When I last left off, I was heading into a 15 mile training run. I was nervous because my prior long run of only 13 miles was such a disaster. I also had issues in terms of time constraints and wanted to be able to slow down. So when an all-day conference call for work presented itself, I had a unique opportunity. Because it was an eight hour call, I decided to work from home since it’s easier to hear and I wouldn’t need a headset – I could use my speakerphone. The call didn’t start until 9, so basically I just needed to be active online by 8:45 to log in. That gave me the opportunity to go for my 15 miler on Friday, instead of Saturday. That meant I could start earlier and feel safe with all the before work runners and walkers out and be done before it got too hot outside.
To prepare, I skipped my Thursday maintenance run and was grateful to have Thursday as a carb day in my cycling. That would give me more energy than I’d normally have for a Saturday run as Friday is a low carb day.
I had planned to start up by 4:30am, but that felt a little too early to be outside alone, so I waited until 5. Instead I rearranged somethings and did some work for the 30 minutes extra I had and let my protein bar digest. I set out at 5, and documented my journey for my Facebook friends along the way, mainly to stay accountable, and to get encouragement in case there was a similar fate to the 13 miler.
The first mile was shakey. It was the most hydration I have ever taken with me on a run. For 13 miles and less, I can usually get away with fueling once (a Cliff Shot gel or waffle) and a 16 oz water bottle that I can refill at the water fountains along the way. Lately, it’s been extremely warm, and many of the water fountains are not working. And after the 13 mile run, with the leg cramps, I needed to include electrolytes as well as water. Many had recommended fuel belts for me. So, back in April, I bought the “Ultimate II” belt from Fitletic. I loved the idea that it had loops for fuel (gels mainly), a pocket that fits my phone (Galaxy S5) and a little pocket with Velcro closure for my inhaler. There are also built in toggles for your race bib on race day. The benefit of this is that you can purchase 8 oz bottles to attach to the belt – flexible! Use one for a shorter run or up to 4 for longer runs. I had 4 on me that day, plus one 8 oz handheld. I used two with plain water, and 3 with electrolytes added to my water (I use Ultima Replenisher as it’s all natural and low calorie and carb for everyday intake.) The issue: the belt was too heavy and not adjusted properly so it kept falling down. UGH. Don’t get me wrong, I love this belt, but not for a long unsupported training run. I ended up having to pause to readjust and empty one of the water bottles.
Other than that, I was feeling G-R-E-A-T for the first 12 miles. I set the timer to fuel every 45 minutes. That run I used a Strawberry Honey Stinger Waffle (tasted like a strawberry Poptart – forget the ginger waffle, this is my new favorite), a Vanilla Clif Shot (an old standby), and an Untapped Maple Waffle (this was new, and very tasty, but a little dry – may use again, but expensive to ship as they don’t sell locally and the Strawberry was just as delicious).
I was still very sore, and by mile 12.5, I was starting to walk more. And while that wasn’t ideal, I did manage to finish. I was feeling pretty good, and managed to get back home and showered before my conference call.