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Sweet 16.1


I had the worst insomnia last night. I had planned to get 8 hours of sleep (a rare luxury) before heading out for my longest run yet.  Last week’s 14 miler was not a disaster but it was not what I would call “good.” I was ripping apart my garden the night before, I didn’t carry any water, and my only fuel was one small Dutch potato. Hmmm… wonder why it was more of a shuffle than a run… But this week was going to be better. I had food ready to go and my water bottle was filled to the brim. I avoided any yard work (surprisingly NOT hard to do) and tucked myself into bed just before 10:00 PM with my alarm set for 6:00 AM. Only sleep never came.

When I should have been drifting off into dreamland where children never cry and mommies get spa pedicures every day, I was instead obsessing over this marathon business. I was letting last week’s long run psych me out, thinking things like “I don’t have to do this. I don’t think I can do this. I can bail out. I can do a half marathon and maybe even PR with all this extra training. How can I finish 26 miles? Can I really be on my feet for 4 or more hours? This is the worst idea I ever had.” It went around and around like that until I finally conked out around 1:00 AM. When I was woken up by Sean and Amelia, those two bottle drinking minions, a few hours later I knew I needed more sleep if I was going to tackle my longest run ever. I snuck into the bottom bunk in the girls’ room and grabbed a much-needed extra hour of z’s.

I was finally dressed and ready to head out at 7:45. I had my Nathan Sprint in hand and my food supplies pinned inside the waistband of my shorts.

I’ve said it dozens and dozens and dozens of times and to anyone who will listen, but it always bears repeating: I CANNOT stand gels, GUs, beans, blocks and anything other liquidy slime runners like to shoot down their throats. Even thinking about them activates my gag reflexes. I’ve been on the hunt for something I can eat during long runs. Last week I tried a small potato because I read that ultra-runners do that, but even sliced up the potato was a little cumbersome to carry and I only took one with me. I’ve heard from a couple of sources that Honey Stinger Waffles are really good–tasty and very much a food that requires chewing. Plus, I’ll try anything endorsed by Lance Armstrong and Sue Garrabrant. I cut the waffle in quarters and then fashioned two little packs to make opening-while-running easier and to ration out the waffle. Fearing it wasn’t going to be enough, I added a little baggie of Honey Combs to my bundle. Even though pinning my little packs inside my shorts worked today, I think I am going to need a little something-something to carry my fuel on long runs–something small like a Spibelt; I am not going to start toting around a fanny pack like I am my dad in Disney World.

But back to my run–the first 8 miles went by without incident. My right hip flexor felt a little tight for the first 5 miles or so but the only stretches that really help that area are the pigeon pose and the frog pose and I somehow felt that those were not appropriate for residential sidewalks. My neighbors might not understand that I was practicing yoga and not assaulting their walkway. I hit the 8 mile mark at 1:17:20 which was faster than I thought (I figured I was averaging about 10:00/mile but this was about 9:40). I felt good but hungry and had the first half of my waffle. YUM! It was so good and very easy to eat on the run. I was mentally kicking myself for waiting so long to try them, and I definitely recommend them to all endurance athletes. And you know that anything endorsed by Lance Armstrong, Sue Garrabrant, and Suzanne Macaulay has got to be top notch!

Just past 8 miles I picked up the path that runs alongside Lake Ontario. The Lakeside Trail has soft rolling hills and is mostly in the sun. This is when the run started to feel a little more difficult and I was happy to cross over Tamarack Swamp and into the shaded portion where 3 homeless and/or insane individuals warned me about bears in the woods. (True story.) After 2.2 miles I popped back out into the residential area which was flat, and at mile 12 I ate the other half of the waffle. I wound my way through the far side of town and turned right onto Titus for the long stretch home. What I did not pay attention to when I mapped out and drove the course was how hilly this part of the run was going to be. Miles 13-15 were a series of pretty decent up and downs and I was feeling the hurt. I was never so happy to see Seneca Road–it meant that my house was only 0.7 miles away! I did my best to finish up strong clocking in at 2:40:48 for 16.1 miles. The second half of my run was about 6 minutes slower than the first half (averaging 10:18/mile) and while I was definitely fatigued, I bet the hills factored into that. Next time I do this loop, I am going to run the course reverse.

After some gastrointestinal distress (TMI) and long shower, I was on my way to Wegmans to pick up lunch for my in-laws who were stopping by on the way to the lake house (we will be joining them on Monday). No post-run trip to the grocery store would be complete without this:

5 hours later my calves are sore,  my thighs chafed, my stomach upset, and I still have these itty bitty nagging doubts that I will absolutely not be ready to run a full marathon, but I’m still psyched that I ran 16.1 miles today. That is pretty damn far and I am pretty darn proud.

Today’s Workout:
Run 16.1 miles/2:40:48

(By the by, while my dad DID wear a fanny pack all over Orlando, that is not really his picture. I had to include this author’s note so I don’t lose my inheritance.)

One Comment leave one →
  1. 08/16/2011 2:17 PM

    Way to rock 16 miles! Do I get a kickback for endorsing Honey Stingers?

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