Sunday, May 08, 2011

Yesterday's 11.4

We pushed up hills and into the wind, our feet keeping time like a tight snare drum.  Cresting hills, then dipping into each trough, we talked of libraries, jobs, colleges and cookies.  Squirrels cut across our path and birds heralded the rising sun with song.  A pair of deer made breakfast of the brush to our side.  Rowers skimmed the surface of the lake with only an occasionally perceptible chant.  Nature welcomed us like the smile of the oncoming runners on the path.  It was good, and then it was done.

Kelly gave me a hard time yesterday about how I'd write about our run--so Kel, that's for you.

I wasn't sure I was going to write about this run, but I'm feeling much better today than I was last night.

We met to run around Lake Natoma at about 6:00 AM.  There was a crew event on the lake, so our normal free parking spot wasn't going to be free.  We parked across the street at Starbucks and set out.  I was nervous to run all the way around the lake.  It's an 11 mile loop and I've never done it before.  When I run at home, alone, I typically go out and back.  For some reason that gives me the feeling I can cut out early if it doesn't feel right.  With a loop, you sort of have to go around in order to finish.  It's a big commitment.

Eleven miles is still in the land of intimidating distances for me.  Looking through my blog this morning I see that I ran 13.1 twice (race 1 and race 2), I've done 12 once with Kel, and 11.8 accidentally one time on my own, but anything above 10 is kind of a big deal still in my world.  As is running with other people, which I have only been doing since last fall.  It's really helping me to stay motivated and consistent in my training now that I have people with whom I can do my long runs.  Plus it's nice to have other people to talk to about running.  I feel like I still have so many questions all the time.

As I have been doing lately, I monitored my heart rate and was able to have a much better sense of the right pace.  My stamina is really increasing and at this point I think it surpasses the strength of my legs.  I can't believe that's where I am, but it's nice.  I'm not fast, but I can keep going at the same speed for several hours.  "Slow but steady" achievement unlocked.

Yesterday's run was not comfortable and I didn't feel great like I did last weekend.  Two issues:
  • My hip/ IT injury from last fall
  • My stomach
I know exactly why my hip was bothering me--and it wasn't my hip really so much as the pain at the side of my knee where my IT band pulls.  I know from my sports medicine patient stint that my hip muscles are weak and need strengthening.  This week I stretched, but I didn't do my physical therapy resistance exercises.  Fail.  I paid for it yesterday.  It wasn't until near the end of our run when my legs were fatigued, but we hit some rolling hills and then we were running for a bit on the trail rather than the smoother path.  My tired legs weren't strong enough to handle it.  Luckily everyone I was with was happy to accomodate me--stop, stretch, walk, etc--and after a short walk break I felt much better.  But I had a sense of it being there and I didn't want to push it.

Yesterday I iced and stretched and tried to take it easy.  The outside of my knee hurt last night when we were out on our date.  I think that was also all about the platform shoes--it's all flats all the time this week.  I'll be icing more today and stretching.  And yes, LESSON LEARNED.  This week it's back to PT like it's my job.

My stomach is more of a mystery but I might just chalk it up to what happens sometimes and move on.  It didn't help me any that I took in too much water too early and I had to pee for a good part of our run.  It didn't help that my fuel belt is starting to drive me nuts and I'm SO OVER having anything around my waist when I run.  Just a bad day in my mid-section.

Though I have to say that stomach issues are the worst part of running, for me.  If my stomach is off then forget about it, and I was crampy almost all day yesterday even long after I finished.  Bleh.  I haven't had any problems in a while and I didn't eat anything unusual before or during my run.  Before I had some almond butter and jam on toast and during I had Hammer Gels and water.  Who knows.  Next week I'll try a different breakfast.  Maybe that just has to happen from time to time.  I'm honestly kind of proud of myself for finishing and for keeping very near to the same pace I had the week before when I felt fine.

Here's how I did:

Next week I'm going to step back a bit on my long run and give my legs some time to feel better.  Even when I have a run that's a struggle to finish I'm so happy I accomplished something for the day.  Sometimes it's just nice to know I don't have to run anymore for a whole weekend.  


  1. I'm with ya.. can't do anything around my waist. Dealt with the handheld during practice long runs and it was much better, although kind of a pain.

    Also, I learned very quickly I needed a REAL meal before my long runs.. like 2-3 hours before. Yup, makes for super early morning runs being even earlier, but my body needed the energy. I realized this after noticing my best runs were in the evening after I had given my body a full day of energy/food!

  2. That is exactly what I would have wrote if I had gotten around to it yesterday... Bahahahaha!!!

  3. Hi Heather, it's me Dave. I am really happy to read you gave yourself credit for being tough. Ditto on conversation having that intrinsic distractive quality!