Sunday, March 8, 2009

A Run Longer Than a Half Marathon

I finally completed a run longer than a half marathon for the first time in my life today. I feel like I am on cloud nine.

This morning at around 9:00 am I met my 2 friends Sandra and Nette at the Runningroom for today's LSD (Long Slow Distance ) run. Last Sunday, I did 19 plus kms., while Nette did 23kms. and Sandra did 26 kms. This time around, the 2 of them were to do 26 kms. while my goal distance was 3 km less.

The day's forecast was for rain in the afternoon, so it was the ideal time to start our run early morning with the temperature just about plus 3 Celsius. The day was cloudy and I noticed that there was no cold wind blowing in our faces this time. Three days ago, we had record high temperatures here, 17 degrees Celsius. Today we're back to reality. There were some small pools of water on the route, otherwise most of the ground, while wet, was clear of debris, snow or ice.

Now, I can appreciate running with women runners more, especially because my two friends gave special emphasis to the word "slow" in this LSD run. Just like our last training run, we started very slow, increasing our pace gradually until we settled into an comfortable pace and rhythm.
The route we took had 5 hilly portions, all of them shallow, but two are longer than the others. Sandra, who ran the Around the Bay 30k , told me that I would have to tackle a similar hill close to the end of that race, only much steeper.

I let my friends take the lead and I just followed close by, occassionally joining the interesting conversation about, what else, running.

After 1 km, we saw and greeted some friends (Greg, Felicia, Nadine) from the 10k clinic who were returning to homebase from their own run. On the 4th km we waved to Jason (my clinicmate from the last half marathon) and 2 other runners running on the other side of the road.

At the 5th km. mark, we greeted Jill (another clinic coach) and Phillis , another runner friend who were running on the other side but coming from the opposite direction.

Every now and then Sandra would all of a sudden stop to pick up a penny on the road. We stopped over at Tim Hortons on the 10km mark to use the washroom and refill our water bottles. Then we were off again, a la Forrest Gump, with the seemingly endless shuffling of our feet, wiping of our noses and heavy but relaxed breathing.

Around the 11 km mark, we seemed to have run out of running stories, and my two running friends started a new topic that I honestly admit I am completely ignorant of, bras and bra sizes. Of course, I did not join in the conversation and I tried my best not to listen (without success), although all this time I had a smile in my face. It was funny.

We also came across Ben, my former half marathon clinic coach, who was also doing his Sunday run. He said he's preparing to run a 5k race for next Sunday. He ran with us for half a kilometer until he had to turn to another street.

We had our last washroom and water filling break at the York Police Station at the corner of Carlton and Mccowan Roads after 17 kms. I felt, after a couples minute rest, that my quads were starting to get tired. Then we were off again.

The last interesting topic that we talked about was Donald Trump's love life, his new young wife, Ivana and Marla Maples. Also, Sandra picked up some more coins on the ground...

I do not know if I got tricked or what, but at the end of my more than 3 hours of running my Garmin showed a total distance of 25.11 kilometers instead of 23 kms. that I was intending to do at the start of our run. Sandra and Nette added an extra 1 km to our run.

My next Sunday long run - 26 kilometers.


  1. Great run! Sounds like you had a wonderful time :-)

    I also did my longest distance today, 23 km. According to my Nike+ gear, it was 25 km (broken down into two runs because I had to restart it when it malfunctioned and stopped), but I think 23 km is more accurate.

    Happy running! :-)

  2. Thanks MJ:-)

    Yes, I know about your doing your longest run from reading your blog.

    It is so amazing that us new runners are so similar is so many things. We strive to run faster and longer, and we share the same joys and pains from doing so.

    When you said you felt like you're on top of the world, I thought that was exactly how I felt when I said I feel like I'm on cloud nine.

    Take care and remember it's time for you to taper.

  3. Congratulations on your longest run ever! Isn't it a great feeling up there, on cloud #9?
    Have fun with it. ;)