Sunday, July 09, 2006

Almost a Half

Sonya and I met early today to get started on our marathon training. We ran 13 miles - darn near a half. We left my house at 5:45, drove to Pt. Defiance and started our run. There is a road looping the park that is called Five Mile Drive. Amazingly, if you stick to the road, it is five miles! I kind of laugh, because there is one spot where we always cut through the parking lots, which I discovered shortens the run to 4.8. This is an extremely hilly run - in fact, it's the guts of our infamous Sound to Narrows. Our plan was to run halfway up the big hill, turn and run down to the beach, run along the promenade by the water, then up the ferry ramp, into town for a long around-the-block, then two loops of Five Mile Drive. That route took us by the cars three times. It worked out very well, though on the second hilly loop, we decided that our 16 miler next weekend will be done somewhere flat.

When we got down to the beach, I discovered I had only pushed the start button on my watch once, which meant it was still on stand-by and wasn't recording time. We estimated our time at close to 10 minutes, since I had looked at the clock when we pulled in and we figured we started 5 minutes later. It's not a big deal, except for those walking breaks I take - the watch has a rolling countdown timer that tracks those for me. We walked through the parking lot to the beach, then started the timer up for the rest of the run. We finished our funny little loop, and ran by the cars for the start of the two bigger loops. We didn't need to stop by the cars yet, so we ran on by. The first loop was great and we both felt strong.

As we came down the last hill on the loop we could see the cars in the distance and we could see some of the running group waiting for us. We tried to time it so we'd be by the start in time to pick up the group for our usual 8:00 am run - it worked out perfectly. We quickly refilled our gu supplies and continued. The second loop was much tougher. I could feel the fatigue in my legs on the hills, but we kept going. Rick, Melissa and Elaine were running with us and kept us entertained and moving. It was funny, but in the last mile I started feeling like I was getting a second wind, which makes me feel confident for next weeks run.

From this point on, every increase in mileage is a new distance for both Sonya and I - a half marathon is the farthest we've ever gone. I'm excited to break some new barriers and pick up the mileage. Amy pointed out yesterday that half the fun is plotting the routes - I think she's right. Trying to figure out next weekends route occupied our minds for at least a mile or so.

Our group was small today - many of our runners were at the Seafair Marathon and Half, plus Eric, Steve and George were running one of the training runs for the White River 50 mile. Although the organized run was something like 25 miles, they were only going to do 18. I'm anxious to hear how the race went for Rob and the others, and how the guys liked the first section of WR50. For now though, I think I've earned a nap!

Sunday: 13 miles, approximate time: 2:40 (two bathroom stops, one car stop)
Total for the week: 40.2 miles, 7:54:26

Oh, that reminds me, the best thing about my runs lately has been my low heartrates. Today my average was 142, my high was 159, even with all the hills! Back in 2003, my averages ran between 159 and 168, with peaks around 178. The stress tests showed that when my hr climbed into the 160s, my blood pressure rose dramatically, which led the doctors to specify walking breaks and keeping it below 160. The averages include those walk breaks, but up until surgery, I often recorded averages of around 153, including walk breaks. Apparently, illness was driving it up. Cool, huh?

16 comments:

angie's pink fuzzy said...

very cool!

what encouraging progress :)

Sarah Elaine said...

Just think how far you've come (back) in a relatively short time.

Too bad about the watch. I've done that myself. Ugh!

Good job!

Donald said...

Going into uncharted waters always seems so exciting. Enjoy your training.

craig said...

You are going strong and long. your progress is inspiring. Keep up the good work.

Jack said...

Sounds like the training is progressing nicely, keep it up.

susie said...

A low heart rate is very cool, indeed. And so is the longer mileage. Have fun with that!

Nicole said...

Nice job and sounds like a great place to run - very scenic unlike the lakefront in Chicago

olga said...

13 miles is a long way - it's so great to hear you are up to it and in progress of your marathon training!
As for HR - may be you also get fitter? May be this speed doesn't challenge you anymore? May be you WANT you HR to be higher at least once a week instead of feeling "easy"? Just a thought.

Anne said...

Isn't it funny how a half marathon is a blast when it's done on your own terms and yet, throw in a finish chute and big clock and BOOM! it seems a lot farther?! Well, in any event, nice work!

Robb said...

It feels good to challenge yourself and I am glad to hear that it's going so well. Good job Michelle with putting in the distance especially with the hills.

Interesting about your HR. I'm thinking about buying a HR monitor. I often check it at the end of a run after I've pushed to the finish and it's usually quite high - in the 180's. I'm curious to see where it sits while I'm cruising along the roads. Good info.

GotLegs! said...

Thanks for the update. I love hearing about the excitement others have with their progress. Those are the best posts to me. Very encouraging. Keep up the energy and keep it exciting for yourself. *tc

matt said...

You are really doing great out there, Michelle! Are you sure you want to just stop at training for a marathon…I mean, while you are running those 26, you can just tack on another 5.1 miles for an ultra : ) Keep up the great work!

TryAthlete said...

Congratulations. Keep setting more records!

robtherunner said...

Great job on the 13 miler and please pick a flatter route next week. I am hoping to do a long run on Sunday too so Orting area would be perfect. You could actually do the entire Orting to South Prairie section. How cool would that be?

D said...

Nice strong run! Great HR as well...and with all those hills! What marathon are you training for? I don't see it on your upcoming events. You are going to do great. You are really getting the mileage in!

You were right... Meryl Streep is a great actress and nailed the role in the movie.

Have a great week.

Ryan said...

WELL DONE! It’s a nice feeling to finish a run strong! Good luck with your training!