Thursday, July 30, 2009

Mental + Physical Muscles @ Work

Now, where do I start? I'll just go ahead. Weee, I just ran my PDR to date: 12 miles. (Twirls 3x with a BIG SMILE across my face!) Like all my long runs, this one was not planned. My mental muscles were at work on a task the entire day and I felt the need to unwind with a long run. Taking a quick break from my task, I found myself mapping a 12 miler loop. So it was decided that I was going to run a long one tonight. After work, Aki sent me a message inviting me to hang out with her and Tara. Since I was going to see them on Saturday anyway, I passed on a girls' night out for a RUN.
{Beauty About To Bloom}
When I got home, I immediately ate my pre-run fuel. While waiting for my tummy to settle, I cleaned up my pad and folded the laundry. Yeah, I even strapped on my single bottle belt while doing these chores so that I would not be tempted to back out. Haha. I also snuck in 2 energy bars in the small pocket for mid-run fuel. After an hour, off I went.

I spent the first minute adjusting and getting used to the belt. By then end of Mile01, I hardly noticed it. At Mile02, a guy passed me and I wanted to catch up but I reminded myself to take it slow since this was going to be a long one. I kept going at a steady pace and before I knew it, I was at Mile05 and about to make my turn on the loop. I also made sure to greet every walker/runner I met; I was on a high! I drank my water and took a bite of the energy bar whenever I stopped at red lights. The beauty of this loop was that the first half has a lot of trees while the second half is on the city side walk. So the route offers variety and lots of opportunity to sight see. :D Totally unlike my 10 miler! It was pretty neat passing by the dainty cafes and watching people dining inside while I felt so good about running outside. I'll have to admit though that I was tempted to take a detour at the kaiten (revolving/conveyor belt) sushi bars. That would have been insane!

From Miles06-09, I was in autopilot mode. It was just a matter of putting one leg infront of the other. At the last quarter of my route, I was getting tired. When I remembered the email I got from my youngest sister that morning, I got re-energized. She was so exited to tell me about her landing her first job fresh after graduating from university. I was imagining all sorts of fun things for her at her new job and the daydreaming helped me go through at least 2 miles. When I was around 500 meters away from my 12 mile mark, I just gave it my all.

{Worth The Wait}

I read somewhere that a long run is supposed to be enjoyed so that one should not be huffing and puffing by the end. That's what I did and didn't worry about my pace. Again, your tips helped me so much tonight. The water bottle belt and pre/mid/post-run fuel are indeed important for me on long runs. I only ate one of the energy bars mid-run and was not feeling hungry after but I knew I had to eat something. I had half a toast with beans, 1/4 banana, and peanuts. Stretched, took a cold bath, and iced my knees.

OMGOMGOMG, I think I found a race I could join. It's a half marathon at the end of November. Would you believe that last year's 1st placer (W 16-39 years old) ran the half in 1:24:38?! Is that normal? I was shocked! Any tips for speed training? I'll need Aki's help with the website translation and registration. Yay! :D


  1. Beautiful flower pics :)
    I love your take on your run! Just enjoy it!
    As far as training goes ... stretch stretch stretch and make sure you train in different ways - have hill climb days and sprint days and endurance days. Good luck :)

  2. OMG!!!!! Why do I feel like you became a long distance runner in like two weeks?!?!?! I feel like when I started reading your blog you had just gotten into running. Boy time flies - or maybe it's just that you are a major rockstar!??!?! Go Mia!!!

  3. WOW!!!!! GREAT job - that is incredible!!!!

  4. Good job!! This really illustrates how running is the gift that keeps on giving, you keep running and you keep on improving and every run is an accomplishment in an of itself.

    As for speed training, there's so much you can do, but personally I'm partial to intervals at the track. So much fun!

  5. oh mia, your words just took me right back to how i used to feel running. sometimes i get so down on myself for not being able to anymore, but i feel so lucky to have been able to experience what you described in this post - the people watching, the smiles at other runners, the high. congratulations on 12 beautiful miles!

  6. wow 12 miles!? awesome!!
    hope the half marathon works out for you!!

  7. Hey, thanks for checking out my blog :)
    And WOWW awesome long run run! 12 miles!
    Now, you have the pleasure of eating. and eating. and more eating!
    As for speedwork, I suggest running with someone who's faster than you for about 4-6 miles.

  8. WHoo... way to go on finding a marathon! Good luck. sounds like you are training hard.

  9. A biiiiig congratulations to you!!!! I loved your recap of your mental preparation, during, and the feeling afterwards :D And also that's really awesome that you take care of your body afterwards. I feel a lot of people overlook the warm-up and cool down parts of physical activity.

    Have you ever read What I Think About When I Think About Running by Haruki Murakami?? It's a memoir about his experience running.. very interesting and relatable.

  10. Wow girlie! Doesn't look like you need ANY training :)

  11. So happy for you! I love how your happiness and excitement just shines through.

    - Sagan

  12. Great job, girl! My first 12 miler went really smoothly as well - wish I could say the same for my second one!

    Sounds like you've really been bit by the running bug!!!

  13. Woah...12 miles is HUGE!! Congrats on running AND enjoying it! :D

    For the 1/2 marathon, I wouldn't focus so much on speed as I would on just enjoying and running it. But considering you just ran 12 miles and enjoyed that run, you could always try adding in a few shorter, speed workouts throughout the week! :D

    For example, you could try adding in a shorter 3-4 mile run, adding speed in random spots. I like to run fast for 3 houses, slow down between 2, and then speed up for 3 more, etc. Adding those short sprints (not an all out run which might exaggerate your stride causing injuries...ick!) really help your endurance and adding some speed to your regular runs.

    Just remember that adding hills, sprints, and distance can be taxing on the body, so a rest day after each of these types is HIGHLY recommended. :D Most of all, HAVE FUN like it sounds like you're doing. I love reading about your makes me want to head out with my sneakers right now. :D

  14. i love flower pictures!

    yay for half-marathon - you go girl! check out hal higdon for some good training programs!

  15. wow! Congrats on a Great run and a new PDR! It sounds like you did awesome listening to your body, and taking it easy on the pace. And yeah, daydreaming really makes the miles go by faster!
    Here's a list of the mind games I play when i run:

    As for speed, repeats work for me; esp the 800meter repeats. And running races too, cause of the adrenaline!

  16. I loved your playby play on your run! It is so inspiring, and now I really wanna go out for a nice long ENJOYABLE run, too!
    And I do hope you join that half-marathon! That'll be so cool!

  17. Great job!!

    And, thank you so much for the award! Very appreciated!

    Enjoy the rest of your weekend!