Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Run #36: 15 miles to Stone Mountain

Hey hey everyone, Mihkel here finally updating the world on our long run this past holiday weekend.
With less than 30 days till we get to move to our amazing new apartment in min-town Atlanta, and every weekend busy, Mel and I have had to do some creative switching with our long runs. We were in a cut back week, but realizing that this upcoming weekend we are going to a wedding in Chattanooga, we went ahead and switched our long runs... meaning i had one less week to mentally prepare for the longest run I have ever done.
Mel and I were both a little concerned after my bonk on our 13 miler the weekend before, but we took it as a learning experience and went on with it.
While deciding where we wanted to run, we were torn between running the relatively flat silver comet trail again, or running west and using another part of the Georgia path project running out to Stone Mountain.
After much debate, looking at elevation charts, and discussing our feeling about out-and-backs, we decided to try a lollypop around stone mountain. The run was easily broken down to 3 five mile segments: 5 miles there, 5 miles around the mountain, 5 miles back to the car.

Lets just say we rocked this out. I have learned a lot from our miles and miles of training, and I wanted to share a few:
1. I love my pre-run cocktail of water, advil, and a 5hour energy. Maybe its all placebo, caffeine doesn't do anything to me, but it works.

2. I dont need an i-pod to run. I know this is a huge debate for races and anyone working out, but hear me out. On long runs, it segments the hours you are out there into 3 minute segments that you are activley counting down. "Oh, sublime is on.... this sublime is half over... this sublime song is done, now we are onto Styx..." It just makes running seem longer. And if you get the wild hair to find that one song and skip about 20 to find something you like or feel like listening to, it makes time feel even longer. Without music our 4's and 1's feel like nothing, i am more in tune with my running and my body, and my stride finds a natural pace instead of changing every 3 minutes to whatever the tempo is at. This is just my preference from experience. But what do i know... I've only been spending a LOT of time with myself on the roads this summer.

3. Pineapple GU is amazing.

4. I can run way faster than I have mentally set my pace to. I have been conservative on pace for this entire process. I don't want to over-do it. I don't want to hurt myself. But this week, Mel and I have used a few miles to see just how fast we could run. One of these miles was the last mile of our 15 miler: at a 10:45 pace... We flew. I find there is something refreshingly juvenile about just kicking in and sprinting.

5. I couldn't do this without Mel. We have figured out how we run so well. When to chat, when to be quiet, when to speed up, when to slow down. We run in sync.

6. Did i mention how surprised i was that i killed 15 miles?

7. I'm having fun. And that's what matters.

And now, the data for you number crunchers:

Running past a fortune cookie factory: Best smelling 1/4 mile... ever!

Running around a huge chunk of granite never looked so good!

I'm smiling at mile 10!? Progress!

See you all on the road!

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