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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Day 258.

Rest day.  This is the first time I can think of when I feel just fine the day after a long run.  I guess if I'm training right, I shouldn't be sore after a 12 mile run at this point, so that's good.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Day 257.

Sometimes lately I feel like the little kid saying, "Look Ma, no hands!", except I'm saying, "Look Ma, I'm running...and running....still running...!"

Today was a 12 mile run.  I decided, since it was a "short" long run, that I would do a route that has lots of tough hills.  I was actually surprised at how much easier (and I use that term very loosely!) it was going up those hills than I remember it being from the last time I ran that same route.  Again, progression showing itself.  I also accidentally did almost a half a mile extra, because I didn't hear my watch alarm go off when I hit 12 miles.  I guess that's good; I definitely felt tired in my legs, but I felt like I could have kept on going without any trouble.  Just 2 weeks until the big day....!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Day 256.

Today is a rest day, though it seems I never really get a lot of "rest" on these days!  I am, however, enjoying the taper.  Tomorrow my long run is only 12 miles, and I'm looking forward to it.

Here's another "Kick in the Butt", from Runner's World:

"Act as if you already are. This is one of the many mantras that we employ when it comes time to go after a goal that is beyond what has already been accomplished. Breaking new ground physically requires you to first break that mental barrier so that it can come into being."
~Terrence Mahon, Team Running USA's head coach

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Day 255.

This morning I did a 4 mile run.  I've noticed something interesting, a small sign of progression, I guess you could say.  It used to be that as I would head out for my run, I would walk for a few minutes to get warmed up, and at the point I would want to start my run, I would say to myself "Okay, start running!", but my body may or may not have cooperated and I would try again, "Go, run!"  A few false starts, I would call them, before my body would finally concede and my legs would pick up and get going faster.  Recently, I've noticed that I only walk a block or so when the next thing I know, I'm running!  No mental talk necessary, when my body feels ready, it just automatically switches gears.  Pretty cool.

What's not so cool, though, is the fact that my legs are still stiff as boards.  I feel like I have to do a lot of stretching to get them loosened up.  After my four miles, I also did 35 minutes of Pilates.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Day 254.

At a chilly 27 degrees this morning and a light skiff of snow on the ground, I'm starting to think that the winter months are settling in here in Idaho.  With a double layer of warm blankets, I took my bundled up boy with me to the park to do an 8 mile run this morning.  My legs are still in a bit of a rebellion over the 22 miler I did on Saturday.  My hamstrings are tight, but after a couple of miles, they loosened up a little bit.  Normally I would have also done some Pilates when I got home, but for some reason this morning I was starving when I finished my run, so instead I just did some stretching, then got to work making some body warming oatmeal!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Day 253.

This morning I had some cross-training to do.  I'm still feeling pretty sore.  I had to take our car back to the repair shop, so after I dropped the kids off at school, I also dropped of the vehicle and then got in about 1/2 mile walk to come back home.  I counted that as my warm-up.  Then I did 20 minutes of cardio-intervals, followed by 35 minutes of Pilates.  Tomorrow I will be running 8 miles, and I'm kind of anxious about it.  I just want to get out there and have my body feel (mostly) recovered from Saturday's run!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Day 252.

This morning I woke up to a terrible wind and rain storm, so I decided to do my run on the treadmill.  Not so much for myself, but for my son, who I would have had to take out in the stroller, and I didn't want him to get blown away!  I warmed up with some stretching, then picked an enlightening documentary on Netflix to keep me entertained.  I walked for the first 10 minutes.  My legs are still very sore, but oddly enough, they feel less painful when I'm walking or running, than say, going up and down stairs or going from standing to sitting.  Then I did a walk/run thing, running for 1/2 a mile, then walking for 1/2 mile, until I reached 4.5 miles.  At that point my show was over, and I was a sweaty mess, so I decided to call it good.  Then I did 35 minutes of Pilates, which of course, felt oh so good!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Day 251.


Well, there's no doubt I pushed myself hard yesterday!  I can barely go up and down the stairs!  I'm happy, though.  If I can do 22 miles, I'm feeling confident that on race day, with the added excitement and adrenaline, I'll be able to complete the whole 26.2.  I'm also (very) happy that I now have 3 weeks to let my legs catch up with my brain.  My longest run this week will be a 12 miler, the next week 8 miler, then race week I only do 2, 3 and 4 milers, which will probably feel like a vacation!

Here's a great "Kick in the Butt", from Runner's World:

"I've learned that finishing a marathon isn't just an athletic achievement. It's a state of mind; a state of mind that says anything is possible."

~John Hanc, running writer

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Something fun and new!

A follower of my blog and fellow runner/mother/blogger, Kadie over at http://theresheruns.blogspot.com/,
generously honored me and my blog by awarding me with the "Versatile Blogger Award"!  Thanks, Kadie!  I love getting your comments and connecting with other people who share our same interests and passions.  Thanks for thinking of me!

The Rules:

1. Say thank you to who sent you the award.
2. Share seven things about yourself.
3. Pass the award on to other bloggers.

Now the hard part, trying to think of 7 things about myself.  Hmmm...I feel like I already have put most everything out there, but here goes:

1.  I have four kids, 3 boys and a girl.  My oldest is a boy, and my husband still swears I started to cry when I found out he was going to be a boy and not a girl, though it is something I adamantly deny.  I love all my kids more than anything, and anyway, I got my girl in the end!  :)

2.  A little over a year ago, a friend of mine told me I should try training for a marathon.  I told her "I'm not a runner; I'll never do a marathon."  Today I ran 22 miles with that same friend.

3.  I honestly believe my life is better than I deserve: beautiful, healthy children, a loving, patient husband, a few select, wonderful friends and I get to live and run in one of the most beautiful, safe places in the country ~ yep, I feel pretty lucky.
4.  I am a spelling and grammar fanatic, and I have a hard time looking past mistakes while I'm reading - just ask my poor husband!  I think sometimes I missed my calling as an English teacher, copy editor, or maybe a spelling bee moderator! ;)
5.  I'm terrified of two things:  mountain lions and driving on curving, mountainous, cliff-side roads.  I have had nightmares of both being sneak-attacked by a lurking mountain lion while on a run, and dying a terrifying death when our family's vehicle careens off of a cliff.  Not pretty, but true.  I'm definitely hoping those are unfounded fears!
6.  I have a weakness for crunchy peanut butter.  Man, I could eat that stuff on just about anything.
7.  My priorities are: family, church, learning, healthy living, running!  (I have other priorities, too, but hey...I'm at #7 and I'm done!)
Now I'd like to pass this award on to:
1.) Lindsay @ http://eatplaylove4life.blogspot.com/
2.) Rebecca @ http://runningonstilts.blogspot.com/
3.) Elizabeth @ http://elizabethdownie.blogspot.com/
Go check out their blogs, I love these ladies!

Day 250.

Woo hoo!!  22 miles, now in my running portfolio, and I would almost venture to say, it was the best run I've had yet!  Who knew what a difference it can make to run with someone.  The conversation helps the miles slide right by, and I was also pushing a pace that I can't even believe.

We ran the first 22 miles of the Pocatello marathon route.  It starts up at the top of a mountainous area, winding down for about 13 miles until we hit the town of Inkom (where I live), then from there it's mostly small, rolling hills on a stretch of old highway until you reach the city of Pocatello.  Now, keeping in mind my running partner for the day typically runs an average pace of 8 to 8 1/2 minutes per mile, and my standard pace for my long runs is usually between 12 and 13 minutes per mile, I was a little worried that I would push myself too hard and regret it.  We started out running about 10 min./mile pace, and since we were going mostly downhill, I felt good.  I did notice I was short of breath most of the time, which I'm not used to when I run alone.  Anyway, my friend's technique includes running for 2 miles, then walking for about 30 seconds and doing that pattern the whole time.  I haven't tried this method, but I decided to do things her way, considering she runs a 3:40 marathon.  Guess what, it's a great method!  On the stretches where we were running, I was definitely going faster than I'm used to, and my legs were feeling it, but then at just about the point I would feel my legs would not go anymore, we would slow to a walk for a bit and when we'd start to run again, I'd feel recovered enough to keep going.

I should also say, that as part of my pre-run ritual, when I woke up around 5am (we left on our run around 7:15), I ate 1/2 a banana, one packet of GU, one small piece of a homemade peanut butter and oatmeal bar, drank some water, and took some Imodium.  When we reached mile 12 of our run, we were passing by my running partner's house, so we stopped to use the bathroom and refill our water bottles, and at that point my stomach was doing great, but I took two more Imodium just in case.  We took off again from there, and I made it the whole way without any stomach cramps at all - yippee!!  The last 4 miles, we did walk for a few seconds every mile or so, because I was really feeling tired in my legs, but my companion told me to let her know when we had one 10th of a mile left to go.  I was thinking, oh yay...we're going to walk the last 10th of a mile!  Wrong!  With a tenth of a mile to go, she said: "This is where we sprint!"  Yikes.  But I had to do it, after all, I didn't want to be the lame wuss, so sprint I did!  I've never felt better after a run - exhausted, sweaty, sore legs, but what the heck?!  I just ran 22 miles!!  And guess what?  My average pace when all was said and done = 11:20 min/mile!  I finished in 4 hours and 9 minutes, which is amazing, considering I did my 20 miler 2 weeks ago with a finishing time of 4 hours and 6 minutes.  Again, I'm amazed with myself.  Thank you, Holly, for pushing me and supporting me all the way home!  Now I'm ready to enjoy my taper, knowing I've done all I can to prepare for this marathon.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Day 249.

Today is a rest day.  For the first time in a long while, we don't have anything going on.  We had a Cub Scout Pack Meeting last night, so there aren't any den meetings this morning, my husband doesn't have to work, and the kids don't have anything else going on.  Our one and only vehicle is still in the shop, so we are just enjoying a relaxing day at home.  The weather is perfectly fall-like, so in a little bit I'm going to take the kids to the park to ride their bikes, where I will get in a little bit of walking.  That will be the extent of my exercise today.  My legs are still feeling a little bit crampy.  It's really annoying, actually.  I didn't do anything overly strenuous this week, I don't get why they're acting up.  Ever since my 10 miler on Wednesday, my thighs and calves have been sore and stiff.  I'm determined to have a good time on my 22 miler tomorrow, though, since it is my last super long run before the marathon in 3 weeks. I'm going to be doing my run with a friend, my first time running with someone on a long run.  My friend has done 3+ marathons so far, and she is definitely faster than I am, but since she has completed 2 marathons in the past month, she is currently not training for anything, so the pressure is off her and she will be running as my support and help.  I was initially pretty nervous about changing my routine in this way.  I mean, I am so used to running alone, I'm not sure how different it will be, for good or bad, to run with a partner.  But I figure, when I'm doing the marathon I will be running with my other friend, so I might as well do a "test run".  Besides, maybe it will help make the 22 miles go by faster if I have someone to talk to.  Our plan is to do the first 22 miles of the actual Pocatello Marathon route.  I'm starting to get excited now, and I think it will be fun.  My final worry lies with my stomach and intestines; I will be watching what I eat all day today, and I will be taking medication tonight and tomorrow morning with the hopes of eliminating or at least reducing my GI difficulties.  Wish me luck!  :)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Day 248.

This morning's run was 5 miles.  Our vehicle is in the shop for repairs, so I put Nick in his stroller and walked the kids to school before heading to the park to do my run.  For most of the time I felt like I was running in "thaw mode".  My muscles are sore, stiff and cramp-prone, just like yesterday.  I'm hoping it's because of the dramatic drop in temperatures we're experiencing.  After I ran the 5 miles at a pretty slow pace, I came home and did 35 minutes of Pilates.  My one leg is still "crampy", and I've been massaging it with a rolling pin.  Tomorrow is a rest day before Saturday's big run ~ 22 miles!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Day 247.

This morning I had a 10 mile run, which I did at the park, with the jogger.  Again, I took some fuel with me, which I didn't end up using.  I felt mostly good for the whole run, but at around mile 8 the back of my right thigh started to cramp really bad.  I considered, for a moment, stopping to stretch it out, but I was afraid if I stopped at that point, I would just want to walk the last couple of miles.  So I pushed through, and the cramp came and went.  When I hit miles 9.7, I had reached the park entrance, and normally I would have just kept running towards home, until hitting the 10 mile mark, then walked the rest of the way as a cool down.  But at that point, I really felt the need to stretch out and relax that leg muscle, so I slowed to a walk and stretched it out.  By the time I got back home, I felt better, the cramp had subsided.  I did 25 minutes of Pilates to stretch and cool down some more.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Day 246.

This morning I have slotted for cross-training.  I started out doing 30 minutes of brisk walking on the treadmill, then did 35 of Pilates.  I considered doing one more workout, but then decided that was enough, since I have to do a 10 mile run tomorrow and a 22 mile run on Saturday.  I want to give my body a chance to rest and heal in between runs at this point in my training.

Here's a quote for the day from Runner's World:

"Pain and suffering are often the catalysts for life's most profound lessons."
~Dean Karnazes, Ultrarunner and best-selling author

Monday, October 18, 2010

Day 245.

This morning I did an easy 5 miles.  Since my husband was home, I was able to run sans stroller, and I had a decent run.  My legs aren't too sore or stiff, and although my muscles did start to get a little tired at the end of the 5 miles, I'm feeling pretty strong.  When I got home I also did 35 minutes of Pilates.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Days 243 and 244.

Wow...yesterday was the first day I wasn't able to update my blog after my long run, and it felt like my run was incomplete because of it!  I was out of town with my family for a couple of days, and ended up doing my long run in a different town than I'm used to, but it was fun to run a new course.  I was able to get an early start, because the route was on a greenbelt near a river in town and it was well lit by lots of streetlamps.  I was out on the road by 5:45 to start my 14 miles, without much of a warm up, unfortunately.  I felt good, though, and ran the whole time, with only one pit stop at around mile 4.  I also took some Imodium before my run, and apparently it worked, because I was able to make it the entire 14 miles without any cramps - yippee!!  Anyway, I was tired at the end and slowed to a walk for a cool down.  My recovery has been pretty good, as well.  Not too much soreness today.  It does seem that 14 miles should go this smoothly, and I would like to be able to say: "Oh, yeah, 14 miles...that's nothing, no big deal."  The truth is, though, that no long run is ever "no big deal"!

Today is a rest day, and since we were traveling home and doing a little sightseeing on the way, I did get in some walking.  This coming week is my "monster week", a total of 44 miles, including my 22 mile long run next Saturday.  After that, it's the taper!!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Day 242.

Today is a rest/cross-training day.  Fridays are my busiest days, with the kids home (four day school week), Cub Scouts, and this morning they have a Primary (church) activity.  After all those things are done, we're going on a little family outing, which I'm certain will include lots of physical activity, so I'm not too worried about doing any structured exercise this morning.  Tomorrow I have a 14 mile long run, which seems like a "break", after the last two weeks!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Day 241.

This morning I did a 5 mile run at the park, pushing the jogger.  I walked for a few minutes to warm-up, ran 5 miles, then walked a bit to cool down.  I'm happy with how good I've been feeling this week.  It amazes me that I can run 5 miles just like that, without much thought or preparation, I just go and do it and I'm done before I know it.  I guess that's a testament to how far I've come in these last 8 months.  When I got home I did 35 minutes of Pilates.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Day 240.

This morning the schedule told me to do a 9 mile run.  After getting the older kids off to school, I warmed up with a few minutes of dynamic stretching, then walked to the park to do my run.  It was sub-freezing in temperature this morning, so I had bundled my little guy up in his stroller.  Around mile 4, he informed me he was getting too cold, but I just snuggled his blanket tighter and told him we were almost done.  ;)  Then he fell asleep, so I just tried to push myself along and get those last 5 miles in before he woke back up, which I did.  I had taken some Power Bar Gel Bites with me, but I didn't use them because I felt good for the whole 9 miles.  My legs aren't even sore today, hallelujah!  When I got home I did a 35 minute Pilates workout.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Day 239.

Cross-training day.  I started my workout this morning with 30 minutes of moderately paced walking on the treadmill, just to get my heart rate up.  Then I did 30 minute Crunch: Ab Attack, followed by a 35 minute Pilates routine.  I really enjoy cross-training days for the variety it brings.  I can always tell which muscles in my body are sore from running once I start doing the different movements and motions used while doing an alternate exercise.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Day 238.

5 mile run today.  I felt stiff as a board starting out, even though I did do a brief stretching warm-up.  Particularly, the muscles on the backs of my legs were so tight, I felt like I was dragging them on the ground.  I figured that as I ran, they would loosen, and they did...very slightly!  Half way through my run I spotted a couple of coyotes in a field, and watching them for a mile or so, distracted me well enough.  As I was coming down a hill on the last mile stretch, I noticed someone jogging towards me, pushing a stroller.  It took a minute for it to register that it was my husband coming to run the last mile with me.  As we joined up and headed home, the clouds let loose and the rain came down.  My husband said, "If I'd have known it was going to rain, I wouldn't have come to run with you!"  Ha ha...sucka!  ;)  I guess I'm just getting used to dealing with inclement weather, because the rain didn't bother me.  When we got home, I also did a 35 minute Pilates workout, and my legs are already feeling better.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Day 237.

Yes, my body knows that I did a long run yesterday!  My legs are so sore this morning, but not quite as sore as they were feeling last night when I could barely walk up and down the stairs!  Today is a rest day, although I did do a 35 minute Pilates routine, which felt so great on my hips and legs.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Day 236.

I did it!!  20 long miles!  Man, am I glad to have that done!  Here's how it went:

First of all, yesterday I stuck with my plan to not eat too much and to eat mild foods, in an attempt to minimize the possibility for GI distress.  I ended my day with a small bowl of Special K cereal around 8 pm, and I also made sure I was sipping on water, all day long.  I woke up around 6:30 this morning, hoping to get out the door around 7 when it starts to get light.  I ate 1/2 a banana and had a few sips of water, then started getting my stuff ready.  I ended up leaving the house around 7:15, and it was still a little dark then, but not for too long.  This run was much better than last week's.  I was thinking that part of my stomach problems were from getting dehydrated on my long runs, because I usually don't start drinking until after around mile 7 or 8.  So today, I decided to start taking sips of water earlier in my run, starting around mile 4 -5.  Just one or two sips, I didn't want to have to pee too soon!  The route I took today also had me going 10 miles one way into the nearest big town.  That way, I would pass a gas station at my half-way point, in case I needed to make a pit-stop.  The first 10 miles went really well, though.  No cramps, feeling strong, running the whole time - I felt really good.  At the point my Garmin beeped at me that I had reached my 10 mile turn around point, I slowed to a walk, ate some GU, drank some more of my water (my water concoction, I should say = 22 oz. of water mixed with 1 packet of Crystal Light Fitness H20, and a few squirts of EFS liquid carb./gel fuel), then I started running again.  I ran another mile or so, then I passed a park that had a port-a-potty, so I decided I'd better at least go pee while I had the quick and easy opportunity.  After the pit-stop, I walked for just a minute, then picked up my pace and started running again.  By miles 12-13, my leg muscles were definitely feeling tired and a bit achy, but I just kept going, happy that I wasn't having any stomach issues.  Things continued on well, until mile 15 when - bam, stomach cramps!  I was so irritated.  I slowed to a walk, and was mentally working my way through the pain, determined to finish these last 5 miles.  I did a walk/run thing for the next 2.5 miles, running when my stomach pain eased up, walking again as the pain would hit.  Finally, at mile 17.5, I succumbed to the literal gut wrenching, pulled out my cell phone, and called my handy dandy husband.  I kept walking until he got there to pick me up.  How frustrating: only 2.5 miles to go. :(  Anyway, after another "pit stop" at home, I headed back out to finish up those remaining miles at the park (where there is a restroom!), and after 1 lap, my husband and kids arrived there to join me, the kids on their bikes, my husband ready to keep me company while I finished out my run.  I did more of the run/walk thing, since my stomach was still twisted into knots.  But I finished the 20 miles, and I was content with how it went, though I do need to work on figuring out what's going on with my body.  When I stopped my Garmin at 20 miles, it said 4 hours and 16 minutes.  I didn't know how that would translate, as far as how I did on my running portions vs. the walking portions.  I was very pleased to see that, even with the walk/run stuff for the last 5 miles, my average pace was 12:50 min/mile.  I checked my splits, and during that first 15 miles, I mostly stayed around 10:30-11 min/mile, which is really good for me.  So I'm counting this run as successful, though my quest to solve my stomach issues continues.  Let's just say my mind is put to ease knowing that there are going to be pit-stops every couple of miles on race day!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Day 235.

After two weeks of being gone for work-related training, I finally have my husband back to stay, for a while anyway.  While he was gone, two of our kids that have birthdays within a month of each other (Oct./Nov.), received bikes from some very generous family members as birthday presents.  Last night when Chris came home, he put their new bikes together, and this morning the kids are chomping at the bit to go to the park and ride them.  First, though, we have to go to Cub Scouts, then we have to see if the rain has stopped before going to the park.

In the meantime, today is scheduled as a rest/cross training day for me.  I am going to be doing a 20 mile long run tomorrow, and so I've decided to take it pretty easy today, maybe walking at the park when my kids ride their bikes will be the only official exercise I get.  I've still been dealing with some (very annoying) GI issues this week.  I'm not sure if I've been stricken with a bug of some sort, or if my body is rebelling against all the running, or if it's something I'm ingesting, or just plain nervous stomach.  I've tried to narrow down any possible culprits in my diet, but haven't figured it out.  Today my plan is to keep my food very mild: protein smoothies, chicken noodle soup, things like that.  I'm also going to make sure I'm drinking water all day.  I've read that some people get these types of problems as they get dehydrated on long runs.  Hopefully tomorrow's run will be better than last week's.  I would feel so much better going into the marathon knowing I've completed these last two long runs (20 tomorrow, 22 in two weeks), successfully.  And by successfully, I mean being able to do the entire mileage without any breaks, aside from maybe some walking and refueling breaks.  We shall see...

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Day 234.

On the schedule for today, a 5 mile run.  I warmed up with about 10 minutes of dynamic stretching, then walking for a bit before starting my run.  I am excited to report that I did my 5 mile run in just over 50 minutes, which translates to a little over 10 minutes per mile, on average.  I haven't done that pace in a while, and it felt really good.  I was happy about that, considering that I am a little sore in my hips from yesterday's 9 miler.  When I came home I did a 35 minute Pilates workout.  I really love Pilates.  For me, it seems the perfect combination of stretching and strengthening, without being too straining.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Day 233.

This morning's run was 9 miles, which I did at the park - 16 laps!  I walked there to warm up, then started my run.  The first five miles were fine, and went by fast.  I took a quick pit stop at the restroom, then continued on with the last 4 miles.  At that point, my legs started to feel heavy and tired, but I just pushed through it and felt good when I got to mile 9.  Then I walked for about another mile and half as a cool down.  When I got home, I did a 30 minute Pilates workout also.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Day 232.

Today I did a varied cross-training workout.  I started out with a 35 minute Pilates program, which included standing and floor exercises.  Then I did a 30 minute DVD called Crunch: Ab Attack, followed by a 20 minute kick boxing workout.  I'm all sweaty and feeling good!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Day 231.

5 mile run this morning.  I warmed up with about 10 minutes of dynamic stretching, then walked to the park, again with the jogger (all week).  As I was walking to the park, I tried to take long strides, using the stroller to help me balance, in an attempt to stretch out my still very sore hips and thighs.  I felt okay as I ran my 5 miles, but as soon as I finished and slowed to a walk for a cool down, I could feel the tightness in my leg muscles.  When I got home I also did a 30 minute Pilates workout, and that felt great.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Day 230.

Thank you to all my readers who leave comments of support and well-wishes!  It feels nice to know there are people out there rooting for me, and I also like to connect with all you other running and fitness minded mothers!  :)

Today is a rest day.  Oh, my aching body!  I can feel every single muscle, joint and ligament.  I guess that means I worked my body hard yesterday, which is a good thing.  The mileage isn't going to go down, it's only going up, at least until the taper, that is.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Day 229.

18 mile long run today, and an interesting one it was!  Things started out great, really.  I got to bed early last night, after a good high-carb dinner.  I was able to sleep well until about 5am, when I kept waking up and feeling restless.  I had set the alarm for 6, planning to leave the house by 7.  I would love to be able to start my long runs earlier, but the sun doesn't come up over the mountains until after 7 and it's way too dark, with way to many critters out there for me to feel comfortable.  I had planned my route using MapMyRun.com, just so I would have a general idea of where I was headed and when I'd be reaching my midway point to turn around and head home.  I still rely on my Garmin for the specifics.  My route took me up into a mountainous canyon, leaving from our home, out and back 9 miles each way...at least, that was the plan. 
The first half I knew would be mostly uphill, and I was actually happy about that because I'm trying my best to be prepared for the elevation climb at RimRock.  I felt really good the first 8.5 miles.  My legs felt strong, and even though I was winded most of the time, I didn't feel like I was getting overly tired, especially as I anticipated a nice, downhill run home!  Right about then, my husband came by in the car to check on me.  He was a little concerned that I may run into a bull moose or something.  He also kindly took some pictures of me in the beautiful surroundings I'm blessed to be able to run in.  It was also around that time that I started to get some pretty severe stomach cramps.  What timing.  I tried to keep things in check, but there was no getting around it - I needed to get to a bathroom, fast!  I was so ticked; my great run, ruined.  At least, thankfully, my husband was there to drive me the almost 9 miles back to our house.  I used the bathroom, but still was feeling a little "iffy".  I decided to do the second half of my run in a different direction, this time another incline, but even steeper than the first.  Big mistake.  Not only was my stomach squeezing into tight, little knots, but now my hips and thighs were burning from trying to run 5 miles, straight uphill!  There finally came a point when I couldn't take it anymore.  I had to walk.  I went as far as I could go, which wasn't quite as far as I needed to go to reach 18 miles by the time I got back home, so I knew as I came back down the hill that when I got to my house, I wouldn't have met my goal distance, but I needed to be near a bathroom.  My Garmin told me I had gone 16.89 miles as I approached my driveway.  I came in the house and finished the last 1.11 miles using the treadmill, that way I had the security of knowing there was a bathroom right down the hall. 

I'm a little sad, because I felt so good going into today's run.  My legs weren't sore, I felt rested, excited and ready to go.  In the end, I guess I still accomplished my goal of 18 miles, even if it was a little chopped up, and running mixed with way more walking than I'd like to admit.  But one good thing, my Garmin data showed that I did an overall ascent of about 2700 feet, and likewise an equal descent.  That's really good because the ascent we'll be doing at the marathon is around 2300 feet, so it was a decent training run.  I just hope my hips and thighs don't hurt too badly tomorrow, and I really hope my digestive tract gets back on track!  Ugh.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Day 228.

This morning I did a 30 minute Pilates workout.  The rest of the day I will be resting and preparing for my huge 18 miler tomorrow!