Monday, November 1, 2010

Long Run Recap

Well, yesterday was a tough one. First, the eldest was here for two weeks for mid-tour leave, and then he was gone, so I was sad and mopey all weekend. :( He's only got six or seven months left in the Army (depending on how much leave he has saved up by then), so we'll have him home for good soon enough, though.

And I had a long run that I needed to get in. So I ate a mini bagel with a little peanut butter, and gave it about 45 minutes to settle. Then I started running, and I was going too fast. I tend to do that when I'm stressed and upset, and it usually works well to ease the stress, but yesterday I had planned a 16-miler. NOT the best plan. So, anyway, I was pounding along - I took a walk break every mile for 20-30 seconds to drink from my Camelbak, but I didn't take in anything else. (This is important).

I pass a convenience store on this particular route at about mile 7 and again at about mile 9. I had one pack of Gu, and I had a half-baked idea in my head that I'd stop at the store and get a banana or something on mile 9, and then finish the last 7.

But I got to mile 8 (where the potty is) and stopped, and realized that I had forgotten my Gu. I ate it then, and had a bathroom break, and a little stretch, and then started back. Since I had just eaten my Gu, I didn't feel all that hungry at mile 9. So I kept running.

At mile 10, I was a little hungry. Mile 11 - a little hungrier. By mile 12 I was ready to gnaw my own leg off. But it was three miles back to the convenience store, and only four home. My legs were cramping at this point, so I stopped for a quick stretch break before heading on.

Mile 13 - my legs were still cramping, there was a tightness in my hip that I hadn't noticed before and my stomach is complaining to beat the band. I stretch again, and keep going.

Mile 14 - I started wondering if there's anything edible on the side of the road. I'm not kidding - I'm looking for leftover dead berries from the summer or some sheep sorrel or some edible fungi - ANYTHING, because I'm bonking HARD. My pace has slowed and my legs are still cramping. At this point, my husband drives by, takes one look at me and slows the truck. He points to the passenger side and I give it up. I ride the last bit home in the truck. And go immediately to the kitchen for a giant glass of chocolate milk and some leftover chicken. I can't remember when I've been that hungry before!

So, I cut the run short by two miles. I'm not happy with that, but it was still a tough run. My pace was just slightly over 11 minutes per mile for the whole distance, but the first 8 miles were just over a 10 minute per mile pace.

Lessons learned: you need more fuel than a mini-bagel to start a long run. You need to refuel at various intervals, and one pack of Gu halfway through is probably not enough. I should have had the Gu at mile 4, and a banana at mile 8 or 9. Then, although I might have been a little hungry, I should have been able to finish the last 7 miles or so.  Oh, and it's probably not a great idea to start a long run at your tempo run pace.  But I'll do better next week!

On a positive note, this is the scenery I was running through:

It's gorgeous here right now.  The weather was perfect - sunny and cool, with a little breeze. And the lake is gorgeous, too - we're lucky to live so close to it!

So, ultimately I think it was a valuable training run. Better to figure out the food issue now than at Disney. And the pace issue, for that matter. We have a half-marathon in just under two weeks and I'm going to try to get some good photos.

Happy Training!

Big Fat Greek Marathon Fund: $50
Goal: Unknown (they send out information in February)
Days until our next race: 13


  1. Hey - what did you do to make fifty bucks this weekend? Funny that with your long sad tale, the first thing I notice is your fund is bigger than mine! OK - back to the running thing. You are very naughty about eating on the run. You always resist because you don't "feel" hungry. Maybe think of it this way - like water - you're not supposed to wait until you're thirsty to drink - then it's to late. Eat on a schedule no matter what...every thirty minutes no matter how long the run is!

  2. I ordered the shin wrap yesterday and minimalist running shoes today. Found Adidas adizero Mana a highly touted shoe on a few blogs for $59.97 - when's the last time we paid under $60 for running shoes? I didn't have to pay shipping either. Used Kelly Running Warehouse - they were $10 cheaper than Road Runner for this particular shoe.
    Hopefully their service is as good as RR. I want to RUN!

  3. I got paid, and stuck $50 in there so it wouldn't read 0. Anyway, it's OUR account, so WE have $50 in there! We just have $7950 to go! :) Can't wait to see your new shoes!

    And, I know - I hate eating on the run, but this time I really did forget!

  4. Those pictures are AMAZING!!

    Athens is on my bucket list. I am so excited to follow your journey!

  5. Thanks, Candice! Maybe you'll go to Athens in 2012, too! :)

  6. Thanks for posting on my blog! How did the running tights hold up?
    You can check out the Girls on the Run greater Knoxville Chapter here:


  7. Wow! Those pictures take my breath away!! Simply beautiful!

    It will be fun to follow your journey to Athens!

  8. Girl I admire you so much. When I read your entries it makes me wonder if I could run your distances. But then common sense knocks me upside my head and I know better. Plus I don't have near that beautiful scenery that you have. That must be the most wonderful run.

  9. Jill, the running tights are great! Thanks for the link - I'll check it out!

    Meredith, thank you so much!

    Susie, we do run long - but we also run SLOW - I think you're a good bit faster than we are.