To be honest, I wasn't expecting my 16-miler to go well this weekend. I was expecting it to be a struggle. See, I'm still getting over this cold, so I was a bit stuffy. And I was sure that my sesamoiditis was going to rear its ugly head with all the hills I had planned in this run. I was afraid that my feet would get really tired and sore like they did on my last 16 miler. And I was expecting it to be rainy, thus making it impossible to see where I'm going... So many negative expectations.
But 16 miles later, I was very pleasantly surprised. It actually went very well. I must say, the first 8 or so miles were rough. It was extremely hilly. And it was foggy and misty, making it very hard to see through my glasses (ironically, I was running on Grandview Dr, which did NOT have a grand view, thanks to the fog). I was very conscious of my effort, and worked hard to keep my heart rate down during the hills. Conserve energy up front, have energy to spare later. I figured I could pick up the pace in the later miles, when it wouldn't be so hilly. I also made sure to stay hydrated and fueled from early on in the run. I started eating Sharkies around Mile 3, and continued eating them in twos every mile or two, along with lots of water.
Have I ever mentioned Bishop Ave hill before? If I haven't, it's because I try not to think about it. *shudders* It's tall and steep and scary. It was at about Mile 3.5 of this run. When I trained for the Disney World Marathon, my coach used to make me run it at least once (sometimes twice) during every long run I did. Thus began my love-hate relationship with the hill. Running up Bishop Ave hill is a very painful experience indeed. It's probably at least 100 feet tall. And only about 1/4 mile long. Why do I insist on putting it in my routes if it's so scary? Because it's good for me. I intend to be be well-prepared to tackle the hills of the Flying Pig Marathon on race day. Bishop Ave hill will help me get there. Of course, that doesn't mean it doesn't suck. I never get to the top of Bishop hill and think "Wow, that was a blast, I'm going to run back down and do it again!" Usually my thoughts are more along the line of "#@*%& #*&%!!! I'm never doing that again!"
Around Mile 8, the terrain started to flatten. It was a huge relief. There were still some slopes here and there, but nothing like the steep canyons of the first 8 miles. I was tired, though, from those first 8 miles. I was still chewing on Sharkies and drinking my water. I didn't feel terrible, nothing was hurting, and overall, I was pleased with my progress. Then something happened around Mile 12. I got my second wind. Maybe the Sharkies were kicking in. Maybe it took me that long to recover from all the hills. I don't know, but I suddenly felt much more energetic. So I wanted to see how much more energetic.... I kicked into high gear to see what I could do my last 4 miles. Apparently, I could do quite well (for a slow gal, that is). My pace went from about 13:30 down to 12:30, then 12:00, then 11:40, and finally 10:44 for the last mile.
All in all, my average pace for this 16 miler was about 10 seconds per mile faster than my last 16 miler, and this one was much hillier. I also felt less tired when it was all said and done. I don't know if it was a result of last week being a recovery week, or using Sharkies instead of Sport Beans (Sharkies have complex carbs rather than just simple sugars), or what.... but this was a good run. My sesamoids did not complain at all. I will say the area is a little achy today, but nothing like last weekend. I will keep icing it to keep the inflammation to a minimum.
So without any further ado, here's the run data:
Or, if you want to see it in the Runner's World Personal Trainer, click here. The data says my total climb was over 1600 feet. I doubt that very much. I suspect it was more like 800-1000 feet. Which is still nothing to sneeze at. And speaking of sneezing, I'm feeling much less sneezy. Nothing like a good 16 mile run to clear up the sinuses!
Peace. Love. Train.