What just happened? THIS.
I’ve been hinting to you guys that I wanted to get one last long run in before 5k training starts, but I purposely didn’t say the amount because I wasn’t sure how it would go, and I didn’t want to push through if something felt off. But let’s back up a tiny bit.
Pre-run breakfast-eg, banana, cocoa powder. I couldn’t find my normal cocoa powder so I used the dark chocolate, which worked just fine.
Then, I laid out my fueling-so much different than just my one packet of goo for a normal long run!
I wore my water belt, but I also carried a plastic pouch of water because I knew that wouldn’t be enough, and I didn’t think I’d have anywhere to fill it (although I did end up seeing a water fountain and public bathroom at mile 7.5-good to know!) I had so much to carry though!
I also brought my phone on this in case something went horribly wrong-it was a loop, so if I got hurt or anything, I would be far, far away from where I needed to be.
I was planning on listening to my audiobook, but I decided to listen to just one song to get me started. But I was really enjoying the whole running to music thing, so I kind of cheated and just turned on my #werunsf race day playlist. Hey, I’m not going to be running a half for a very long time anyways! Since my route was a lot more interesting than the out and backs I do at the bay trail, the music served as the perfect amount of distraction. Plus, I was running near cars a lot, which makes my audiobook difficult to hear.
The weather was perfect. The run route was really awesome too-I’ve biked this loop before so I knew what to expect. It took me past a pumpkin patch, many horse farms, a vineyard, a farm. There were also a ton of beautiful fall trees.
This route definitely wasn’t flat though. There weren’t mountains, but I checked the elevation, and I think there were around 400 feet of gains. For the record-I would much rather run up these hills than bike them! The first 6 miles were uphill-slightly uphill, but fairly constant. I wasn’t worrying about pace at all, but my pace was concerning me a little in this part, just because if I kept that pace the whole way, it would take FOREVER. There was a trail/path off the road, but it had a TON of rolling hills because it followed the natural terrain and was much lower than the road, but every quarter mile or so would come back up to meet the road. I ended up running on the street quite a bit (FACING traffic-don’t worry!).
I really, really enjoyed it. I passed a million bikers, which was pretty cool. I think I had the dorkiest smile on my face. Especially around Mile 11-but that may have had something to do with the fact that it was pretty much downhill from there.
Check out this view at mile 11!
And what I just came down from.
I loved this route because it was so varied, and I never got bored.
But enough about the scenery. How did it feel?
My feet weren’t a non-issue. And this run really was a test for them to see if they would handle marathon training. I was able to manage them by focusing on running on a very particular part of my foot. And since I wasn’t trying to break any speed record, I’d stop as necessary to shake them out, which helped a ton. I also stretched as needed, which definitely helped. My left toe stopped hurting at the end, but I’m pretty sure that’s just because my legs starting getting super tired and I just lost track of my foot pain, because it really hurt after my run was finished.
I realized around mile 1 that I didn’t even think about replenishing electrolytes. Whoops. None of my runs in the past were really long enough for this to be an issue, so I didn’t even think about it. During a long hill climb around mile 11, my hamstring started acting up a little (cramping), but I was able to stretch it out and carry on, although it’s a little sore today.
My biggest issue with this run? The distances didn’t quite work out, so I ended up running around my dorm area for the last mile/half mile or so. Which is the. worst. thing. ever. You can see the finish line, and you’re there, but you’re not there. Which stinks when your legs are DONE.
As far as fueling goes, I tried the raspberry Cliff goo for the first time. I bought it when I wasn’t sure if I’d find chocolate for my race. First of all, I love Cliff goos for the ingredient list. It doesn’t have weird chemicals, so they goo just tastes like syrup, not like chemicals (like the one other brand I tried. Ick!) The raspberry was a little thinner, and maybe a little sweeter. Which normally wouldn’t be an issue, but I had a cold a week ago, and have a tiny bit of a lingering cough, especially when I eat sweet things. Add that to 10 miles of running, and you get a coughing fit while trying to eat a goo. I think the bikers thought I was crazy. It’s casual.
I also understand why fruit is handed out on the marathon course. I would have killed for watermelon at mile 13.1 when I had to eat my bar. Next time!
As soon as I finished, I threw on my compression socks. My calves were already getting sore!
At that point, I also would have killed for a smoothie. So I snuck into the dining hall as it was closing, and had an awesome post run breakfast.
My legs actually did not feel bad after this. I’m a little sore today, but nothing crazy. It’s amazing how things have changed since I first started training for a half. After my first 10 miler, I could not walk. At all. Yesterday, I was fine. Although stairs still seemed a little intimidating.
Also, while I wasn’t worrying about pace, I just stuck to what felt comfortable, I was still only a few seconds off the pace for my first ever 12 miler, which was waaaaay flatter than this hilly run. In this run, on flats, I often found myself in the 9:00s, 10, 12 miles into the run. Mile 15 was probably near a 10:00 pace, which used to be a huge push for me.
So….my conclusion from this run? Could I run 10 more? I don’t know. Maybe with training. But I’m not going to be running a marathon in the near future. For one thing, it doesn’t really fit into my race schedule. I’m working on shorter distances until my warm up half marathon in April. I’m going to try to PR the Giant’s half marathon in the summer, since it’s a relatively flat course (for SF).
The timing would set me up pretty perfectly for a fall marathon.
So we shall see!
For now though, I’m excited to focus on shorter distances and speed. I really, really need to do a timed mile, but I’m kind of dreading it because those are painful. I want to try to do some fast 5ks in January and February as well, you know, before I move into a faster age division!
After my run, I had a retreat for my sorority. The best part? The girl whose house it was at had 3 cats. Heaven.
For dinner, we ordered Thai food, which was really good! And after 16 miles…I may or may not have been a bottomless pit.
I didn’t spend the night because I’m sleep deprived and drowning in work, so I ended up getting a solid 9.5 hours of sleep last night. Oh daylight savings time, you could not have come at a better time.
Also, congrats to Meghan for finishing a full IRONMAN. That’s insane! I was definitely thinking about her on my run yesterday!
Should I run a marathon? Am I crazy? What’s your favorite post workout food?
Biscuits were salty and amazing yesterday. OMG.