Finally! I hit the big 18 today. I headed over to Centennial Park in Columbia, MD. It’s a nice park, full of walkers, bikers, and runners. There is a 2.5 mile loop around a lake that’s paved with a large width. Perfect for my needs, minus one part. The back side is HILLY. Nothing major, but a bunch of small sharp incline/declines. A good hill workout was definitely had.
Here are two views of the park. Not anything like the conditions today.
I’ll not lie, the run was anything but easy. With my hamstring tendon issues, I took it cautious and slow. 1:1 intervals the entire time. My goal was to run 7 laps getting me up to almost 17.75 miles, then finish off with a short extra out and back. Laps one and two were nice and easy. Lap three I started feeling my hammy issue creep up. It was a slight pain and I’d thought about stopping but made the decision to keep at it unless it became sharp. I took a short stretch/bathroom break after lap three. Laps four and five were mixed. The hammy was staying the same, a slight dull pain. I couldn’t even feel it during my running interval but I could during the walks. Again, another stretch/bathroom break after lap five. Lap six I was wearing down. Those back hills were tough. I started adjusting the intervals so that I could walk up the hills. I finished lap six thinking “This is it. I’m going to finish 18!” The back hills were even tougher. I came into the last bit of lap seven thinking I’ll only have .25 miles to finish. That was not the case!
Here’s were I interject and mention I bought an android phone yesterday. Motorola Droid R2D2 model to be percise! I love it! My first smart phone and I’m a tinkerer so I love messing with all the apps. But I digress. I’m mentioning it because I have a app that integrates with my running log (Runningahead.com), Handy Runner. Today was my first time using it and it seems to work rather well. Now back to my recount of the run.
As I came to the lap end, I pulled out the phone and checked the mileage to see exactly how far I had left, another .5 miles! Of course it was disheartening but I pushed through, ran out and back to finish with a 18.02. And in a not to shabby 13:32 pace. Slower that I’d have liked but with my hammy I’ll take it. Boy were my legs tired! But I finished! Now I can put that barrier behind me and focus on my 20 miler.
Do you use a smartphone? How do you measure your runs?