Sunday, October 21, 2007

15 Miles

OK … I realize 15 miles isn’t much to brag about (especially for you ultra-runners), but this afternoon was the first time I've managed the feat since the San Diego R&R marathon this summer. I left my Garmin and my Black Lab at home and headed out to the trails at Reach 11 Recreational Park with my sports watch, HR monitor and two bottles of PowerAde. I left my lab at home since he has punked out after 8 miles several times lately, given me yet another excuse to stop running short of my target and I left my Garmin at home because I knew I would be moving slowly and didn't need the damn thing reminding me of that fact every few seconds.

I couldn't have asked for nicer weather. The temperature was right at 80F this afternoon. I realize this sounds high to some of you, but the humidity was south of 10%. With humidity that low all your persperation evaporates instantly, keeping you nice and cool. The wind was something else however. It was blowing very hard from the north with strong gusts picking up at random. In fact, the wind was blowing so hard that it nearly knocked me off my feet at one point. Fortunately, most of the trails through the park run east-west, so I only spent a mile or two with the wind in my face.

I started out about the same as last week. My HR shot up past 140 after a mile but finally locked in at 147 and stayed there for the next 140 minutes. This is a little higher than I’d like (so what’s new), but I’ll take it. At least it didn’t get totally out of control. Along about mile 3, my brain got into its usually argument with my legs. You know the drill; legs, "time for a short walk"; brain: "no way, keep running"; legs: "I want a break"; brain: "shut up and keep running". I took a swig from my Powerade bottle and kept going. The same thing happened on mile 5, but this time my brain was day dreaming and the legs just started walking on their own. The brain (ever attentive) was shocked that it wasn’t consulted and got the legs moving again. Not a clue why the legs were so rebellious; probably still torqued off about losing the previous argument.

The legs settled down and finished the first loop and we all headed east again for the second loop. The internal arguments started up again, except the brain joined in the argument trying to rationalize why the legs might be right. Every step I took east was another step I’d have to walk back if the legs gave out. Fortunately, somewhere along mile 10, the rational brain took control and told everyone else to quite down. In another 10 minutes, we’d be heading back towards the car it argued, so why stop now? Once we are heading back, the fastest way to get there is to keep running. The turn point was actually 20 minutes down the trail, but the legs bought the lie … very gullible body part.

After running 15+ miles at a nice and steady 10/mi pace with the heart beating at a steady 147, I finally got back to my car. Not the prettiest run I’ve ever done, but 15 miles is 15 miles.

Hope your weekend went well.


david said...

I'm sure it felt good to get in the mileage. Love the conversation between the brain and the legs. In my case, the legs usually win.

Laufenweg said...

thanks for your running tale. i fight the same mental battle. that's the 2nd most challenging thing about running (other than the running). the 1st challenge is just getting myself out the door!!

the trails look amazing! what a beautiful, peaceful place to run. the weather sounded pretty good! we're still in the 80s too with high humidity. this time of year we usually cuddled up next to our fireplaces with hot chocolate!

enjoy the fall!! :-)

angie's pink fuzzy said...

way to go, Phil!

Deene said...

those runs where you have to will your self to keep going are not fun but it's a good feeling when you finish! good job.

Jamie said...

Great job Phil! That does sound like good running weather and a beautiful place to run to top it off. Runs like that are the ones where you feel relaxed for the rest of the day afterwards. Nice going!

Lana said...

Way to outsmart the legs!!

Good job getting in the 15 - that's got to be a confidence booster.

Michele said...

Way to shut those legs up and get the run done. My legs never fall for the lies.
Great pic, looks like a beautiful place to run.

Ewen said...

You're right Phil - 24k is a warm-up for those ultra crazies ;) That looks like a nice place to run, and not too far from suburbia.

27C is getting near the top end for me, even with low humidity. Although yesterday I had to run at 4pm in 31C, so the bragging rights are mine :)

Who cares about prettiness? It's in the logbook and the argument can continue another day!

jen said...

Great run! Looks like a beautiful place. Good work. :)

J~mom said...

15 miles is excellent! Nice job!!

Did you see my tri report? I loved it. It's from Sunday.

Gotta Run said...

Amazing how all these months and weeks of running can still cause a battle with the brain to want to stop and walk. You won and the 15 miles is totally worth bragging about!!

The photo of the trail looks so inviting. It just calls to me!