Labor Day Weekend Long Run Larks

Happy Labor Day, readers! (And happy Monday to those of you not in the US!) I spent today being lazy and loving it… bit of a lie-in this morning, followed by reading on the porch, scooping up an armload of cheap books at the used book store down the street, and feasting on grilled food and a shandy while enjoying the backyard before the mosquitoes got too bad. I wish every Monday could be like this!

Yesterday I went for my first post-10K long run and I had some moments of revelation and pride that I felt the need to share.

For one, I set my alarm for wicked early (for me, for a weekend) – 6:50 – and actually got my lazy bum out of bed and out the door, after eating a mini bagel for some energy. This was pretty huge for me… I love my bed and hate waking up earlier than absolutely necessary, and also I’m terrible at eating breakfast. So I was pretty pumped with myself.

I jogged to Colin’s house as my warmup, and we did our dynamic stretching routine together. He was gunning for 7 miles and I was aiming for 5.5… I probably should have shot for more, but my shins were a bit dodgy on my Thursday run and I wanted to be careful.

(Quick aside about my Thursday run: it was my first run at all after my 10K and it was a tiny, baby run – only about 1.4 miles. I just set off into my neighborhood to run by feel – no Simon and I didn’t look at MapMyRun – to go as far as I felt I could go. I inadvertently picked a route with ALL the hills and stopped after that short distance so as not to anger my shins further. I was disappointed that I hadn’t been able to run farther, but then I had my first revelation: last winter, 1.4 miles would have been an AMAZING distance for me. I struggled to run even a half-mile back then, and the fact that today I can be disappointed that I ran “only” 1.4 is a nice reminder of how far I’ve come. What started as a blow to my running ego turned out to be a nice self-esteem boost!)

Where was I? Oh right, the long run. Sick of my usual route around the pond, I had played around with MapMyRun the night before and charted a new course that would provide me with my desired number of miles, as well as take me down some streets in my city that I had never been down before. I had a packet of Gu Chomps for fuel, as well as half-full water bottle (which I am loath to use but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do, right?) and hope in my heart, but none of these things prepared me for the ridiculous humidity. Or the killer hill I accidentally decided to make us run up just after the 1-mile mark. Oops.

Yeah, that humidity. Yikes. A half-mile in (at, like, 7:30 am!) and I was completely coated in sweat. I was cursing my water bottle and the fact that I had only filled it halfway (because if I fill it more, the water just leaks out anyway) and we felt like we were trying to breathe underwater. Colin and I tried to run up that first unbelievable hill, but halfway up we decided that it was just too dang hot to exert all our energy on hills. We made a pact to walk all hills in order to preserve our energy for the rest of our miles, and carried on.

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I’m glad I had worked part of the lagoon into our route, because getting off the hot asphalt and into some shady woods was just what we needed! We took a quick break by a bridge that overlooked the above view, I ate some Chomps (watermelon – very tasty! Didn’t seem to work as well for me as Honey Stinger Chews, though) and took some photos for this week’s scavenger hunt, and we were on our way again.

Back out on the roads, we felt dragged down by the humidity once again, and I continued to curse my leaky water bottle as I drained the last drops with 2+ miles still to go. I remembered that we’d be passing a park and dragged Colin on a detour to the glorious sight of two bubblers…. which didn’t work. (Whyyyyy?!) I might have acted out some pathetic dramatics for that security camera above them, beseeching the Powers That Be to turn their damn bubblers on, for Pete’s sake. (And mine.)

Why, bubblers?! Why must you taunt me so??

Why, bubblers?! Why must you taunt me so??

Dejected, we trudged away, intending to make a pit stop at Colin’s house to get some water. Dejected even more by how far that would take us out of our way – and by how close it would bring me to the comfort of my own home – I made Colin continue back to our original route to just suck it up and keep going (me, not him… Colin was doing okay without water). We pushed on, and as we ran through the center of town I got a second wind. Whether it was from the shade the buildings were casting onto the sidewalk, or from my inherent need to not look pathetic in the presence of so many people, I don’t know. It might have also been that I had only 1.5 miles left to go to hit 5.5, and I knew I could bang that last bit out.

When I hit 5.5 and Colin ran away to continue his 7 miles, I felt like I could keep going. Much like my revelation from Thursday, I was boosted by the knowledge that I had run a 10K just the week before. Whereas my last non-race long run had been a struggle to hit 5 miles, I felt like I could easily carry on to complete 6, or even more. It was an awesome feeling! Only my worry about my shins (which hadn’t hurt at all!) and the fact that I had told Drew I’d be home around 9 (and it was 9 on the dot) for a cuppa and the Spurs match kept me from continuing on. I walked the rest of the way home to a second breakfast of Pop Tarts and the best milk ever:

Samoas-flavored milk? Yes please!

Samoas-flavored milk? Yes please!

According to Simon, my run ended up being 5.6 miles on the dot, with a very slow time of 01:15:12. Interestingly, I had run MayMyRun as well, since Simon’s battery was dangerously low and I didn’t want to be GPS-less. MapMyRun had a very different take on my run…

My long run according to MapMyRun...

My long run according to MapMyRun…

Did I run 5.6 miles or 5.93?! My splits were wonky too:

  1. 12:17 (Simon) vs 13:56
  2. 12:57 vs 12:16
  3. 14:26 vs 13:08
  4. 12:52 vs 12:47
  5. 15:39 vs 14:10
  6. 7:02 vs 12:20

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I don’t even know. All I know is I did run more than my goal of 5.5, and that it was very slow either way. But miles is miles! And I love the fact that I know I can bang out 6 miles relatively easily now. I’m actually looking forward to my next long run, and to picking more new neighborhoods to run through!

Have you ever had a discrepancy between two GPS devices? Which would you trust, MapMyRun or a Garmin?

Have you had any self-esteem-boosting revelations during a run lately?

How was your week/long weekend?

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8 thoughts on “Labor Day Weekend Long Run Larks

  1. I always have a discrepancy between my Garmin and Runkeeper on my phone, but usually it’s only a few hundredths of a mile. I will generally press the button on the phone and the start button on my Garmin within a few seconds of each other to be as accurate as possible.

    Great job with a long run in that humidity! It has sucked the last two days.

    • Thanks! It was pretty rough… definitely makes me look forward to the cooler fall weather!

      I’d understand if my Garmin and MapMyRun were off a little, but some of the miles were off by more than a minute. So weird!

  2. I an with a friend yesterday and she was using an app on her phone we were almost a km different. I always go with my Garmin, it seems to be bang on with all of the mapping sites when I double check.

    • Pretty much every race I’ve run with the app or Garmin has shown discrepancies between whatever I’m using and the official race mileage or pace, but this was the first time I’ve pitted them against each other. I wonder how far/fast I *actually* went! 🙂

  3. Way to get it done! Isn’t it amazing to look back and see how far you’ve come? I always laugh a little when I say I “only” ran 3 miles. Not long ago that was nearly as impossible as 10 miles!

    • It’s awesome! Definitely makes me feel like whatever training I’ve done has been worth it 🙂 Now I just have to make 13.1 seem like not a big deal and I’ll be happy!

    • Thanks! I surprised myself, both by being able to bang out the miles (slowly, but still) and by not fainting in the humidity! 🙂

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