25 October, 2010

Baby Steps, Baby Steps...And a few Stumbles...

Like I said in my last training recap...I was feeling PRETTY crappy all last week so I never got a chance to run or go to the gym. I just wanted to focus on getting better. So what did I do yesterday? With no activity the week prior? I decided to get out there and go on a 14 mile run. Yes, I'm crazy...I realize that now.

The night before I had a friends wedding so I woke up fairly late (for my standards). Took my time waking up and bumming around and then finally around 1pm started to get ready for the run.

Got out to the park, stretched, and off I went. I wasn't sure how this run would end up so I decided to go a bit slower than my normal pace. Wanted to keep it between 11:30-12/mile.  It was a beautiful day out, temps around 65-70 and the leaves on the trees were gorgeous. Should have brought my camera because I'm sure by next week the leaves won't be as fabulous.

Around mile 4, I saw a lady chugging along ahead of me. I was barely running faster than her so it took me awhile to catch up. As we got shoulder to shoulder, she said hello and we got to chatting. Turns out she was .2 miles away from completing her 20 mile training run for the Space Coast marathon in Florida in a few weeks! I told her I was doing my first 14 for Disney in Jan and she was so positive and encouraging that I wanted to hug her and cry. She just kept telling me that I will rock this run and to stay positive when it gets crappy. After chatting about both races, we finally reached the parking lot where her car was. We both said congrats and good luck on our races and she dropped back as I kept chugging along. I think I ran the next mile with a smile on my face, seriously. This lady was awesome and I wish she knew that she completely helped me get through my run yesterday. Hopefully I'll get to run into her again in the park to say thank you again.

The run was going well for the first 8 or 9 miles. I felt great and enjoyed every minute of being out there. Around mile 10 I started feeling sluggish. I had been snacking on the Jelly Belly Sport Beans the whole run (first time I used them) so I started eating more. Mile 11 is where things started going even more downhill. My IT Band, which had given me HORRIBLE problems training for the half last January, started twinging. Grrr...I haven't had IT Band problems since last year and had gone through many hours of physical therapy so I started getting annoyed and worried. The pain wasn't horrible so I kept on trucking along. By mile 12 though, I had completely ran out of gas. My pace had dropped down to 13-13:30 miles and I felt like I was running in reverse. At 13.1 I looked at my watch and realized I've ran the slowest half marathon distance of my life, but was surprisingly ok with it. I just wanted to finish!! The last mile was torturous, but when my Garmin beeped at 14 miles, I smiled and let out a huge sigh of relief.

I had done it! I ran 14 miles for the first time EVER! Was it pretty? Not at all. But I honestly don't care about that, I'm just glad I finished! There was definitely a few spots that I contemplated stopping but I knew I would have been pissed off at myself if I did.

So then my brain started analyzing the run and I was trying to figure out why it didn't go as well as I wanted. Carbs were most likely a huge factor. I wasn't having trouble breathing, so it wasn't a cardio issue. My body just seemed drained. I thought I had eaten enough but I guess not? Could have been the Jelly Belly Sport Beans just didn't give me enough oomph. I have to see what else I can use. The Gu gels are just gross, and I really can't stomach them. Gu Chomps aren't bad but they're starting to get a little old and bleh. I only ate a bowl of oatmeal prior to running so maybe I need to eat more the morning of. I'll keep tweaking and see if it gets better.  What do you guys use for long runs?  I've heard pretzels, crackers, etc.  When we met up with Jeff Galloway at the runDisney event, he swears by the original Powerbar, so I might try that next time.  

And, like always...here's my Garmin data for the run!
10/24/10: Garmin data, 14 mile run

Yesterday after the run I headed to my dads while they were at a wedding so I can do some laundry.  I ended up taking a nap on their couch after my shower and woah was it near impossible to get off the couch!  I was hobbling around so slowly.  This morning is much better though.  I used my foam roller last night and this morning and that helped.  Still feel the IT band but hopefully can nix that pain soon.  Looks like I'll be wearing my IT band wraps again for awhile. :(

Happy running everyone! :)


  1. I've never been a long distance runner, so I am completely amazed at feats such as this. There seems to be so much that goes into it. What is an IT band? Why do you eat jelly beans while you run?

  2. WOW! That's awesome after not having run much since the half! Glad you are feeling better! :0)

  3. @James...thank you! It's definitely tough and a struggle sometimes but it's the happy times and breakthroughs that make it worth it. Ready for an anatomy lesson? :) An IT Band is your Iliotibial Band, a tough group of fibers that runs along the outside of your thigh from your butt to just below the knee. When it gets too tight, it kinda pulls your knee cap outward (so I've been told) and causes crazy pain on the outside part of the knee or lower thigh. *sigh*

    As for the jelly beans, these are 'Sport Beans' made by Jelly Belly, which are pretty much concentrated Gatorade in Jelly Bean form. It contains electrolytes and sugar to keep your body going during long runs.

    @Karen.. thank you!!! Still hurting after the 14 miles but definitely much better today! I've been stretching and using my foam roller on my IT band so it's not as horrible.

  4. That's quite the run! I don't know that I'll ever run that many miles at one time. Very impressive!

    And how cool to have a nice, inspirational runner out there. I always feel happier just when people wave and say good morning during my runs. But she seems like a real treat!

  5. @FruitFly...Thanks! And never say never! :) I said I would NEVER run a full marathon. And look where that got me! *sigh* And just thinking about the my inspirational fellow runner makes me smile. She was fabulous!