Sunday, September 03, 2006

15 miles and counting

I'll tell you one thing. It's sure harder to run a long distance when you don't have 4,000 people running with you and bands playing and people cheering and water stations and mile markers and a medal when you finish.

Decided to run 15 miles this weekend, because what the hell. What better way to spend a sunny Sunday in NY after a solid day of rain? Yeah, I can think of better ways, too...but I'm panicking a tiny bit about training before the marathon, because this whole Spring and Summer I was like, Oh, I'll really ramp up my training in the Fall after the half marathon. And now that time is here, and I'm looking at my schedule, and almost every weekend is booked in some way. But I'll just have to be more vigilant about planning ahead for the long runs.

Today I planned to run the big Central Park loop (6 miles), then another loop but with the lower loop cut off (5 miles), and then just the inner loop (4 miles). All added up it's...15 miles! I knew math would come in handy. Anyway, I ran the first two loops okay, although my mind was groaning, "Wait, I have to do two more of these?!?!" and I kept getting random ABBA songs stuck in my head. I was also tired and dying of thirst, so after 11 miles I stopped and bought a bottle of Gatorade. Orange-colored. Man, that Gatorade was just about the best-tasting thing I've ever had in my whole life. I gulped down a quarter of the bottle quickly and kept running, but I had lost momentum and now had this bulky, sloshing bottle of liquid that I had to hold. So after another mile or so I decided to walk and finish drinking the Gatorade. Walked for about a half mile, chugged down the drink, threw out the bottle, and was on my way. But very very slowly, because now I had the Gatorade sloshing around in my belly. I'd never wanted to walk more while running until then. But by then I only had 2 miles left, how could I walk? It's all a mind game, really. So, I guess I didn't really run the full 15 miles, but it's still progress. I'm still moving forward.

Cheesy slogans kept popping into my head while running. I kept thinking, Hey, that Nike slogan is actually very fitting! Just do it. Yeah. Just do it. Those guys are geniuses. And kinda like Jane Yolen and "Write the damn book." I'm doin' it! And I also thought of that saying, "No pain, no gain"--gee, I must be gaining a lot.

Anyway, I think I may take a nap now. My parents are coming to NY tonight for a conference and a visit, staying with me two nights. It should be fun, especially now that the weather is nice. Yay! Yay for sun, yay for parents, and yay for long weekends.


Lizzy said...

Is there at least a lot to look at while running in Central Park? I picture it as a busy place, full of activity and people.

Anonymous said...

Once you get past 15 or 16 mile long runs in your training, it's helpful to start drinking earlier in your long runs. Which would mean you'd have to have somewhere to hide a bottle of Gatorade so you could stop and drink every 2 or 3 miles. It made a HUGE difference for me. Also, everything changes after 16 miles. It's all mental. You can SO do this. If I can do it, anyone can.

alvinaling said...

Yeah, I prefer running in Central Park than along the East River, because it's nicer to go in a loop, and also there's so much going on, and landmarks to see, and that's somewhat distracting.

I think I'm going to buy one of those runner belts to store those little bottles of liquid. That way I can drink throughout the run without stopping. I just signed up for two training runs, on in two weeks, one in October, so I figure even if I don't run another long run on my own, I'll be okay--they have drink stations and everything set up, so that will be helpful.

Thanks for the tips! I haven't done any research for my training, except through talking to people or having people forward me articles, and I kinda like it that way.

And yes--it's one of the big secrets of running long distance I think--I never thought I'd ever run 10 miles, or 15 miles, or 26 miles, but now that I'm doing, I realize it's not that hard. You just build up towards it, and it's all psychological. Just do it!