Sunday, April 8, 2012

First Long Run of the Season

I celebrated Easter with Little Diva and Little Dude yesterday morning and dropped them off for their weekend with their dad.  I had a twenty miler planned for this weekend.  I plan all of my long runs every-other-weekend, when I cannot be with them.  If I fail to get out and run, I have then totally derailed from my training plan, because I won't get another long run in for two more weeks.  So, I try to hold myself accountable by organizing a run with a friend our group of runners.  It also helps the miles pass much faster and keeps me going.  I planned to meet up with two friends, Dwight and George, at 10:30 at the Glacial Drumlin State Trail Head in Cottage Grove.  The sun wash shining, the weather was perfect and there was  a slight breeze.  George organizes a local running group, that's called the Honey Badgers (Honey Badgers) and several of the members were already out there running at their own pace (since I couldn't meet any earlier).  Some were going to be joining us.  George's pace is faster than me.  And Dwight is training for his first ultramarathon (a fifty miler next month) and a freak-of-nature, so I was a little concerned about what was in store for me over the next 20 miles.

Glacial Drumlin State Trail
Trailhead in Cottage Grove, WI
The restrooms and drinking fountains were still closed for the season. Bummer.  We decided to head out 6 miles and back 6 miles.  That would get us 12 miles, we could rehydrate, and we could re-evaluate if we wanted to head back out.  Some of the group had already ran six miles and Dwight was going to do a triple ... a total of 26.2 miles for the day.  I was hoping for 18-20 miles. 

The Glacial Drumling is hilly at the very start, but then is completely flat and straight-out-and back.  George ran ahead with Kim and Brian and Dwight stuck with me.  I was aiming for around ten minute miles, but he informed me that we were running nine minute miles.  Oops!  At around mile four, the toes on my left foot were all cramped (as if they had been curled).  I was over compensating for that, and then my left knee started aching.  Dwight stuck with me and I pushed on.  Kim turned around and headed back around this point.   At mile 6, the guys ahead of us kept going.  Dwight ran ahead, and we decided to run to Deerfield to the 7 mile marker ... so that we would only need to head back out for an additional 6 miles after our water break.  The water at the park in Deerfield wasn't running yet either.  We turned around at mile 7 and head back.  At some point, I asked Dwight to walk for 30-60 seconds and he bared with me.  My toes and knee were really cramping.  The guys were still in sight ahead of us, but pretty far ahead.  I was happy to see mile marker 4 on the return, because I thought we would be hitting mile 5 (we were still ahead of pace, even though I was struggling).  I told Dwight then when we got to the next mile marker, that I was going to stop and walk briefly and I really wanted him to move on and catch the guys (he had so much left in him).  So, he finally agreed to do so.  For the last three miles, I walked 10-20 seconds every five minutes.  And that got me back to the trail head.  The walking really, really helped me.  I HATE walking during long runs or races.  But, it helped me finished and that's all that I cared about at that point. 

Flat and covered, out-and-back
The guys were rehydrating and George told me that 14 miles was all that my body wanted me to do that day.  But, I refused.  Brian already had in 20 miles and left.  George was satisfied with the 14 miles and we chatted awhile while I hydrated and Dwight headed out for his last six miles.  After George left, I headed out with the walk/run approach.  Surprisingly, my toes didn't cramp at all now and my knee barely hurt.  I passed Dwight on his return, around mile two and I think he was surprised to see me out there.  I actually felt pretty great.  I ran the entire way to mile three.  Then, I walked on the turn around.  I tried to take more 10-20 second baughts of walking ever 5-10 minutes.  Sometimes I surprised myself; sometimes I didn't.  I'd use mile marker, bridges, signs, groups of people running or riding towards me, fallen tree limbs ... anything ... as my points of reference for motivation to keep going .... and make it there!  And, I did.  I ran the last mile and up the monstrous hill and straight to the painted "finish line" at the trailhead.

20 miles D-O-N-E!
My time was slower than what the guys would do, but I finished.  Surprisingly, even with all the baughts of walking, my time (on the same trail) was faster than last year. 

Leaky Powerade Zero during
3+ hrs of running
I stretched a bit, walked a bit, finished my Diet Mountain Dew and updated my Facebook status! :)  I noticed the second half of my run, how stained my hands were from my Powerade Zero.  Yikes!

Favorite post-run indulgence


  1. Fabulouse goal and more fantastic you completed it! Is that makeup you're wearing?! All I do for a long run is deoderant, brush my teeth & run a brush through my hair. You rock RDM!

  2. Great job getting those miles in. I really need to start making myself accountable for those long runs as it's past time to get those 20+ milers in :)!

  3. What a beautiful place to run! Great job sticking it out and getting the miles in.

  4. Way to keep it going after you were tired. Changing up strategy when runnign is smart, stopping early (excpept for injury) is just the wuss way out. Way to not wuss out!

    This trail sounds nice. I'll hvae to head out that way someday and try it out.