Saturday, April 23, 2011

I feel good...said in a James Brown sort of way

16 miles.  Done!

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 Vivanno smoothie
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?


  1. Cramping... maybe a CalMag supplement? Potassium? I'd say it's probably electrolytes.

    I used GU back when I ran that far :P And I wouldn't use the first one until about 10 miles in.

    How about carrying a big stick? just kidding. Dogs are tricky... I was attacked by a chihuahua a few months ago... really. I just try to steer clear... which isn't always an option, I know.

    Ha! no! and it's so easy... my covers are just a big comforter in a cover and I still don't just fluff it out and over.

  2. People kill me with crazy dogs! I ran a 200 mile Ragnar race back in Oct and I had two dogs run up on me in the night and I nearly peed my pants. Seriously. Not many things worse.

    I GU every 3 miles. Religiously. It helps so I just stick with it. Probably because I'm a pansy.

  3. Great job on the long run! I don't use GU, but I've never ran anything over 13. I will probably have to start using something when I start my marathon training.

    I straighten my bed...but not a full "make the bed" everyday.

  4. Nice run!!

    I would say the cramps are electrolite related, if you are going to do a long run, I suggest amping up the electrolites and bananas a day early and some in the morning before your run.

    I can barely handle Gu's, I use chomps which are hard to chew on the run

    My S/O makes the bed everyday, if it was left to me, it wouldnt be made

  5. Congrats on 16 my dear!!! As for cramping I'd suggest using salt capsules as well as the banana pre-run. Gu is not my brand, I use the powerbar gels because they are more liquid-y and easier for me to take and I use one every 5 miles without fail until mile 20... then I'll take some sports beans or something small and easy at mile 23.

    As for making the bed, Spike will tell you I am obsessed with making the bed, and I am. Nothing makes me happier then crawling into a made bed. :)

  6. Nice run! That's the kind of run that makes me want to get out and tackle a long run.

    I was going to suggest something like bananas or something else pre-run to help with the cramping. Maybe drink more gatorade during runs. What do you drink during your runs?

    Nothing bothers me more during runs than stupid drivers. Second on my Despise List is dogs. Grrr. I've been chased by dogs a couple of times. A month ago there were these two really little dogs that were loose and they barked at me and snarled at me. I slowed down and got my feet ready and thought I was going to have to play a little doggie soccer but those dogs probably knew I can bend it like Beckham so they backed off. They didn't want none of my right foot :)

    I use GU. I love GU. I've tried other things but nothing beats GU for me. I will use the Powerbar and Sport Beans sometimes too but GU is number one on my list. I GU every 4-5 miles and like you, if I don't GU after mile 10 of a 15-plus miler I feel it afterward.

    I think because my mom was so anal about having me make my bed when I was growing up, that that's why I never make it. Sorry, mom.

  7. Way to go on the long run!

    Not sure what to tell you about the cramps. Some folks that run ultras swear by S Caps:

    I haven't tried them yet, but I probably will once we're into warmer weather.

    Something like this:

    should slow down most 2 or 4 legged attackers.

    I don't make my bed because my wife is still sleeping in it when I get up.

  8. That’s a great long run, well done! I’ve got the problem that dogs like me so much they all want to follow me home. I'm lucky I've never had problems with cramps. I use GU or other gels about every hour. No I don’t make my bed every day.

  9. Yes! I make my bed everyday... =D
    Not sure about those cramps. don't usually gel or gu, but pickle juice is supposed to help with cramps- weird I know.

    Dogs.....A year ago, I finally stepped up to the pit bull in our area...Picked up a rock and yelled at it. I hate stopping....but it ran away without me even throwing. I think it's just a test sometimes of who's in charge. I don't blame you a bit, though.

  10. I could go on and on about the trouble I had with dogs when we lived in the country. I tried everything! What sometimes works is to ignore it. I know... it doesn't always work!

    I use gels and chews about every 4-5 miles. I had cramps after running in the heat and use fuel with more sodium and now I'm trying Succeed S caps, too.