Today I ran the Jack 15, a 15.2 mile race (I know, right? Who has a 15.2-mile race?) that started in the middle of nowhere and ran into Brookings. I was doing this one because a) I had a 15-miler scheduled for this weekend anyways and b) Megan and Natalie were doing it too, so why not?
I had a goal of a 10 minute pace for this one, because I knew I’d be running it on tired legs (43 miles this week! 2 tempo workouts!) so I was really just focusing on getting the miles on my legs.
We started in White, SD (aka the middle of nowhere) and I was surprisingly-completely-not-even-a-little-bit-nervous for this AT ALL. (In fact, dare I say it, but I was EXCITED!) Victory! I feel like I’ve been working my ass off the last couple weeks with these tempo workouts and I was just pumped to see what my legs had in them.
Megan, Natalie, and I started out together and somewhere around 3 I started to break away a little. I normally don’t have the guts to do this, but I decided to just stick with the pace that felt right. I hollered back to them that I might be back, but I had to see how long I could hold this up.
So after that I was flying solo, and shortly after we turned onto a gravel road that was pretty squishy from the rain we’ve had the last couple days (and I ended up with a couple rocks in my shoes here…awesome). Can I just throw it out there that I DO NOT LIKE running on squishy gravel? I was really happy when that was over (like 3-4 miles later maybe?) Somewhere in there I caught up to a pack that I didn’t think I could pass so I just hung right behind them, which was really nice pace-wise. I started to get a stitch around mile 4 but breathed it out! Victory again!
At 7.5 the pack dropped out because they were apparently part of the relay (there were all sorts of varieties of relays going on–only 40-some people we’re actually doing the whole 15) so I was totally alone again. And we’re talking out-in-the-middle-of-fields OH HEY THERE’S A COW, alone. So, [purists, AVERT YOUR EYES!] I turned on my iPod. I had clipped my shuffle on because I wondered if I wouldn’t end up alone from being slowed by a stitch or something, and I decided, that DAMMIT, I had earned a little music. I listened to Bittersweet Symphony like 5 times, because I happen to think that’s one of the most amazing songs EVER, and I’m not going to lie, I think it helped me. Somewhere in here there were lots of hills (one that lasted .67 miles, because I’m masochistic enough to keep track) that I wasn’t anticipating. (Brookings is like the flattest city ever. North of Brookings? Not so much.)
I was totally zoned out in the music from 8-12 or so. Once I hit 12 I told myself it was time to focus on speeding up. This kind-of sort-of didn’t exactly happen quite like I had hoped. Here are the splits:
9:31 GRAVEL. BAH.
9:35 still on gravel.
9:41 fracking long hill.
9:20 told myself this one HAD to be faster, and made it happen!
9:49 that’s embarrassing.
I’m not sure what happened in that last mile there–I really thought I was pushing harder than that. I got the last quarter in at 2:06 though, with a max speed of 6:16/mile at the end, so not awful, right?
I’m disappointed I apparently lost control in that last mile, but I felt really, really good the whole race, mentally and physically, which is huge for me. (Mile 11 of a half marathon has typically been something along the lines of “RUNNING IS STUPID! THIS SUCKS! BOO!”) But today, even in that slow mile, I was like, What’s Up? I’m running 15 miles today! I know it didn’t account for anything significant in time, but having a sound mind sure makes 15 miles a lot better.
Overall, this is going in the books as something I’m extremely happy with. I pushed myself in places I wasn’t sure I could. I ran on tired legs. And there was a mile-stretch there where it definitely smelled like cow crap and I didn’t even stop to gag/puke. Finish time was 2:24:20, 9:26 average pace.
I don’t know what’s on tap for this week because my runner friend (who I’ve asked to boss me around mileage-wise in the hopes of it making me faster!) hasn’t given me this week’s schedule yet. I know I have a 16-17 long run, but other than that, it’s still up in the air.
So for now, I’m looking forward to enjoying tomorrow’s rest day, and marking the end of what I feel has been a very productive week of training.
And I ordered myself a new running tank top, because DUDE! 43 miles! I decided I deserved a treat : )