Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Attempted 16 miler

I wanted to go ahead and document how my attempt at a 16 miler went this past weekend.  As most of you saw, I didn't finish.  Instead of doing 16, we only did about 11.5.  So here's what happened.

First of all, I had been stalking the weather and it lied to me!  It indicated that it would rain Saturday night but that the rain would be done by 6am on Sunday.  We weren't starting our run until 7, so perfect.  I don't know why but it didn't even cross my mind that I should be prepared in case that wasn't true.

And of course, it rained the whole time we were running.  I had on new leggings that I hadn't tested before, and socks I had never worn in the rain.  I thankfully had stuck a visor in my hydration pack so I at least had that.  Sadly, the reason I stuck it in there was in case it was sunny later.


We were running on the Rock Creek Trail.  It's a beautiful trail that is hilly but we'd done it before and just walked up the uphills when needed.

So the first part of the plan was that we would meet up at 7 and run north on the trail.  That's 3.5 miles so it would be a total of 7 miles out and back.  One of my friends was running late so the two of us started and did a 10 minute warm up while waiting.


This was a pretty section with the Fall leaves. It was also pretty peaceful with not a lot of other people around.  And at this point, I was still hoping that the rain would end soon.  The northern end of the trail ends at Lake Needwood which was beautiful and a nice pick me up before we turned around to run the 3.5 miles back to the parking lot we had started at.

We then ran south on the trail.  The plan was to just go 30 minutes south and then turn around to come back because that's when one friend was going to have to leave us.  This section seemed to have more tree coverage which meant more leaves on the ground.  And they were slippery!

In addition to the slippery leaves, this section also had a lot of puddles covering the trail.  We tried to walk around them in the grass initially but that just resulted in our feet sinking into the mud.  So we eventually just started walking through them which resulted in cold, wet feet and soaked socks.

We did our 30 minutes out and back to the parking lot and this had us at around 11 miles.  So 11.5 including the warm up.  The initial plan had been that two of us would keep going at that point to finish up the extra 4.5 miles.  And usually, I think that would have been fine.  But the weather just had taken it's toll and I had no more mental fortitude to keep going.  My friend already had a blister on her foot and I felt several hot spots so I could tell I wasn't too far from blisters either.

So we called it a day.  Thanks for all the reassurances that one bad long run with missed mileage won't kill my training.  I definitely think it was the right decision given where we were mentally and with the wet socks.  But here are some things I've learned for the future.

Lessons learned:

1. Adjust for last minute weather changes if needed - I should have checked the weather again in the morning so I could change my outfit and even maybe change the route to one that would be less slippery.

2. Set yourself up for success with the route - it was a mistake to structure the route so that we went by the car again with only 4 miles to go.  I should have had our friend join us for the last 11 miles, not the first 11 miles.   That way, we wouldn't have been back at our car so close to the end.

3. Work on the mental game - I think I could have physically done 4 more miles.  I just didn't feel like I could mentally deal with the rain for longer.  It just didn't feel worth it.  Which is fine for one training run, but I've got to work on that for the future.

I will most likely not have any blog posts until I'm back from vacation!  I hope that you all have a great couple weeks and if you want a sneak peek at how things are going, follow me on Instagram.  I'm sure I'll have lots of photos to post there from the Avengers race at Disneyland and then from Hawaii.