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Sweet 16 August 30, 2010

Posted by bettyjoan in Running.
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So, on August 21, 2010, I ran 16 miles.  Yes, all at one time, smarty pants.  Sheesh.

After a painful 14-miler two weeks prior, I was NOT looking forward to last weekend’s long run.  I mean, it’s hot, it’s hard on your body, and hell, it’s three (plus) solid hours of doing the same exact thing!

The night before the run, I had a hard time sleeping.  I was so nervous – which, of course, made me nervous (if I was that amped up over a 16-mile training run, imagine how I would feel the night before the actual marathon).  When I woke up the next morning, I calmed myself by thinking about all the tri friends I would be seeing – it was the All-Sport GTS, which meant that all of the Team In Training folks were training together and I’d get to check in with some of my former teammates.

After some inspiration, stretching, and a few bathroom trips (did I mention I was nervous and stalling?), it was time to start the run.  The first mile was silent, in honor of our TNT mission of fighting blood cancers, but as much as I tried to think about all of the patients and families I was running for, my mind ended up wandering to some scared and negative places.  Luckily for me, at the end of mile one, I ran into Mallory, a Chicago teammate and survivor!  She was doing a seven-two run-walk combination, which meant that she’d be running for seven minutes and then walking for two (and then lathering, rinsing, and repeating).  I asked her if I could join her, and off we went.

Even though there’s no getting around the fact that 16 miles is a LONG way to run, the workout went a lot faster than I thought it would.  Good company makes all the difference!  Mallory and I got to know each other a little better, and we kept each other on track in terms of pacing.  The 7-2 run-walk felt great – it forced me to take short breaks while my body was still fresh, which kept me going stronger and longer as we got into higher mileage.  Even though we walked up one or two of the biggest hills, we kept our splits pretty consistent and finished the workout in just under 3.5 hours (including water stops and a couple of potty breaks).  Woo hoo!

After an ice bath and some rest, I assessed my condition – surprisingly, I had a LOT less pain and soreness than I had after the 14-miler.  As anxious as I was feeling before the 16-mile run, I finally felt like I might actually be able to run a marathon after all.  Craziness!

Only two more long runs to go before the taper begins.  Hopefully, I can only improve on my 16-miler!

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