Sunday, October 09, 2005

15.2 Down, 11 to Go

Hey guys. I swear this has been the fastest weekend ever! Most of our weekend has revolved around running, getting ready to run, and cleaning up following our runs. I'm not complaining about running - just that the weekend is over and yet again we didn't win Powerball. What's up with that? When I do I am going to sponsor a race (in an exotic locale, of course) and fly you all in for a massive RBF meet-up. Deal??

As such, we've decided to skip several of the upcoming 5Ks. They're a ton of fun, but we really need to focus on our long runs and save major bursts of energy for them. Our next race will be a 5 miler at a local state park. We're also planning to do a new half-marathon on the north side of the town in early November as a good warm-up for Memphis. You get a medal and a CoolMax shirt so why not??

Today's training run was to be a 15-miler. Last week's 14-miler was terrible due to the heat and a lack of water "(caused by the heat!) Today that was not to be a problem - at all! Run time temp was 57 with a feels-like of 50. It was overcast (again) and pretty chilly for the first mile until our muscles had a chance to warm-up. We had decided to try a greenway we had not visited before - the Stones River Greenway. The trail maps on the Nashville parks website are nothing short of completely ambiguous. The maps said there were 10 miles of trails here, and since our goal was 15 we figured with a couple of repeats, or the run back to the car, would get us to 15. What the maps really failed to tell you was that the 10 miles weren't connected, at all. We headed out and first headed towards Percy Priest Dam. The first mile was a connector from our trailhead out to the actual trail. Once you get to the trail you can go right towards the Dam or left towards the other end of the trail. We first went towards the Dam. For the first couple of miles we didn't see anyone. It was a really lovely path next to the Stones River. Once the trail got nearer to various subdivisions more families were out walking and biking (and hogging the trail....) Around mile 3 we made it to the dam. I circled the parking lot, enjoying the massive site of the dam while Brent enjoyed the usage of the porta-potties. He could have been like the rednecks we saw a mile later and just peed right off the side of the trail, completely disregarding the 10 or so people walking through at the time, but he didn't. We headed back the way we came and once we reached the trail connector back towards our car we decided we still had plenty of water and we'd continue the other way. This course had already been moderately hilly, but a mile in the new direction and we had to manage a never-ending hill. It was insane!! The only salvation was knowing we'd be going down it on the way back! After the hill we were treated to a beautiful run along the river on a wooden deck trail. It was gorgeous! There was some sort of stork/heron (I don't know my river birds!) sitting on the side of the river and it was so peaceful. Around 7 miles we come out at the other end of the trailhead besides a Kohl's department store. Then we couldn't find the rest of the trail. Hmmmm... We jogged over to the trail map and a man with his two sons was examining the map as well. We asked him where the trail continued on at and he pointed at an overgrown field and said they hadn't finished it yet. Perfect!! A little disgruntled we headed back the way we had come and decided we'd just have to do some repeats. We ran back over the beautiful bridge and all the way back to the dam. We looped the parking lot and headed back. This time we ran back to the car to trade out our empty Fuel Belt Bottles for some full ones. Brent was running low and with 5 more miles to go we didn't want a repeat of last weekend. The 1 mile run back to the car was much hillier than I remembered! There was one steep hill that I didn't remember and all I could think was 'Man, I'm going to have to do this again at Mile 14!'. We made it back to the car, refueled, and headed back out for 4 more miles. We decided to head towards the dam since it was flatter, and we weren't looking for extra challenges - just miles! Around mile 12.5 Brent started to slow down a little so I kept my pace and headed on. The turn around point was 13.1 miles - a half marathon - and I headed back towards the car, high fiving Brent along the way. The thing about doing so many out and backs is you end up seeing the same people (sometimes) five and six times. There were some people today I feel like I got to know we saw them so much! Near the big hill towards the car I passed a guy who asked me what I had done with my husband. I told him he was coming behind me, just a little slower. I made it up the hill (14.8 miles) and then hit 15 with a short distance left to the car. I kept running, and stopped right at 15.2 when the trail takes one last hill back up to the parking lot. I walked back, grabbed a water bottle, and walked back with the guy I had spoken to earlier until I found Brent. I was able to stop him right before that last hill and tell him he'd already made 15 so there was no need to hoof the last steep incline. We made it!! It was SO much easier than last week's 14, primarily due to the heat and that this time we had plenty of water. Today's overall average pace was 10:37/mile. I'd like to do my marathon somewhere between 10-11/mile, so this was a great pace. Without the hills we could have saved quite a bit of time off, but they were GREAT practice. Brent took a lot of pictures, and he's working on his post right now so they'll prob be up before too long. He did AWESOME! His previous longest run was 11.5 miles and he held right onto our pace until very close to the end. I can't say I could have made that jump when a few months ago when I was where he is now. He gets major props from me!

Congrats to all the Chicago Marathoners and Hartford Marathoners and Half-Marathoners, you guys are fabulous!!


Sunday - 15 mile run


At 6:36 AM, Blogger Michigan Jack said...

Sounds like a good run - congrats. What is it about Nashville and incomplete trails? When Shelby Bottoms first "opened" I went for what I thought would be a long afternoon walk, but finished the trail in 10 minutes. Your perseverance is commendable. Keep it up!

At 9:04 AM, Blogger brent d. said...

awwwwwww. thanks for giving me props. i know you're a little biased though. it was a great run. give me a call sometime and we'll go out and run again.

At 10:00 AM, Blogger lainb said...

that's such a bummer about the trail ending. it sounds like a beautiful route though (except for the spots with lots of people). There was a greenway I used to run on and Saturday/Sunday's were the worst--every family & dog were out running, biking, roller blading, pushing strollers. That's great, except the trail just wasn't wide enough for a group of 4 women pushing strollers side-by-side!

At 4:16 PM, Blogger susie said...

Whoooosh. Great runs! And I'll fly in for an RBF fest!!

At 6:07 PM, Blogger Tammy said...

Nice write-up. What technology are you using to track your mileage? I haven't ponied up for anything that fancy yet, so must of my runs are guesstimates. Way to go on that hill!


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