14 Miler PDR!

This weekend I hit a personal distance record – a little over 14 miles! Although I’ve run two half-marathons and completed many other 10-12mile runs, this was a huge mental/physical win for me.

Apparently this is the logo of a Navy squadron, but it seemed appropriate 🙂

Until a few weeks ago when I decided to register for the Paris 2012 Marathon, I’ve never trained for any distance beyond 13.1 miles and therefor, I had never felt the desire to push past that distance marker. I was extremely proud of myself when I accomplished my first half-marathon and at the point I really did not think I’d ever be training for a marathon, or that I would ever run more than 13.1miles. 13 miles is a far distance for me, a person that hated running with a passion until the beginning of just this year. Now instead of hating running with a passion, I run with a passion.

After my first half-marathon I suffered an injury, so at that point the idea of running longer distances wasn’t even a thought. My 2nd half marathon just 4 months after my first and still recovering from my injury, I PR’d by 4mins, but ran myself into exhaustion. After that race I was sick for the next day or so and then my legs were sore and my injury pain was coming back so I took my mileage easy. Anyways, this is all the long version of me saying I never thought I’d run OVER a 1/2 marathon and hit 14miles!

I didn’t totally planned to reach a PDR this past weekend, but I guess you could say I got caught up in the moment (moment = 2 hours of running). It went something like this…

I had planned to run that morning with Katie. We’d been trying to meet up the whole week so I could show her the East River running path (she’s a west sider). Since we both had long runs planned, we had planned on meeting on the West Side Highway around midtown and looping south around the island over to the East Side; this would have been about 10miles for me. Shannon has mentioned to me the night before that she was doing her long run on the same day, but she was planning on starting at 6am so I figured we’d miss each other (I had an 8am wakeup planned).

Well, things didn’t work out as planned. Unfortunately Katie had to work really late, so wasn’t up for an early morning run (totally understand that one!). On the opposite side, I woke up earlier than planned (7am). I was bummed about the lack of company, but I already mentally committed to completing my long run that day so I figured I’d just bang out 8 – 14miles alone — I still somewhat lack confidence that my legs will continue moving, so I rarely commit myself to a scary distance, hence the 8 OR 14. I had a lot on my mind last week and just downloaded a new CD (Tim McGraw) so I figured running alone wouldn’t be so bad. On the other hand, a little company is always helpful on a long run so I texted Shannon on my way out on the off chance that we’d be able to meet up along the way. I decided to run the opposite of my planned route and go East to West, so this way I’d have more of a likely hood of running into Shannon (she told her me route previously).

Around 7:30am, fueled with some bread/peanut butter/banana, fuel belt on, and decked out in hats/gloves because I’m always cold… I headed out. I ran the first part without music and it was nice to just soak in the morning air, even if it was a bit brisk for my taste. I was actually getting warm in the sun despite the 48 degree temps, but the shade was chilly. About 5miles in I turned on my ipod and zoned out to country tunes of Tim McGraw.

Right past South Street Seaport

At about mile 7 I was feeling a bit tired and as luck has it, that’s when I got a text from Shannon that she was on 23rd and the West Side Highway – I was around 10th street on the West Side Highway! I was pumped that I’d soon have a running buddy so I kept going. I ran into Shannon shortly after and I popped in two GU blocks as we caught up. I really needed the energy and blocks really helped. In retrospect I should have had more.

We headed North along the Hudson river, dodging some bikes here and there. I’m not sure when, but I think it was at about mile 9 I started to feel good and strong again and that’s when I decided I was going to hit the 14mile mark today! I’d been having a pretty sh*tty week and I felt the need to accomplish something.

We ran up to about 72nd street and turned back south.  At about 65th street and the Hudson river there were people giving out Zico flavored Coconut Water. I was at about mile 11 and my energy levels were slowly depleting and I’m pretty sure my breakfast and 2 GU blocks were well worn out of my by then. I wanted to hug and kiss the people give out the water and tell them I loved them — instead I just took it, said thank you and kept on running (probably the best choice?).

So only 3 miles to go, “I can totally do this!” I told myself. I luckily had Shannon with me almost all the way to the end. We parted ways at 40th street (she had completed her 18miles) and I only had 1.5 miles to go! Out of the scheme of things 1.5miles seemed easy. I took it slow, although running alone I was tempted to speed up a bit and just get the darn 14miles over with. I finally ended my run at 7th Avenue and 28th Street (ironically enough at my old college, FIT). My Garmin clocked a little over 14miles!!!! I finished in at 2:31:33, with an average pace of 10:41min/mile.

I was elated….and sore…and feeling physically depleted/dizzy. I hoped in a cab, because after 14miles I felt like I deserved a cab even if it was only a 1.5mile walk home. I immediately opened my mango coconut water and down it. I really don’t like coconut water, but flavored versions I can stand. Ahhhh it felt so good though. I instantly felt more alive and felt the energy crawling back into my body. Thank you again Zico people, I love you!

I got back to my apartment and did a little song and dance to myself that I like to call the “I ran 14 miles” dance. It was great, if only my middle school dance teachers could see me now. I’m going to have to say there was probably more arm movement in my dance than legs movements because, well, my legs couldn’t really move much at that point.

I learned some important things about fueling, though, from this run:

  • I need a lot of water. Other people may be able to run with little to no water, but that’s just not me. I only filled up 2 bottles on my fuel belt, but needed all 4.
  • Energy in = energy out. I need to eat more on longer runs. Again, other people may be able to go distances on little to no food, but my body needs fuel. My body process food pretty quickly so I’m going to need to find the balance of not eating so much that I feel sluggish, but not eating so little that I feel tired.
  • …and ice bath may not be a bad idea…maybe next time…

My 14 mile run was such a milestone because I realized I can run long distances and I can run a marathon and I WILL run a marathon in April 2012.

I realized something else though too, I don’t want to just “run” a marathon – I want to finish strong. I have 6 months to train and I’m going to do it right. I’m not going to be limping over the finish line, I’m going to end blazing with arms in the air.

QUESTIONS: Tell me about your run this weekend! For all those marathon trainers or runners out there, at what point did you realize you could run a marathon?? 

Have a wonderful week 🙂

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13 Responses to 14 Miler PDR!

  1. genuinefeedback says:

    CONGRATS on your recent PDR! You go girl! Stay focused and you WILL finish that Paris 2012 marathon very strong. This weekend I did my final long run (6miles) for my 1/2 marathon this weekend and it seemed such a short distance after doing 11 mile long runs. Unlike you, I am one who cannot fuel before I run, (short or long distances) weird I know, but it has become the norm, but mid way, I check in for gummy treats and they seem to work. But check me post-race, and I will eat a house!!!! But then again, I have only run 1/2 marathons…maybe that would change if I EVER decided to a full. I think I could run a marathon and others keep encouraging me to, but the desire is not there….maybe, just maybe….CONGRATS AGAIN. Keep your laser focus!

  2. Thank you!!!!

    ahhh I sometimes wish I could run without pre-fueling to cut out time, but I can’t even run 4miles without SOMETHING.

    How’d the Half go? If you can run 13miles you can definitely run 26!!! You’ll sign up for a marathon when the time is right 🙂

    • genuinefeedback says:

      Hey lady!
      I had my Half this past Sunday (Oct 16) and did it a minute faster than my last one. Official time 1:54. And check this out. It was the first time I did NOT use my gummies but I did STOP (not grab, run and chug water) but stop drink my water THREE times!!! Something I dont EVER do. And still did a minute faster. I was thinking I was past the 2hr mark (refused to look at my Nike and TomTom watch throughout the race) but was under that time. Reflecting I know that I was more dehydrated on this run than de-energized, but the weather was great (62 degrees) and windy – running along the shore. So it was definitely different. But now, another adjustment to factor in as I prep for the next and last Half of the 2011 year in 30 days.

  3. so proud of you!!!!!

    every long run you learn something new about yourself/what works/what doesn’t. i still have no idea what im doing, but have definitely had some ah-ha moments– craving gatorade, when to take Gu, how to braid my hair so that it doesnt give me whiplash lol, all that good stuff.

    You are going to run a marathon in 6 months!!!! Can’t wait to follow along your journey. 🙂

  4. PorcelinaTweets says:

    Woop woop!! Doing a little victory dance for you on my side of the pond!

    Congrats on your PDR!

    Re: fueling.Do you ever find that eating loads the night before a long run helps? I’m all about potatoes for my evening meal preceeding a long run for some reason…!

    You WILL be blazing over the finish line at Paris! V tempted to hop on the Eurostar to be there with a big sign and a hige cheer!!!

    • I can just see your dance now (6 hour time delay from NY to UK)..haha

      I haven’t tried eating loads the night before, but I have tried slowly eating more a couple of days before. My stomach is pretty good about handling a lot of types of food, but it’s not great with handling too much at once. Potatoes may be a good idea though, I’ll have to try it out!

  5. Pingback: Sometimes you do things that are crazy.. « Life As Megan Knows It

  6. Girl this is amazing! I am so happy for yoU! You are going to cross that finish line super strong!

  7. Kelly says:

    great running! PDRs are such a huge boost! You have a ton of time to get ready for your marathon – you’ve totally got it. Excited to following your training 🙂

  8. Melissa says:

    amazing job! A marathon is definitely in your future!

  9. marathon winer says:

    congrats again on your 14! i’ve got 14 to do today…and still in my pjs! i need to find a REAL job soon!!!!

  10. Pingback: Take that Rain – 15 Mile PDR!!!! | sweatpassionandtears

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