New PDR: 12 Miles

I finished 12 miles today, but it was rough.  I ran, jogged and walked to get through it.  I felt sick to my stomach for most of this run.  I did not meet my initial time goal (10:30 miles).  After beating myself up a bit over this run, I still need to focus on the fact that I finished the twelve miles.  I also think I learned a few lessons that could help me in future runs.

Run Recap

Maggie and I started running around 9:00 AM.  It wasn’t too hot out then, but humidity was around 80%.  By now I’ve learned that humidity is one of my worst enemies.  We started out running at a quicker pace than planned, and in the beginning it felt good.  Our first two miles were around 10 minutes, and I started playing the mind game of telling myself that each faster mile would give me more walking time later on.

My heart rate was way up by the end of mile two.  When we had our amazing 10 miler last weekend, my heart rate was not up like that until 6 or 7 miles into the run.  I knew that was not a good sign, and by the time we finished three miles, I wasn’t sure I was going to make it.  I think this is the point at which I mentally gave up.

Determined not to quit so soon, I pushed through the fourth mile.  This is when the nausea began.  And it didn’t go away for the last eight miles.  As we neared the four mile mark (one third of the way through!) I announced that I was going to walk a little bit.

We only walked a little bit during mile five, but I could tell I was going to be walking a lot more.  During mile six, we each took a Gu and walked twice.  Seeing a twelve minute mile just halfway into the run was a pretty big hit for me.  I actually considered quitting at a lower mileage, but I knew I would regret it if I didn’t finish the mileage.  Instead, I told myself I could walk as much as I needed to in order to finish the 12 miles, but stopping was not an option.

During mile seven I managed to pick it up and not walk at all, but I was more than ready for a walk break when I hit eight miles.  At this point, I could tell that Maggie was not struggling nearly as much as I was, and sent her on her way ahead of me.  She was planning on making a bathroom stop, so she was going to meet up with me again after that.

Miles 8-10 were the absolute worst.  In addition to the nausea getting worse, I began having stomach cramps.  Even with short walk breaks, I couldn’t get my heart rate down.  I was literally trading off running 0.10 miles with walking 0.05 miles.  I wanted it over quickly, but every time I started to run, the stomach cramps got worse, and I couldn’t handle the pain.  I was planning to take a second Gu at 10 miles, but just the thought of it made me queasy, so I skipped it.

With about two miles left to go, I ran into Maggie.  I was grateful to have a running buddy again!  We ran/walked about 1.5 miles together, and with just a little bit left, she ran ahead to finish strong.

After walking two or three times during the last mile, I’m proud to say I finished the last 0.20 miles strong, at around a 9:00 min pace.  It wasn’t my legs or my energy level that held me back today.  It was probably my mind that was the worst, but the nausea and high heart rate didn’t help.  My splits:

  • Mile 1:  9:56
  • Mile 2:  10:00
  • Mile 3:  10:08
  • Mile 4:  10:22
  • Mile 5:  10:53 – the walking began
  • Mile 6:  12:16 – Gu
  • Mile 7:  10:35
  • Mile 8:  11:26
  • Mile 9:  11:54
  • Mile 10:  12:25
  • Mile 11:  11:43
  • Mile 12:  11:39
  • Total:  2:13:22 (11:07 average pace)


Lessons Learned

1)  Don’t start too fast.  I know this and have been burnt by it before, and yet I haven’t seemed to learn my lesson.  A 10 minute mile does not feel too fast anymore.  It feels comfortable and I like the feeling of running a little faster.  But for a long run where it’s the mileage that matters, I would have been better served by taking my time and running closer to a 10:30 pace, even in the beginning.

2)  Don’t drink Gatorade during my run.  I usually carry water with me, but I thought I might want the extra calories for energy today.  I’m glad I tried it today instead of on race day, but I don’t think it agreed with my stomach.  I probably would have felt the nausea anyway, but the Gatorade did not help.

3)  Do not carry the Gu in my back pocket.  I won a Giveaway for 2Toms from Jill at Run for the Hills and gave the Sport Shield products a try before this run.  I think they really helped with my chafing (review to come later).  However, (and sorry if this is TMI), I did not use the products on my butt cheeks.  I usually carry my car key in the back pocket of my capris, but today I put the Gu in there too.  Not sure if you would call it chafing, but the corners of the Gu left four sores on my butt, which has been very painful today.  Never again!

4)  Check the weather / Avoid running in humidity when possible.  Living in Houston, TX, I’m not sure there is much I can do about this one.  But I do know that our run last Friday night was not nearly as humid, and I felt about a million times better.  As much as I can plan to avoid running in high humidity for future training runs, I will.  Or maybe I will eventually get used to the humidity and it won’t be quite so bad.

Let’s Focus on the Positive

I’ve spent much of the day feeling down on myself for not running my first 12 miles as well as I expected to.  I felt like I never wanted to attempt this distance ever again.  It’s a good thing I’ve already registered for my half marathon!  Since I will have to run this distance again (in two weeks actually), I think it’s important that I try to focus on some of the positives from this run.  I don’t want to feel defeated even before I start my next long run.

1)  I ran 12 miles.  I might not have run the entire distance, but it’s a new personal distance record by a whole two miles, and I feel proud of myself for not quitting!

2)  My legs didn’t hurt.  Well, of course they hurt.  But not that bad, and I barely noticed any leg pain until I finished my run.  My knee did not bother me for the whole twelve miles.  That makes me feel like I’ve strengthened my legs and they are at a good place.

3)  I had the energy.  Although I took a lot of walk breaks, it was due to stomach pains more than anything else.  My heart rate was up to a point where it was uncomfortable, but I didn’t feel like I had run out of steam.  I was still able to run fast at the very end, even if it was just for a short period of time.

4)  Next time will be better.  For the amount of time that I walked today, I feel confident that next time I run 12 miles, I will be able to beat my time today.  And as painful as today was, I know that I will be happy I did it when I run my first half marathon in two weeks!

When you first ran your most recent PDR, how did it go?  My first 10 mile run was not nearly as good as my second 10 mile run, so I’m hoping it will get much easier from here!

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9 responses to “New PDR: 12 Miles

  1. My 12 mile run before my half was AWFUL–in fact, it sounds a lot like yours! (except swap snow for humidity!) Knowing how loooong that distance can be when you are just having one of those runs, I give you big sincere congratulations for sticking it out and powering through. 🙂 You will ROCK the half-marathon in 2 weeks! Remember, there’s no way you’ll let your mind get in your way during a big exciting race. You can do it!

    • Thanks! I’m glad to know that just because the 12 were bad doesn’t mean the half will be. I’m hoping the adrenaline at the race will carry me through!

  2. I think you did great: you ran 12 miles!

    It’s good to learn some things now so you can use it in your race in two weeks.

    My problem is starting too fast too, I’m really focussed on every run, especially the long ones, that I don’t start too fast.

    My new PDR? Yesterday: 10 miles and it was great! But I still feel my legs today (Sunday) which didn’t happen on other runs.

  3. Congrats on the new PDR!!!!! 🙂 I think PDR’s are sooo exciting…way to go girl!!! I am sorry you felt so crappy during the run but it sounds like you have the right attitude and you are going to ROCK your half!!!! 🙂

  4. Congrats on the PDR!
    Girl, just put that anti-chafe anywhere you need it. I went thru a time this winter where the ties on my running tights chafed my belly button. That only had to happen once! Take care of yourself. 🙂

    You will do so great at your half!

  5. Congrats on a very impressive run! You are going to do awesome at the half marathon.

  6. Congrats on an AWESOME PDR! You are going to be in such great shape for your race. I never did more than 10 before my first half and I wish I had done more- the thought of running an extra three miles during a race is intimidating, but now that you’ve done 12, the extra mile is going to be no big deal for you 🙂

  7. I really enjoyed reading this post, even though it was hard for you. There must have been something about Houston on Saturday because my 10k was really tough. If you managed to finish the 12 you’re going to ROCK your half in a couple of weeks!!

    My PDR was Saturday at the 10k! I’m in a LOT of pain now though so might have to go to the doctor soon.

    • I think it was the humidity on Saturday! It wouldn’t seem like it would make it that difficult, but I think I really struggle in humidity. Congrats on finishing your 10k!!

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