This week I ran my furthest distance ever. This includes races, training, whatever. I did a 15 mile race yesterday in North Park (north of Pittsburgh). The weather could not be more perfect. Temperatures in the high 30s, low 40s with lots of sunshine and little wind. The race was a loop course that was 5 miles around a lake in the park. For a February run the even had about 1500 competitors. It was wonderful to see. The race was 10, 15, 20 miles and you decided which one you wanted to complete. The race was called The Spring Thaw. I did three loops for 15 miles. I am excited to say I completed the race. It was definitely hard.
The first lap was not too bad with a lot of people around. The beginning of the race was like most with a lot of people and everyone trying to get into position. The good thing was that it did not too long to start to thin out. The loop course was a tough with some rolling hills. Also, in the second half of the loop (mile 2.5 to start/finish line) you have to battle traffic. The race did go against traffic but in the first loop it still was a little tight. I also found a tough spot from mile 1 to about mile 3. There is only one water stop. I just like looking forward to water stops. Also, between mile 3 and 4 is tough because you are at the furthest point of the course and not too many people are around. It felt very lonely and I had to battle mentally. In both my second and third loops that is where I found it most difficult. I battled with myself because I would not let myself walk. I needed to run this whole race. I never stopped running. Good sign.
I did a very good job hydrating. I am not a fan of sports drinks but I decided to go every other station water and the others Gatorade. When I got half way through the race, I did water and Gatorade at every station. I had a little of the carb gels. I can't do a whole pack of gels so I just get a little squeeze.
One my good friends also did the race. She is training for the Pittsburgh Marathon as well. It was great seeing her and getting to race together. Both of us agreed this was a tough race but excited to finish. My father also came to watch. He was mine and my friend's caddy while we raced. Not a bad day to be a spectator.
The weather is warm today and the sun is out so I am going for a leisurely walk. This week is a microcyle with a eight mile long run. Definitely looking forward to this week. Onward to the marathon.