I’ve mentioned before that I’m running GO! St. Louis because of my brother. It’s his first half marathon and will be his longest race ever (his current longest race is the 5-miler we did last summer). And for those of you who remember training for your first half, those long runs bring on a lot of anticipation and nervousness. Brian told me a few weeks ago that he didn’t know if he could handle running more than 10 miles by himself, so we decided we would find some time to run our 11 and 12 mile runs together.
We ended up meeting at our parents’ house Saturday morning since it is about the half way point between the 2 of us. Plus, I was in desperate need of a babysitter since Matt had a track meet on Saturday and wouldn’t be home until later that evening. We didn’t really have a route in mind, but I ran from my parents’ house for several years before Matt and I got married, so I knew a few good routes we could take. And growing up there, Brian and I both know the streets like the back of our hands, so we just sort of played it by ear.
Until Saturday morning, Brian had done most of his long runs on a treadmill. His weekends are busy with church and the weather has been less than ideal (hello, 12+ inches of snow right now), so he’s been pounding the treadmill instead of the pavement. Which I’m sure made him more nervous for busting out 11 miles with me.
We headed out toward Main Street St. Charles, which we knew was right around 3 or 4 miles from my parents house. Luckily, we knew we could always make up the last few miles on the Katy Trail once we reached the riverfront. We spend the first several miles just chatting and figuring out where to go on the run. Most of our talk revolved around running and the half marathon – typical runner talk. Brian’s goal is to run it in under 1:45, keeping his pace between 7:30 and 8:00 minute miles. So, I tried to make sure that we started off in this pace range, not too fast, but comfortable enough that we could speed up and have some wiggle room to slow down.
Mile 1 – 7:50
Mile 2 – 7:55
One of the best things about where we were running are the hills. There are a ton of them, from short and steep to long and gradual, perfect preparation for GO!. We hit some hills right around miles 3 + 4, slowing us down a bit, as well as hitting several stop lights that kept us stopped for a minute or two.
Mile 3 – 8:03
Mile 4 – 8:16
We hit Main Street right at Mile 4 and turned to head north on the Katy Trail. Since we knew it was going to be flat for several miles, we picked up the pace quite a bit. And all conversation stopped. We. Were. Moving! I picked out the bridge for one of the highways ahead and figured that was probably right around where we’d be turning around and focused myself on just getting to that point. If I made it halfway, I knew I’d be able to make it all the way back.
Mile 5 – 7:25
Mile 6 – 7:11
Mile 7 – 7:21
Once we made it back to Main Street, we had a GIANT, steep uphill and my legs were just dead. Brian killed me on it, but, I knew after that, the majority of the run was going to be downhill, and I started counting down how many more hills we’d have to climb.
Mile 8 – 8:37
Mile 9 – 7:28
For me, those last 2 miles in my long runs I’m just wanting to get done, so I always try to make those my fastest 2 miles. Just because I want to be DONE. Plus, I knew we only had 2 hills left in those 2 miles, so there was no reason not to pick it up just a little bit. The last hill was tough and Brian struggled a bit (which made up for my struggling in the Mile 7 and 8 hill), but the last 1/2 mile was literally all downhill and my favorite part of the entire run.
Mile 10 – 7:18
Mile 11 – 7:13
We finished in 1:24:35, an average of 7:42/mile. Slower than our other long runs, but it gave us a great feeling of what race day would feel like (just hopefully a tad bit warmer). As a normally solo runner, it was so nice to have some good company on my run! Even if it was my brother and we only talked the first 4 miles! He’s been an awesome training partner and I can’t wait until next weekend to tackle 12 miles with him!
Do your siblings do the same sports you do? Have you ever trained with your brother or sister before?