Long Run Report - December 13, 2015

Wow, you guys REALLY like these long run reports!  Hello to all my new readers, and I hope you stick around.  Thank you very much to Tricia at Missippipiddlin for her kind comments here...she and I ran the Magnolia Half Marathon together earlier this month, and I loved reading her recap.

You can read last week's long run recap by clicking HERE.  Okay, so here is the recap for this week's long run, which I did on a Sunday.

Apparently, this is the Sunday morning long run crew?  Who knew!  I'm front and center (not by design).

Strava Link HERE
Distance: 15.6 miles
Weather: 72 degrees, partly cloudy, 75% humidity, 15 mph winds
Clothing: Lululemon What the Sport Shorts, sports bra, singlet, reflective vest
Pace: 9:29
Splits: 9:46, 10:31, 9:14, 9:19, 9:04, 9:02, 9:34, 9:21, 9:16, 9:45, 9:42, 10:29, 9:14, 8:44, 9:12, 9:30
Terrain: the hills of Birmingham...what more can I say?!  Fairly extreme hills at miles two and thirteen, with a long slow climb from mile seven to mile twelve.
Heart Rate: 166 average
Suffer Score: 216
Stops:  Probably five?  Waited for the people I was meeting at mile 2.2, Gatorade at 5.5, water and a caffeinated gel at 8.5, water at 12.5, and more water when I left my friends at 13.5.
Day Prior: Race!  I ran one leg of a four-person relay for a trail 50k. 
Fuel: dinner of venison steak, asparagus, sweet potato, and red wine.  Pre-run meal of a protein bar.  Gatorade at mile 5.5 and a caffeinated gel at mile 8.5.  YAY, CAFFEINE.

Back on my home turf.

Ratings (46/80)

Muscular Strength: 5
Cardiovascular Fitness: 7
Fueling: 7
Wellness: 10
Freshness: 2
Endurance: 5
Mental Toughness: 5
Pacing: 5

As the ratings above probably show, I am still waiting with bated breath for a long run that feels effortless and strong.  They have been eluding me for several weeks.  At least I managed to keep my heart rate a little more under control, even with the hills. 

Mostly in Zone 2.  Success!

I went to bed last night like 90% sure that I wasn't going to do a long run this week.  I've been following the McMillan-based plan provided by Strava Premium, which I have mixed feelings about (more on that later).  My scheduled "long" run this week was just a 90-minute progression.  Weird, right?  On Saturday, I ran one leg of a four-person relay for a trail 50k (again, more on that later!).  My segment was 6.8 miles, which I ran at an 8:50 pace.  Aside from that part, my team had two small children, bags of gear, clothing, food, etc. to schlep back and forth from the relay exchange points at the top of the mountain.  I ended up hiking 3+ miles with gear and a toddler in a sling.  Ooof.

My segment ended with about a mile on power line easements, so it wasn't too bad.  Also, if anyone sees a copy of "Beginner's Guide to Not Looking Angry When You Run Fast," please reserve it for me. 

The race was tremendously fun, and my team won second overall coed with a time of 4:14:10.  Obviously, I have very fast friends willing to run organized events with me.  That night, as I lay down exhausted, I decided to put my running gear out just in case.  I scrolled Facebook and saw two organized Sunday long runs, mostly for people who had raced or volunteered on Saturday.  I decided that I could try to make it to one if I woke up before 4:30.  Oooof.

When the alarm went off, I decided I felt okay.  I dressed and left on foot at 5:30 to meet up with a group that was starting at 6:00, from a coffee shop 2.2 miles from my home.  I followed Google Maps pedestrian directions to get there, and ended up going up a massive (13% grade) hill alone, half asleep and in the dark, and not entirely sure where I was going.  Oooooof.

Once I met up with the group and the sun started to rise, everything felt much better.  (Of note: there was a woman who showed up in a full face of makeup.  How or why she managed that is still sort of blowing my mind.)  My legs were heavy for the first five miles, but that seemed to go away after I got warmed up and had some Gatorade.  I decided to cut some of the planned route in order to avoid running 18+ miles.  When I spontaneously turned down an alleyway behind the Art Museum, I found $20 on a storm drain!  Yay!  A long run that pays for itself!  There were no other people or cars in sight, so there was no way to determine who the money belonged to.  I pocketed it started making plans to use it for beer and ice cream.  Great mental game...I definitely recommend it.

I paused to give a woman directions to the train station, then at mile 8.5 decided to stop in the bathrooms at Railroad Park to cool down and eat a gel.  I wet my hat and hair and had a bunch of water.  I was sort of in awe that I felt miserably hot on December 13.  Unreal!

The next four miles were a long slog where I just put my head down and did the work.  At mile 12.5, I stopped in a Starbucks for some more water, which they put in a fancy cup for me (accidentally left my watch running, too).  I should win some sort of yuppie award, because I finished the run with that cup in my hand. It seemed wasteful to just chuck it, you know?  A mile later, I said goodbye to my friends and headed back down the hill for home.

And the run wouldn't have been complete without one more ridiculous interaction, right?  Less than two blocks from home, when I was exhausted and zoned out and probably looking ridiculous, this disheveled older man shouted "PRETTY LEGS!" to me.  I went into New Yorker mode and ignored him, but then he shouted "PRETTY EVERYTHING."  Nothing from me.  Then he ramped it up with "DON'T YOU HEAR ME, YOU BITCH??!"  I just said clearly, "fuck off, man" without looking up.  Well, he chased me to the front door of my building.  I used the fob and got inside without an issue, but...what?  I guess that counts as 1) a fast finish long run, and 2) another vote in favor of the Ugly Shorts.

But seriously...you would think I wouldn't still be getting violent catcalls, as I am approaching my late 30s.  I guess you never really age out of that shit.

The end.