The Longest Ever……(so far)

By the middle of October I was in full swing again, albeit with a slower pace and was aiming to complete every training run and stay on my carb cycling path.

And I did.  On the 17th of October, I had to do a 17 mile run.  I was scared.  This would be the longest I’ve ever done.   I needed some changes.

First, different hydration:  I had a gift card to use at Roadrunner Sports from my birthday to be used specifically for marathon training.  I bought a Camelbak hydration pack to carry 1.5 liters of water with me.  It also has two pockets that fit the bottles from my Fitletic belt, so I was able to carry 24oz of electrolytes with water.

Second, a better fueling plan:  I read in Jeff Galloway’s “Nutrition for Runners” book, that I should be taking in around 40 calories and carbs every 2 miles.  This is a rough estimate and I modified for my pace and my weight.  So what should I bring?  Well, October has some interesting choices available.  I mean, it’s Halloween season, so many carb rich snacks come is small individual packets.  Whereas my weekly grocery run consists mainly of food from the perimeter of the store, this one trip was focused 100% on the seasonal candy aisle.  For testing:  Candy Corn, Twizzlers, bite sized Pay Days, Fun Sized Chocolate, Tootsie Rolls, and pretzel bites filled with peanut butter (Trader Joe’s!).  I figured out that 5 candy corn was the calorie range suggested.  So I packaged them up in Glad Press ‘n’ Seal.  I made 8 packets.  In addition, I decided in case that wasn’t enough, I’d bring three additional “full size” fuels for every 4 miles:  Untapped Maple Syrup, a Honey Stinger Chocolate Waffle (gross – and I really love chocolate and tossed half out), and an Untapped Maple Waffle.  That plan actually worked well.  I didn’t feel any crash of exhaustion in terms of energy/blood sugar.  I think I’ll stick with that plan.

So back to the actual, run.   I know I keep saying that support is the best thing you can have as part of your training, and this is the case for that Saturday.  A 6 am start, with my friend who has run numerous Marathons, including New York two times!  The week before, she texts me during football to say she did a “training run” to prep for our long run the following weekend and while she’s not a morning person, what time do we start.  I told her she could join me late if I was too early for her, but she was here before 6!  I was so emotional that someone I don’t know all that well, would come out to do that with me that I cried.  I tried to blame it on the bad football my team was playing.  🙂

My friend told me of her marathon stories, including a journey to New York from DC after the Marine Corp Marathon (chosen for the jacket – this is why we are friends).  She kept telling me I was doing well.  She answered a lot of questions.  We discussed the best apps – I confirmed by comparing to her RunKeeper that my Garmin was the most consistently accurate.  I did slow down again by mile 13.  The air that day was cooler, but it was extremely humid/heavy for Southern California.  I did have some asthma issues.  My legs started to cramp at about mile 15 again.  Maybe still not enough electrolytes or stretching?  By mile 16 I knew I would make it.  I did have to walk about 2.5 straight miles in there, but was able to get a few jogs in there.  When my Garmin said 16.95 distance, I took off in a full on run.  High Five!  I finished.  The longest ever.

At breakfast after my friend said, do you know you ran that last part?  I said, of course, because it’s important to get that high five from Mickey or Minnie at the finish and have a good picture!  (yes, still girly girl priorities)  She laughed, but said, that means you still had miles in you.  And that she has no about that I will finish this.  Here’s to hoping she’s right!

The path to mile 5.5
The path to mile 5.5
Cheering section at mile 5.5
Cheering section at mile 5.5
View from mile 5.5
View from mile 5.5

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Post Run:  On Friday, for the first time in a long time I was able to get out and socialize with a group for a few hours.  With the longer runs, I’ve completely given my attention to diet and sleep to maximize my training benefits.  One of the ladies and I were talking, and she said she could tell I was really working hard and good for me.  In fact several said that they were supporting me from afar.  It was a good feeling.  It wasn’t the weight loss necessarily, but something about me they said.  And it’s true.  I feel better (even when I’m sick), and I’m more relaxed (even though I’m not really relaxed and a ball of stress most of the time!).  To me that was the ultimate compliment.  And when they say, “I could never do that”, I tell them “Yes, you can.  You just have to want it.”

October ended with me losing between 5 to 7 pounds (it fluctuates) and feeling great.  I had my 17 mile high for a week, and felt amazing after, and I think it’s in part to Cryotherapy that I did for the first time that afternoon.  I had no residual effects, not limping around at work or anything.

October also ended with only one training run missed – due to inflammation – and only a 30 minute maintenance run.  And ended with a 6 mile training run on Saturday, with a Magic Mile that was faster than any mile I’ve ever run.  Overall, a great month.

On to November!  10 Weeks from today……Gotta Run!

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