Sunday, June 14, 2009

What a way to start off the week w/ Long Run #4

So Sundays are my long slow run days. I decided to start running on the CDR race course because of all the hills, which start at around mile 3.5 and last 5 miles. If you can get through the first 8 or 9 miles, the course is all flat from there. Prior to training for this race, I had never trained on hills. Actually, the only hill workout I have ever done was 2 weeks ago, when I did hill repeats. I know that I need to run hills regularly or I'm going to die come race day.

So, being the fifth week of my training plan, I decided it was time to run the course. I asked my friend, Andrew, to run it with me. He's the only runner friend I know that is capable of running this type of course. He can put in a 13 mile run at any given time, and runs about a 18-19 minute 5k. He trains on hills regularly, so this wouldn't be that hard on him. I was worried about holding him back because he trains at about a 7 or 8 minute pace even on his long runs, but he agreed to keep my pace, as he just wanted to learn the course. We started off at a 10 minute/mile pace, then on the hills it was about a 11 to 11:30 minute/mile pace. We started about 11AM and it was about 72 degrees and sunny. By the time we finished it was really hot and sunny.

We started off at the State Capitol on nice flat land, crossed the Southside Bridge, then hit the largest hill of the course, 119. This hill is a monster! It's about a mile long to the next road on the course and is pretty steep. Halfway up this hill I'm thinking to myself, "Tammy, what have you got yourself into. There is no way you can do this, this is a big mistake. You aren't trained enough to even think about running these hills". Andrew kept my slow pace, and I decided to walk a little about 3/4 of the way through the hill. We both walked for a little, then ran the rest of the way to the top, where we turned onto Oakwood Rd. We stopped to walk at this point as well, as the first part of the road is very curvy with lots of traffic. We started running again, and I really needed water badly. We continued left on Oakwood and finally came to a church. We took about a 5 min break there, as I used the bathroom and got some water. Andrew wasn't even breathing hard up these hills and didn't need any water. I'm so envious, lol.

We left the church and finally came to Bridge Rd. I knew that the next road we would turn on, Louden Heights, was all shady and downhill. I kept telling myself if I could just make it to Louden Heights, I would be fine. Bridge Rd had a few steep hills, and I did my best to run them. About the last hill on Bridge Rd and my quads couldn't take it anymore. I had to stop and walk again. My legs were feeling pretty week. All of a sudden, I saw the Louden Heights street sign. I'm screaming to Andrew, "there's Louden Heights!! We've made it!!" I was so incredibly happy all my energy started to come back. We turned onto Louden and it was beautiful. Lots of shady trees, just a great nature run. I felt great at this point. We were at mile 6 as we turned onto Louden, and it was about a mile to the end of the road back over the bridge. There was one somewhat lengthy hill about halfway through Louden, but I managed to maintain my pace and not have to walk. It was downhill again after that hill. We finally made it to the end of the hell course and back over the bridge. We had parked his car at the bottom of the bridge so we could hop back into it and drive back to the Captiol, but he talked me into running back to my car, which was about a mile away. I was pooped, and had practically nothing left.

I planned on only doing 7 miles today, but ended up doing 8. I couldn't believe I was able to run the hills and survive. There were brutal, but not as bad as I thought they would be. It was great to have Andrew there running with me, motivating me. There is no way I could've done that run without him there. Having a running buddy definitely pushes you to run better and further. Hopefully, he will run it with me every other Sunday. It's not exactly a safe course to run by yourself, considering there aren't any sidewalks on the hill portion.

Running stats:
Distance: 8.03 miles
Time: 1hr 30min 53 sec
Pace: 11:19 min/mile
Calories burned: 935 (though it is probably more than this considering the hills)

Next run: Wednesday, easy run
Total miles this week: 8


  1. Good luck, and I hope you find a consistent running partner -- always a great help.

  2. Good work on the hills!

  3. hills are tough! kudos for keeping it up.