September 10, 2013

My Journey to 26.2: Another milestone (010)

In today's installment of Training Tuesday, I wanted to share another milestone in my marathon training.  On Sunday, I ran 19 miles.  This is another personal record for distance and also exceeded my last long run (which by the way was almost a month ago) by two miles.  Knowing that I have a hard time coming up with a route near my home that will get me 13 miles without too much repetition, I knew I needed to travel for my 19 miler.  I settled on the Virginia Beach oceanfront and didn't regret it for an instant, even if it meant getting up a little bit earlier and driving 36 miles east.

I wasn't really sure how I would handle the distance as it had been a while since I was out for a long run.  Immediately, I knew it would be a good run.  It felt mostly effortless and the initial miles ticked away quickly.  I stuck to my 4:1 run:walk ratio for the entire run and it worked out beautifully.  After the first few miles at the north end of the beach (residential area), I turned up 64th street to head up toward First Landing State Park to hit a trail.  I'd heard great things about the Cape Henry trail from some other running buddies and it didn't disappoint.  I was overwhelmed by the amount of other runners out - that was awesome!

I got out of the park and headed back to my car to refill my water bottles and ditch my visor (it was giving me a headache).  I was about 11 miles in at this point and still felt energetic!  I made the turn south and headed down to the more touristy end of the beach, where I planned to finish out my miles.


I'd run on the boardwalk in preparation for other races and have run down it toward a finish line in 3 different events.  This time felt a little different; the weather was perfect, I was feeling great and the tourists had mostly gone home.  The weekend after labor day is Neptune Festival Weekend so there was lots going on.  It's also the weekend that the locals refer to as "take back the beach" and was always my Dad's favorite when we lived in Virginia Beach.  I had a few chuckles to myself as I remembered our beach adventures when I was a teenager.
The turnaround point at First Street - view out to the ocean from Rudee Inlet
Another view of Rudee Inlet 
The view of the boardwalk from First street...time to head home baby!
After I made the turn at first street, I finally started feeling the long awaited fatigue.  I grabbed my final Gu and told myself to get home.  Even with the fatigue, I was still feeling very strong....I know that sounds like an oxymoron and maybe it was more mental strength than physical.  I found myself running at a better pace than my first ten miles which was a great feeling.  I turned onto 50th street to head to the car and stopped my Garmin as it ticked to 19 miles.  Hooray!


This was one of those runs that made me remember why I run in the first place.  It's cathartic and fun.  It's a time to enjoy the great outdoors.  I honestly can't ever remember having a long run as fun or fulfilling as this one was.  It was the confidence boost I needed as I start getting into very heavy mileage in preparation for Marine Corps Marathon.  It was truth that the elusive runner's high exists.

Here's the breakdown of the location of the miles...the diversity was enormously helpful!
0-4: Virginia Beach North End (residential)
4-10: First Landing State Park, Cape Henry Trail
10-12: Virginia Beach North End
12-18: Virginia Beach Boardwalk
18-19: Virginia Beach North End

{Christine}

26 comments:

  1. I found your blog from Heather's recap of the Disney run and I love it! This post grabbed my attention as I lived and worked for a summer in Viginia Beach on a student visa. Seeing your run pictures makes me very nostalgic for the brilliant time I had. Thank you :-)

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    1. Thanks Violet. Virginia Beach is a lovely place!

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  2. What a gorgeous place for a long run! I seriously struggle finding new places for my runs, I am so bored with my usual runs.

    19 miles is a HUGE milestone, you are going to rock MCM! : )

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    1. Wish you lived nearby Danielle. We could cope with these long runs together!

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  3. Congratulations on your big run! And especially right after the mileage filled Dumbo Double Dare! It looks like you had a beautiful run (both in performance and scenery). Good luck with MCM! I'm sure you'll do great! :)

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    1. Thanks Kellie, this should be an easier weekend for me this week!

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  4. What an awesome run! And your pace was amazing! You are so ready for MCM!!!

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    1. Thanks so much Mindy. I can't wait for race day!

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  5. We're long run pace twins! Congrats on the PDR, these are great runs that show the journey is what matters most when training for a full!

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    1. I hope I will see you in DC Kat. It is fun training with loads of other internet running friends!

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  6. Great Job And Great Pace, So Proud Of You!

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    1. Thanks Caroline. I know all my training runs won't be as easy as this one, but these really help with confidence.

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  7. Stunning running area!! Huge congrats on getting to 19 miles as well :) Everytime I read your posts about your marathon training, it always gives me a huge surge of motivation!

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    1. Thanks Lauren. Are you running Marine Corps?

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    2. No I think I will run my first full in 2014 though :) Not sure which marathon to do yet!

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  8. Wow...your doing so great Christine! Thanks for taking us along for your journey....Your such an inspiration....proud of ya....

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    1. Thanks Melissa, having to be accountable on a blog makes me get it done, which sometimes is not so easy.

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  9. Nicely done! My record is 17 miles and that was on a treadmill... I need to find a good outside running option!

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    1. Wow....17 mile on the treadmill is serious work. Congrats on that.

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  10. Congrats on an amazing long run! It sounds like you had a great time while you were out there. It's posts like this that make me want to take up running :)

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    1. Do it Lisa! You can start with a fun local 5k and grow your mileage from there!

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  11. Way to go you bad@ss!!! I wish you lived closer... I'm dreading my next few long runs and here you are making them look effortless. ;)

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    1. I would love to be able to train with you Lisa. Good luck with your upcoming long runs!

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  12. Great post and lovely pictures of a nice long run. I'm currently training for my first 10K since having ACL surgery 2 years ago. It's great to read about someone's awesome run as they add on the miles. Way to go!

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    1. Good luck with your training Jewell. That first race will be very special.

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  13. Congrats on your milestone! Your pictures are a reminder of our recent fun weekend in Virginia Beach for Rock 'n' Roll. Can't wait til next summer to be able to run at the beach again!

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