I always get so nervous about long runs. I think about them all Friday evening and wake up Saturday with dread upon my shoulders. This morning was no different. I had my pre-long run fuel (steel cut oats (and I didn't gag this time), string cheese and a glass of milk). I made no less than 3 trips to the bathroom before I left my house. I did some foam rolling and rolled the ol' hip on a tennis ball. I contemplated wearing shorts today since it was going to be 54 degrees towards the end of the run. I decided against it, and I was glad in my decision 'cuz it never warmed above 42. I did however transform my running jacket into vest mode (the sleeves zip off). I <3 this jacket/vest. I also wore my visor today in case the sun came out (HA!), which we have not seen around here in a few days. :o(
I headed on over to our starting point for this week's route and did some warmup exercises. I looked at the route that was planned for us. I was glad to hear that water was set out for us at about every 3 miles! Score. I didn't have to bring any with me.
The first 0.4 miles consisted of a 125 ft elevation gain. Ugh. Soon enough I settled in and caught stride with two other runners. I chatted which is way out of the ordinary for me. I am a pretty quite person in general but especially during running because I am so focused on breathing and not dying. By mile 3 one of the runners had to stop to remove her jacket. I felt like I should have stopped with her, but I knew if I did I'd have a hard time starting again.
I stuck with the other guy until mile 6 when I got caught up waiting for a car to pass a busy road we were crossing (I wasn't interested in playing chicken today). He then slowly gained speed and left me in the dust.
I was plodding along on my own when around mile 8 all of a sudden there were two dogs that came barreling towards me from a house I was passing. Luckily, they stopped at the end of the property, but this is my biggest fear running --- getting bite by a dog. It scared the crap out of me. As a side note: there is a pitbull that lives 3 houses down from us that HAS bitten and lunged at walkers and runners in our neighborhood. It was reported and was the dog taken away but for some reason the owners got the dog back. I never go by that house when I see that dog outside. The owners are so irresponsible in my opinion. How can you leave your dog outside knowing it has a past history of biting people? Another side note: I was running my last run before the Chicago Marathon last year. I had an easy 3 miles planned around the my neighborhood. It was 5am and I just hit the 3 mile mark. I stopped and incidentally it was right at the house where this dog lives. I saw the dog was outside (I had done numerous early morning runs around my neighborhood prior and had never seen it outside before at that time of day). There was NO WAY I was taking any chances, so I slowly and quietly turned around and proceed to go the long way back to my house. I had to run because I was supposed to meet someone at the gym in 30 minutes. It added another 1.5 miles onto my run, but that was probably the fastest 1.5 miles I ever ran. It was uphill, too! Sorry to digress.
I said a little prayer and thanked God that those dogs let me be. The rest of the run was pretty uneventful. There were a few runners not part of our group that were out so that was fun to see. There was a speedy girl that came behind me and zoomed in front of me. She was so fast. I wonder how far she was going. The best part was the last 5 miles were ever so slightly downhill. :o)
I haven't been using GU during my long runs but I did at miles 4 and 8 this time. I intended on doing it at mile 12 as well but forgot. Perhaps that is why I had a tough last 2 miles?
Overall I finished 16 miles in 2:38. I didn't walk at all and only stopped to get a few drinks along the way.
On my way home I stopped at Starbucks and bought one of these as a recovery drink. Yum.
|Orange Mango Smoothie|
Total miles for this week = 31!
- I have noticed that my hamstrings and calves cramp on long runs after I stop. This is new to me. Any ideas?
- I am thinking I want to start carrying some dog repellent. Anyone have any suggestions? Good idea? Bad idea?
- Do you use GU or something else? How often do you use it?
- Do you make your bed every day?