Saturday, September 11, 2010

Life as a Minor League Player's Girlfriend

I've decided that the best thing I could have ever decided this spring was to run a marathon. Other than the obvious reason that I love running, the other main reason why I decided to start training for a marathon is that it would serve as a way to preoccupy myself while Garrett played baseball for the Astros. I knew that I needed something to keep me absorbed with my friends' lives, to take up time outside of my normal routine to to keep my mind from missing Garrett. After thinking that he was getting back to the Carolinas on September 1st, to then thinking he was getting back on September 10th (ish) to then thinking he was getting back on September 14th, a combination of great friends and marathon training is really what kept me sane.

In the end, it's the best for both of us. While I'm off running 22 miles at 530am, he's sleeping on a bus en route to Troy from Batavia, NY. He gets to experience being in a playoff Championship Series while I get to run more than 10 hours a week (excluding stretching, drills, driving etc). Running combined with a new job and studying for the GMAT, I'm a pretty busy girl. However, now that Garrett's official arrival date is September 15th, instead of arriving right in the middle of my marathon specific training, he's coming during my tapering stage, which means less time for running and more time for hanging out with G!

Here's what Garrett does:

Here's what I do:
To wrap up one of the final weeks of marathon training, I decided to go out with my longest run yet - 22 miles - featuring a 9.7 mile tempo in the end. Fortunately enough, it was quite easy for me to find some company for this as I met a large group of guys at the Huntersville Business Park - Steve, Jay, Paul, Mike, Bill, Adam, Nathan, and Derrick. I will note that I dearly miss my favorite female training partners - Meagan Nedlo and Megan Hovis - and that it would have been fabulous to have had them out there.

I woke up at 440am to get all prepared, and drove over to Jay's house so that we could carpool together. We arrived 4 minutes early and everyone was already there, ready to go before 530am! Nathan and Bill guided us around the Huntersville neighborhoods before the sun came up and we averaged about 7:45 pace for 10.5 miles. We made a pit stop back at our cars for some gel and water before we all started the various tempos that we had on tap. Bill was kind enough to have marked the course with pink spray paint that was extremely visible to people like me, who had never run out here before. The plan was for me to go on the 12 mile loop with Mike, Bill, Steve, and Adam starting at 630 pace and dropping down to 615. Since I only needed 60 minutes of effort, Mike was going to signal for me to turn at a spot that would cut off about 1.5 miles from the 12 mile loop. My goal was to stay as relaxed as possible and to really focus on my breathing to keep it controlled. In the end, I accomplished just that even though our pace dropped pretty quickly after mile 3.

1: 642
2: 645 (after this split, Mike took off for mile 3 and we all stayed with him)
3: 558 (panic moment)
4: 603
5: 612
6: 603 (Beigay gapped Steve and I here)
7: 607 (Steve and I working together)
8: 601 (from mile 7 and on, i was on my own because I turned a different way)
9: 600
.69: 406 (600 pace)
Average: 6:11 pace
Average for 7.7 miles: 6:02 pace

As you can see, we went out very relaxed for the first two miles and then dropped a hammer on the third mile. Admittedly, I did have a slight panic moment for about 2 seconds and then I focused on what I wanted to accomplished today - feeling almost effortless with controlled breathing. That must have helped me because I felt great the rest of the way. Steve, Mike and I settled into a nice grove together for the first 5 miles and then Mike began to gap Steve and I. From miles 6-7 Steve and I worked together on a big highway. Really, Steve just blocked the wind from me and I took advantage of my spot behind him. For the last 2.7 miles of the tempo, I was on my own since I went on a different route to shorten the course. I felt GREAT on this portion of the run. Once my watch hit the 60 minute mark, I slowed to a jog and ran enough miles to log 22 for the day.

Overall, I am extremely satisfied with this workout. I think that Mike is really going to shine at Twin Cities and it will be a fun trip to share with so many Charlotte people that have been an integral part to my marathon training this fall (Mike, Bill and Adam). A huge thanks to Nathan Stanford for taking pictures of us and for providing bananas and Gatorade.


Cool Down Runner said...

Great workout, Caitlin. You are going to do great at Twin Cities.

maryanne said...

How nice to have Garrett home as the taper begins! Just let us how many cheese crescents and/or cinnamon rolls to bring for you and your crc mates in M-SP!

caitchris said...

CHEESE CRESCENTS YUM!! Bill - I'm excited for the trip!

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