Longest Run {Yet}

Today I ran 28 miles, which is the furthest I have ever ran. 

For now.

It was anything but easy.

I have every other Friday off work which is making ultra-training life so much easier with these crazy back to back long runs.  It gives me an extra day to actually have somewhat of a weekend and to catch up on a little thing called life.  Today I took advantage of it and planned to meet Jojo for the big scary 28 miler.

Thursday night I carb-loaded and watched Unbreakable for a little inspiration.  It showed up in my mailbox Thursday night and I couldn’t have planned it better.  It definitely made me want to go run really far.

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I didn’t get to sleep as early as I hoped, I had some nerves or something keeping me awake, but I did eventually.  The alarm went off at 5:30am and I hit the kitchen for the normal routine of coffee, toast, Clif Bar and social media check in.

An hour later I was on the road and I picked up Jojo to make our way to Tilden Park to start our run.  We planned on keeping it simple by doing an out and back, starting in Tilden and running all the way over to Redwood Park.

I had run parts of Tilden before and I had run Redwood numerous times, but I had never put the two parks together before.  I had maps printed out, but about a mile into our run I realized they were gone!  I was sure I could figure out the way though, so we kept going ahead. 

We had quite a bit of climbing to start, but most of it was runnable.  We figured our way around Tilden, out of Tilden and onto the East Bay Ridge Trail that would take us all the way to Redwood.  There were a couple spots where we got a little confused, but with the help of my iPhone and some fellow trail runners, we easily found our way.

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I was trying to keep my fueling consistent from the start but nothing really sounded good today.  I still made myself eat and snacked on Shot Bloks every few miles, took salt caps around every hour and had a zbar somewhere in the first half.  We hit the 14 mile turn around and I said “I wish I felt better right now.”  I had my PB&J sandwich and hoped it would help.

It was true, I wasn’t feeling that great.  I wasn’t feeling awful, but something just wasn’t quite right.  I knew the 14 miles back were going to be a long way to go, but I was so happy to have Jojo there with me.

I loved the trails we were running on and the views were amazing, so I made sure to soak up our surroundings.  We had everything from open fire trail to tree covered single track to squishy mud.  It was definitely a good variety! 

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We continued to run, recounting where we had been, focusing on the beauty we were running in and just tried to stay positive.  We were both struggling a bit, and we knew each other was, but we just did our best to move forward and not dwell on it.  There were some miles of silence just getting in our own heads, but there were many more miles full of conversation keeping us moving.

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It was a pretty warm day for February too and I definitely could feel the sun.  In the exposed parts I was really warm, and I was drinking out of my pack constantly.  I actually ended up running out of water with 2 miles to go, which has never happened to me before with my pack, so I knew I did a good job of hydrating.

We kept on ticking off the miles and one by one, we got closer to the finish.  When I hit 27 miles I announced “I have never run this far before!” but we weren’t done yet… 1 more mile to go.

Finally we were getting close.  We had a little climb right at the end, but we made it up and out and the beep of my Garmin as it hit 28 has never sounded sweeter.

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We were both so happy we were able to finish strong, stay positive and keep up our fueling on a day that clearly wasn’t either of our best days.  It’s days like this though that we will both look back on when times get tough {because they most certainly will} in our 50 milers.  These runs are a reality check, a wake up call, but also a confidence booster knowing that we DID finish on a tough day.

When I came home and uploaded my Garmin data, I figured out why we might have been struggling too.

AR50 Week11a 

Just a few hills to total 5100+ of elevation gain… we had no idea.

Another big milestone has been crossed and many more are to come! 

Bring them on. 

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24 Responses to Longest Run {Yet}

  1. Marlene February 17, 2012 at 6:36 pm #

    First ultra run!! CRAZY distance and time out there. Way to hang in and get it done. Not feeling great and having 14 miles to go… gahhh!

    So nice that you have every second Friday off! I wish I could work out an arrangement like that.

    Enjoy the weekend!!

  2. Kristen February 17, 2012 at 6:42 pm #

    Um…wow. That is a lot of climbing.
    I see you’ve had to switch to a Garmin with longer battery life to handle the really long runs?

  3. Ricole Runs February 17, 2012 at 6:46 pm #

    You ROCK!! Awesome, just awesome! What did you eat during? Good luck on the back to back part tomorrow!

  4. Jen February 17, 2012 at 7:50 pm #

    seriously, i cannot get over how crazy this is. awesome, awesome, awesome.

  5. Lauren @ Sassy Molassy February 17, 2012 at 9:38 pm #

    Whoa, holy hills. That is definitely an impressive run. So nice to have someone to share the miles with, especially when you’re suffering.

  6. Rachel February 17, 2012 at 9:55 pm #

    woohoo!

  7. Rena @ milehogger.blogspot.com February 17, 2012 at 10:01 pm #

    Congrats! And it’s good that you had someone to do it with. I can’t imagine running alone for more than five hours.

  8. Amanda February 17, 2012 at 10:24 pm #

    You are doing great! So Inspiring!

  9. Cyndi February 18, 2012 at 2:11 am #

    Nice! Reading your posts makes me want to run……far. I only wish there were trails like that in my neck of the woods!
    I’ve been wanting to see Unbreakable…….

  10. Sarah February 18, 2012 at 5:40 am #

    This is awesome!!! I love it–great job!!

  11. Heather February 18, 2012 at 6:23 am #

    Congratulations – awesome job!

  12. Page February 18, 2012 at 9:46 am #

    Awesome. Awesome. Awesome!!

  13. Sarah K. @ The Pajama Chef February 18, 2012 at 10:06 am #

    crazy!! great job :)

  14. Abigail February 18, 2012 at 11:11 am #

    You’re totally inspiring me to get back out there and run after my month off (as I was on vacation & indulged in everything but running). Thanks for being awesome! =)

  15. Holly February 18, 2012 at 12:34 pm #

    Woah! You make running 28 miles sound fun! And I’m nervous about my longest run to date – 14 miles!!

  16. Sandy February 18, 2012 at 2:31 pm #

    Wow!! You’re pretty amazing!!

  17. Indi February 18, 2012 at 3:16 pm #

    Awesome runs this weekend!! I just got done watching Unbreakable as well…AWESOME!

  18. Missy February 18, 2012 at 7:12 pm #

    YOU ARE AMAZING!!! Keep it up!

  19. Christine February 19, 2012 at 1:01 pm #

    Congratulations!!! You are such a strong runner!

  20. Billy February 20, 2012 at 5:02 pm #

    sweet run.

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