Sunday, August 23, 2009

Long run report: 7 miles

Seven miles. Done.

We didn't get the babysitter thing worked out early enough, so I got all set to hit the road by myself at about 10:45 this morning. While I was standing in the entryway, my dad called to say he could watch the kids. By then, though, E had already decided against running and I'd set my sights on a grand tour of the town so I just took off.

Several things were good today. Before I get into the running, I wanted to post a small joy--for two days straight, my weight has been down to 149. That feels like a huge milestone to me, being under 150. Now if I can just keep it that way. Today was also the first day where I actually could notice a difference in how my body looks. I don't know if it's muscle tone or weight loss or both, but I just felt like I looked better. E said something this morning too about noticing, which just made my day.

Anyway, back to the run. Seven miles. I got a few miles in before I had to walk or take a drink of water--two biggies for me. The weather was cool enough that I didn't feel like I was burning up (see this post about the awful run I did in the heat last Sunday) or dehydrated. I took several strategic walk breaks early because I knew that running for over an hour was going to be a big fat challenge.

Things went well overall. No matter what, I'm glad I finished it. No aches in my shins or calves, which had been the two things plaguing me this week. I have scoliosis, so another area I sometimes feel some pain is in my left shoulder (also a dance teaching injury I got from demonstrating a shoulder stand a few years ago). I noticed that I was carrying my tension there early in the run, so I tried to adjust a bit and relax. It's sore now, but it sort of stopped being an issue after about three or four miles this morning.

At about the halfway point (I had turned of Majel because I wanted to just run and not worry about how slow I was) I decided that I was feeling like I could use a little more energy. I had packed a Clif Shot gel in my fuel belt to give it a try. Last week I tried the Luna beans, and I wasn't thrilled with them. They were kind of gigantic and got all stuck in my teeth, so I felt like I wasted a bunch of water on swishing and goo removal. The Clif Shot was interesting, to say the least. I tried a chocolate one, and it was about the consistency and flavor of chocolate frosting. Not bad, but I'm not sure that's what I want in my mouth when I'm running. I don't even really like to drink Gatorade because I don't want to taste or smell anything when I run. Just give me some water, you know? But I know your body needs more than that for a long run.

I've read on a bunch of runners' sites that you're supposed to consume a gel in one or two gulps. Ha. This must be for super-duper runners who can pound and run. Why does my failure here make me feel like the squeamish chick at the bar who can't slam a shot? I took a deep breath and gave it a squeeze, which resulted in this big gooey mess stuck in my throat. The proceeding gag was enough to stop me in my tracks. Gagging and running? Pass. Hot chocolate goo? Pass. I had this thought for a second that I was going to blow chocolate chunks all over the sidewalk right there in front of First Baptist Church and all the families were going to drive by and say to their children that they needed to avert their eyes. I looked at the pack after the gulp and saw that I hadn't even consumed half of it. Awesome. It took another four or five tries to get it all out, and once again I wasted a lot of water trying to thin the frosting that was left on my tongue. We'll see if I continue with this. I wish they made it in smaller packs for wimps with strong gag reflexes.

So I kept running, and I was running on the main streets through town so I'm sure that someone saw me--and by someone, I mean my students. Nobody yelled "hey, Mrs. P, is that YOU?" out their window at least, which was nice. I got a DM on twitter from a former student about halfway in that said he saw me and to keep it up. That was okay, I like him. It made me smile and keep going. As I got to the main street, two things happened. It got really hot (or at least, much warmer than it had been) and the gel decided to wreak havoc with my tummy. Yeeeeouch. Ugh, I was not happy. To give you a good description of the digestive distress I was feeling, it was about like eating an entire burrito before an aerobics class. Yeah. Poopy.

I was running down the main street of our town and thinking, Oh my God, I'm going to have to barge into Denny's and ask to use the bathroom... God, it was just terrible. I kept running as much as I could because I didn't want to lose time, and wondered why there weren't many options along the road for places I was going to be able to stop and use the restroom. I just felt like I was going to be sick. I finally decided to just suck it up (after some walking) and try to make it home as quickly as possible. Like I said, I'm not so sure about these gels and stuff. I might just try the peanut butter and jelly sandwich thing next time. Or maybe almond butter, since peanut butter and me ain't really friends anymore. But... ugh. Just ugh.

I made it back in one hour, 28 minutes. I mapped it after I got back and it was a little over seven miles. Even with tummy trouble, that's about a 12:30 average per mile. Not bad. I really wasn't trying for speed, just completion. I have to say I didn't really do a good job of zoning out this time--I got myself all nervous about the run right before I took off and I probably couldn't concentrate because of that. I was feeling the feet hit the pavement and paying too much attention to the fact that I couldn't get in a good, deep breath. I did have this one moment of glory when "SexyBack" came on my iPod and I just ran and smiled to myself at my awkward love of guilty pleasure pop songs, but it didn't last long. I'm looking forward to my 8 miler next weekend because I think I'll run the same route and just add on. I'm always a little better once I've already run a route.

I got back and took a bath, but I couldn't sit still. My legs are kind of restless since I finished the run. I can tell I'm going to be sore. E made some delicious tri-tip for lunch, so I gorged on that, mashed potatoes, grapes, apples, carrots, and cucumbers (which I am still trying to teach myself to like). I watched TV and then I came back in the bedroom to take a nap, but those legs are still just restless... I think I'll sleep well for tonight, but I gave up on the nap right now when I couldn't even meditate myself into a relaxed state. (I like the meditation podcasts from the meditation station--on itunes... silly, I'm sure, but they work for me and they have a good progressive relaxation meditation I like.)

That's all for the long run report. I had to walk a lot which I'm not excited about, but given the stomach issues I was having, my pace didn't really end up being that bad. I'm exhausted, but I'm really proud that I did it. October is getting closer and I'm starting to get excited, thinking about really running this half marathon.


  1. Yay!!! Good Job P Dawg...I think it would take me an hour and half for one mile. :)

    Slight exaggeration.

  2. hey this is gina (don't know if you remember me)...i've been reading your blogs about running and all.

    I'm very proud of you:)

  3. Oh god no. When the shits hit and you're working out ... oh god. It's the worst! Although, exercise as a laxative ain't bad.

    Peanut butter Clif bars rock my world. Forget climbing mountains, I used to eat them just to get through the work day. :)

  4. Thanks for reading, guys!

    @Heidi. Awful. THE WORST. Next time I am mapping bathrooms on my route, just in case. I will try the PB Clif. Right now I have 3/4 a box of chocolate chip Clifs from Costco.. so after those are gone.

  5. Jelly beans are the best fuel! They are easy to carry, and easy to eat without losing stride. I like the sour ones :)