Today's post is brought to you by the number 9.
I had an insane week of training. Speed work, spin class, and probably not as much sleep as I wanted/needed. Since I slept in last weekend and skipped my long run, I wasn't going to let myself do that this morning. My longest long run was 17 miles three weeks ago. I figured today I would see what everyone else was doing at my group run and tag along with someone going 15 or so.
Surprise! No one was going that far. I usually run with Allan, but he is out of town this weekend. One of the runners, Dawn, was going 12, but I knew I needed more. I kept telling myself to go 15, because for some reason that sounded like a good distance. Inside, I wanted 18 to get me to my longest distance.
Since I was on my own, I ran completely based on feel. Usually Allan pushes me pace wise since I always want to slow down in the heat. I had no stopwatch to time my walk breaks, so I ran for about two songs, walked for a little, then ran two more songs.
I've always read race recaps where people split up the race into miles (1-4, 5-9, etc.) and I never understood why. After today, I get it. This run felt like it was 4 runs combined in one.
Segment 1 (Start till Mile 3.7)
I felt like complete crap for the start. I ran out to UNF, and since I've done this route so many times, I was boooooored. Nothing is more boring than running the same route over and over, since I knew exactly how far I was going. I stopped at the bathroom at Mile 3.7 and felt completely defeated. While I was in the bathroom I glanced down at my wristband and something clicked inside of me. I was really annoyed at myself and felt determined to get it done.
Segment 2 (3.7 - 12.75)
This segment felt awesome. I changed my route and ran up to Beach Boulevard (about a mile each way), then I ran part of UNF in reverse. It felt refreshing and there were some miles where I didn't feel the need to walk. Plus, most of my route was in the shade. I took a gel at mile 6 and then again at about mile 12.
Segment 3 (12.75-14.75)
When I stopped by the bathroom/water fountain to refill my bottles, the heat started to hit me. It was about 77 when we started (6:40 AM) with no sun, and by now it was almost 9:00 and the sun was coming up. I didn't hydrate well at all before the run, and it was making me feel awful. Instead of running on Gate Parkway in the direct sun, I told myself to go the Touchton loop so at least I'd have some shade. When I hit the "Cow Tunnel" I had to stop because the darkness messed with my eyes and made me really dizzy.
Segment 4 (14.75-Finish)
At mile 14.75 I hit the water stop that JRC sets up on Gate Parkway. I had some Gatorade and was standing around when Jackie (the one who "runs" this group run) drove up to collect the cooler. She and one of the other girls offered me a ride back to the store and I thanked them, but told them I would feel even worse if I gave up so close to the finish. Jackie told me exactly what I needed to hear - Suck it up. It felt awful and hot, but I toughed out the last bit and finished at 18.2 miles for the day - my longest long run ever.
After the run, my glutes were on fire. I kept walking around, grabbed some water, and then stretched for a bit before I went home. Now I've got a really sore left foot. It's been bothering me a little since the Tijuana Flats Beach Run. Someone on Twitter said it could be from my shoes/lacing because it's only in my left foot. I'm headed to JRC (en route to my pizza!) to see if they have any suggestions.
First thing's first: What kind of crazy place do I live in where 77 degrees and 80% humidity warrants a, "Hey, it's not that warm out!" response? This summer has been brutal.
Anyway, on to today's run. One thing I love about cutback weeks is not having to hit any certain mile totals. For those of you who don't know from #runchat on Twitter, I've trained for my past few half-marathons by increasing my long runs only every other week. This helps me avoid burnout and gives me extra time to recover from longer long runs. My training cycle is a little longer than usual, but it's gotten me to the start line without injury.
In training for NYC, this has also allowed me to incorporate bridge running on my cutback weeks. So far, so good.
Since I ran 17 miles last Sunday, this week was a "just go for a while" run. I figured 10 miles was a good goal. Surprisingly, I wasn't that tired from the 5-mile race last night (more on that in my next post!), or from the 5 hours of sleep I got (post-race Starbucks isn't a good idea at 8 PM).
With everyone else from JRC running different distances/paces, I was by myself for about 9.5 miles. My original plan was to take walk breaks (a fake Galloway run if you will) after every song, but after 2 miles I still felt fine and decided to try to run the whole thing. I stopped at our little water station at about the 6 mile mark, but other than that I ran it all. When I felt crappy, I slowed down, but didn't walk.
While I'd like to improve my overall pace, hitting 10 miles in Florida in August on a cutback week is fine with me.
Have you ever had one of those days where you just don't care and you don't want to do anything? That was me today. I didn't sleep much last night, and I woke up feeling like garbage because I ate too much sugar last night.
Apparently "too much" is one (small) brownie and two protein cookies. I was dying of thirst and I had a pounding headache. Work was...work, and my legs were killing me. After doing 17 miles on Sunday, I hit the weights yesterday and I did some lunges, squats, and ab/adductor workouts. I'm feeling it today, which added to my blah.
Instead of my run tonight, I hit the gym for my second yoga class. I feel like I'm too high-strung to make it in yoga. My instructor was really cool, and I liked the class overall, but man...
Downward facing dog is my least favorite, because any time I have to put my hands on the mat I feel like I'm going to break my wrist. The same thing happens during planks in Pilates.
Do any of you do yoga? Does it eventually get easier?
Once upon a time, when I first started running, I "ran" 17 miles. It was more like I ran 6 miles outside, then when the weather got bad, I drove to the gym and ran 5 miles around the track, then did 3 miles on the treadmill, and then did another 3 of "speed work" on the track. That was the last time I attempted a distance like that, because it took so much out of me that the next week I opted to just do a half marathon. I couldn't imagine going any further.
This morning I was planning on doing 16 with Jacksonville Running Company. I run with this awesome guy named Allan, who is about the same pace, if not a little faster, as me for long runs. He's training for Chicago, so we've been doing our long runs together to push each other along. This morning we brought a lady, Dawn, along with us. We were smart and started before the sun came up. Sunrises are beautiful, but not when it means the heat is coming.
Last night I picked up a box of Salted Caramel GU. These are my all-time favorite flavor. I originally tried them because I thought the "salted" would help me refuel my electrolytes. Honestly, I don't think they do, but they taste great.
I only took one gel with me, and I had half at the 9 mile mark and the other half at the 11 mile mark. The first half of this run was okay. I knew to conserve my energy because once the sun starts beating down, it can be absolutely miserable, and it sure was today. We all ran using the Galloway method of 5 minutes running/45 seconds walking. Towards the end we were walking a lot more often, but it didn't matter because of how bad we all felt. Luckily, JRC put out a cooler at the 13 mile marker (Hey! I ran a half without a medal! Lame!) so we all chugged Gatorade.
By the time I got back to the store, my Garmin read 15.6. I decided to just do one more lap through the area, for a total of 17 miles. While my times were slower than I wanted, my goal right now is to just finish.
I've been trying to take a lesson from each long run to help me in training. This week I learned I need to start carrying Gatorade with me. I usually fill all 4 of my FuelBelt bottles with water and freeze them overnight. Freezing them makes absolutely zero difference because they're melted and hot within an hour. I'm a really salty sweater (over share: deal with it) and that's made a lot worse in the heat.
How do you take in enough electrolytes while you run? What time are you usually out for early morning workouts?
You ever have one of those crappy days where you just feel BLAH? I had to drag myself out of bed and no amount of coffee woke me up. Since I work a job in a production environment (I make more money the more I produce), when I'm not on, it's not good.
On Tuesdays I usually do the Your Pie run with Jacksonville Running Company. It's a 3.14 mile run (get it? Pi!) but I know I need to start running more miles to prepare for the marathon. Last week I was going to stretch it to 4, but I got lazy at the last minute.
Tough runs make stronger runners, that's for sure. I spent a lot of this run cursing at myself to shut up, because my mind was turning on me. I still got through it, and my splits weren't awful given the fact that it was 85 degrees, humid, and sunny. Is it fall yet?
I'm Jenn! I'm a baker, blogger, sorta-runner, and writer living in Jacksonville, Florida!