Mar 23, 2012

Is faster really better?

After my lovely Leprechaun fail (by the way, you guys gave me some great advice on dealing with stomach problems!!), I took a solid three days off. I rested, iced, stretched, and made threats to my right knee that it better start cooperating or else...

And on Wednesday morning I headed out for what I hoped would be a pain-free 20 miler (yeah yeah, I know how to be conservative, don't I?). I met my running buddy at mile 5 and somehow convinced her to do 15 with me.

My goal was to run slow and just get the time on my feet. But after more than a year of trying to run faster, I was befuddled: how do you run slower? The mere thought of running slower being a challenge kind of intrigued me.

It was a great run. I had minimal knee pain for the first few miles but after I got warmed up, it disappeared. We ran back and forth on a 5 mile out-and-back course, which meant every 5 miles we could refill our bottles, take a potty break (dear Summit Coffee- thank you for being so awesomely runner friendly!), and take a stretch break. I fueled on 2 Gus and a Snickers Bar.

My father has bestowed upon me much of his great running wisdom, but perhaps the wisest thing he ever taught me is this: never underestimate the power of a Snickers bar. It's purely magical.


I finished 20 miles in 3:55, with an average 11:45/mile pace. It's not fast, but hey I've been meaning to ask, who ever decided faster was better?

Yesterday I thought it would be fun to walk 4 miles on the treadmill at 15% incline. I'm not sure why I thought it would be fun because in fact, it was pure torture. It was like I was hiking up the Grand Canyon again, except I didn't have the pretty views (or the altitude sickness).

Now I'm on a prescribed two day rest period before I run the NC Half Marathon with none other than Gail. Not only do I get to meet Gail in person (please don't be a serial killer, Gail ;) ), but we get to run on the Charlotte Motor Speedway AND there are awesome finisher medals that light up. They're so cool, the race director deemed it necessary to take a video of them and put it up on the race webpage. You can see it here, on the right side half way down.

Why is faster better? Is it because of the competition to get into the Boston Marathon? Aren't all finishers winners?

What is your favorite fuel for long runs?


  1. one of my better pictures

  2. I think that's fast for 20 miles. I love to use GU chomps on long runs. Strawberry tastes like candy!

    1. I guess "fast" is such a relative term. The pace is not as fast as my last marathon time, but certainly it isn't super slow either. "Fast" is kind of like "pretty"- so subjective!

      Gu chomps are great- especially strawberry!!

  3. glad you're being smart and resting up...sort of ;) It's funny how faster is "better" I agree, what makes it better? I mean obviously I get super caught up on being faster, but really why? I mean isn't finishing 15 miles such a huge accomplishment in the first place? Clearly we're all just crazy pants. That's the only logical explanation I have. Good luck at the half and I'm excited for u and Gail to meet up!