I don't know what it is but going past the 13.1 half marathon distance just scares the ever loving shit out of me, and so instead of just doing it and getting it over with, I pussy foot around it. Two weeks ago, 14 miles was on the Galloway schedule. We went to the refuge and chaos ensued. The bugs got the best of us and we called it a day after 5+ torturous miles. Last Sunday we didn't run long at all because Charlie was recovering from a fall at work and a nice gash to his head. 14 had to get done yesterday.
So I hemmed and hawed over the best way to tackle 14 miles. I conferred with Charlie and my friend Laurie. OPTION 1: Run a 7 mile out and back run westward on Montauk Highway? That's kind of boring, a bit dangerous and I wasn't quite sure of the availability of restrooms and convenience stores along the route. OPTION 2: Head to the Selden Hills course, run the 10k course then a flat-ish 4 mile out and back course on Bicycle Path. Advantages to this plan of attack were running with others on the course and using the car as home base for fuel replenishment, but I still don't know about the bathroom situation, and would I even want to run a mile let alone 8 after the hills?... or OPTION 3: Run my local neighborhood for as many miles I can get and then go out onto Montauk Hwy for the last few out and back.
I chose door #3.
The benefit of running local is if I feel like death warmed over I would be close to home and all the comforts of it (read: TOILET!). Another advantage was most of the side streets by me have been repaved, so running is more pleasurable and less treacherous not having to dodge this winter's potholes. Instead of using my Gymboss and the 2:1 run/walk intervals, I decided to run the length of the side streets, which is about half a mile, then walk the cross streets. This method worked pretty well for the first 6 miles. I managed to get them done under 1:30 and then 8 under 2:00. I had a couple Gatorade chews and experienced my first Honey Stinger Waffle. We stopped several times to enjoy many of the neighbors sprinkler systems. It was going well and I was pretty proud of myself.
Then the overwhelming desire to drink something COLD and refreshing came over me and I needed water, with ice, and a straw. So we headed back towards home and Dunkin' Donuts. We got a large lemonade iced tea and walked. I was ready to call it quits at 10 miles, but I was feeling great, actually enjoying myself and Charlie's company. I turn into a happy camper while walking. We agreed we weren't going to attempt to run after walking so much and with fluid-filled bellies. I managed to get us home at 12.05 miles. I felt good enough to continue, but with our stops along the way (chatted with a friend and cousins) we were already out for 3+ hours, so we called it a day.
Am I looking back on the run and wishing I just did the 14 miles? Of course. I might have been able to run another 2 miles, zig zagging my way back to DD at maybe 10 miles, then walking the 4 additional miles. Charlie just asks "How much are you planning to do today?" and sets it in his mind to do it. I bargain and finagle my way out of it. And I am the only one who suffers for it. I SO wanted to be able to write the post "I DID IT! MY FURTHEST DISTANCE EVER!!" But that will be for another day. Next Sunday is our son's birthday, so we're going to head back to the hills for that challenging 10k course, knowing it won't take us forever and a day AND will be great preparation for the bridges and Central Park hills of the NYC Marathon course. So August 9th it must be.
Mistake #1: I rested the entire day on Saturday, but I went to the gym on Friday and got on the rowing machine for 15 minutes. I haven't rowed in a while and although I loved it, my hip flexors and shins were pissed at me. They were still tight yesterday morning.
Lesson: Don't do anything new a few days before long run day.
Mistake #2: July is hot and humid on Long Island. And guess what? It gets hotter the later in the day it is! *GASP*
Lesson: Try your damndest to get out before 7:45 am.
Mistake #3: Got all my gear together and filled my two 10 oz hydration belt bottles full to the brim with Gatorade. 20 oz of piss warm Gatorade is not enough fluid for 3+ hours of activity in said hot and humid weather.
Lesson: Either create a loop course to make pit stops at home to refill fluids or plant a stocked cooler on the course or make a quick pitstop on the course.