I feel like I say this about every long run, but now that I'm at the point in marathon training where each week is a distance PR I always mean it: I was scared of this run all week. Last weekend I ran 15 miles for the first time at our long run pace, about 11:30, and this weekend we did the same 15 miles but 12 of them were at marathon pace (10:15.) This was on top of running 26 miles during the week so I knew going into it that my legs would have a certain unavoidable level of fatigue. I tried to remain optimistic that no matter what happened I'd at least do the best that I could and be happy with that.
Aside from a quick walking break (or two) the last 1.5 miles I was able to stay on pace the entire time!
As for the run - it was brutal. By mile 3ish I was already repeating motivational mantras in my head. My favorite, and one that is 100% true, was:
We had 2 water breaks on the 15 mile course so I tried to look at it as running 5 miles at a time. That made it much more manageable and I was doing pretty good until mile 13. There are a few decent size hills toward the end and my calf muscles were on fire. It was also extremely hot out and I was wearing black capris to try and avoid the bloody thigh incident from last week. My heart rate was up over 190 for a few minutes when I finally decided to stop and walk for a minute with my weekday running partner and another runner. One of our pacers ran back to motivate us to keep going so we did, for about 1 minute before two of us had to stop and walk again. I was getting extremely dizzy and felt like I was on the verge of heat exhaustion. I knew it was in my best interest to let my HR come down for a bit so I walked for another minute and jogged the last mile at a very comfortable 11:30 pace.
I went home and straight to my foam roller, trigger point kit & peanut butter and lavender jelly oats. After a bit of relaxing on the couch I decided to get a bit of shopping done that afternoon. It amazes me that I'm actually able to get up and have a 'normal' day after running 15 miles. Last Fall when I was training for my first half I remember running 8-10 miles on the weekend, coming home and not being able to move from the couch after!
My #1 shopping priority was new workout clothes. I was hoping to go to some health/meditation workshops this weekend but decided to use my money toward some desperately needed running shorts and tops. I went to Dicks in the Mall (such an unfortunate name for a store) and searched out their sale items. I ended up splurging and getting 2 tops, shorts, 2 pairs of my favorite padded socks and some new gummies to try.
I'm trying to experiment with new fuels, particularly for my 5-8 mile runs during the week. I don't eat breakfast before I run, and I don't want to eat a gu in the middle of a 5-8 mile run, but I know I need something in my system. I'm going to try eating a few gummies before the runs to see if it makes my runs feel more comfortable. I posted a picture of my haul on twitter and evidently the honey stingers are extremely popular!
I also stopped by my favorite every grocery store, The Fresh Market, to search for my post long run treats. I'm focusing more on eating quality foods the day of my long runs, but bigger portion sizes. I still have to get some sort of sugar fix though since I eat healthy all week and if I'm going to splurge then Saturday's are the perfect time!
I picked up my favorite sushi, Annies Bunnie Grahams & White Chocolate. The last two were specifically to dip in my PB2. I just got the Chocolate PB2 again after not ordering some in months and I finally realized what it tastes like - raw brownie batter.
I may have finished a bag of PB2 in 3 days. Which may be a day longer then how long the bunnie grahams lasted in my house. #yolo
What is your favorite type of running fuel?
If you did a long run what would you look forward to eating after?