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12+12

January 24, 2010

In preparation for my two-day, three-race event, I decided last weekend to do a double 12-mile run, running 12 on Saturday and another 12 on Sunday. I haven’t been running every day lately because of my knee pain, and I didn’t want to get to race day, when I’ll be running 9.3+3.1 on Saturday, then 13.1 on Sunday, without having attempted something similar in practice.

Out the door I went on Saturday morning, 1½ miles to the bridge where Little G and I sometimes meet for runs. We ran together four miles after that–she’s been having some hip pain and didn’t want to run too far–and then stopped at her house, where I got some cold water before heading back out. I was tired already, and wanting to quit, so I made myself go past the bridge for a couple miles before I headed back, and then ran from the bridge home. I was perplexed, and angry with myself, when I realized upon reaching my driveway that I was 11 miles in, not 12. Ugh. So off I went to the park to finish the last mile in ¼-mile loops around our dirt track. 12 done. I felt sore; knowing I had another 12 on tap the next day, I thought briefly about an ice bath, but life beckoned, and I didn’t get it in.

The next day, Sunday, I was on a time crunch–we need to leave for church by 9, so I had to get back in time to have breakfast, shower, and get pretty. I was out the door by 4:30, setting a course that would bring me to the water fountains at around 6 miles. Then, at mile 2, it started raining–persistently enough that I turned for home. I figured I’d get in my first 4 on the road and finish on the treadmill. But by mile 3 the rain had slackened, and I turned around and headed west again, away from home. Ran by the Lamb’s elementary school, around some residential neighborhoods, and got to the water fountain at the 6.2 mark. Downed a gel with some water and then planned the rest of my route. I ran two loops around our golf-course community–the rain came at times, gently–sometimes hating the fact I’d done that instead of running a longer loop just one time. But, with 1½ left, I knew all I had to do was head home, and that was joyful.

Incredibly, I ran both 12-milers at an almost exact pace–10:15, and though initially that number bothers me, I know running them easy was the right thing to do. 10:15 comes in at the pace McMillan says should be my easy pace, and it’s also two minutes slower than my half-marathon PR, so in the end I’m okay with it though it’s certainly slower than my training pace has been in the past.

Runner’s World has recommended 12-12 runs as a substitute for 20-milers before, and I can see why. It’s exhausting, for me, at least, to run that kind of distance twice without rest, but it was also a good test of fitness and endurance–and probably sheer bull-headedness.

I have more to say about my nagging knee pain, but for now, just wanted to let you know I’m still running. I even registered for the races and have my hotel booked. In other words, I’m committed.

Or, as the Boss says, need to be committed–though I’m not sure he’s talking about the race.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. run4change permalink
    January 24, 2010 11:11 pm

    Great job. Back to back runs are tough. I also am having some knee pain. I will take time off to let it be healthy though. Stay strong.

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