri. Sounds like you kicked the wind's butt. And I absolutely LOVE the graphic you composed. It's so... realistic! But if we were running in the same wind on Sunday, mine had a much meaner face. I'm thinking about these compression sleeves for myself too. Keep it up!