16 Miles – Third Time Around

On March 30th,  we did our third 16 miler of this training cycle. The weather was terrible that weekend, but a new kind of terrible: rain, instead of snow, just for variety’s sake. We had planned to start at 8am, but were able to push the start time back to 9:30 to dodge a true downpour. Even so, we were pretty wet by the end of it.


The Middletown half is next weekend so we decided to run some of the course to get a look at it. Fast Friend, Maple Leaf Trail Runner and I started out for the first 8 miles. An unnamed someone put a bug in my brain that I should do this run faster than our usual long run pace. Fast Friend and Maple Leaf didn’t even blink at this idea. Might have to make friends with some slower runners who put up at least a minimum of protest to some of these plans.


Actually, most of the run was fine. The course for the half covers a lot of the ground that we usually run anyway and it’s really cool that there will be a half marathon here. It’s certainly not flat but at least these are familiar hills. The course goes up a fairly significant hill that we generally dodge, but it goes down the steep side of Brush Hill. We always go up that one.


We dropped Maple Leaf off at the cars after 8 and Snarky Girl called to say she was on her way so we circled round campus for two miles while we waited to pick her up. Poor Snarky Girl started running just as the rain and wind picked up but she can handle a bit of dirty weather. For the last six we ran through town and around campus for a bit.


As for the running parts of the run: I was really pleased that we held the faster pace for most of the run. We generally do long runs at around 10:30 minutes/mile or just a tad slower. For this, we were aiming for between 9:30 and 10. When our speed dropped, we were able to pick it back up again. If one of us started feeling frisky and running faster, the other slowed them down. We finished with a 9:58 average, including Gu stops, so not bad.


I had my Gu around miles 4, 8, and 12 and salt at the same time, plus right at the start of the run, plus around mile 14. I had a lot of cramping in my right hip, which is the same problem that plagued me at the Hartford marathon last fall. That’s a bit troubling because I was hoping the salt tablets would take care of it. I have been having potato chips the day before long runs and I’ll try that again next weekend.


The first 16 miler we did was a real struggle. The second one was just kind of chaotic. This one felt much more strong and purposeful, which was great!


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