Monday, August 31, 2015

Another longest run ever

I didn't write anything last week . . . and I had a 16 mile run. The week just got away from me.  So I guess I'll write about last week's 16 miler and have to write about this week's 12 miler later.  ; ) 

16 miles.  Remember my 15 miles the week before?  Well, I decided to do the same route and just add half a mile out before turning around to make 16 miles.  I don't know if you've followed the news, and I don't know how much of it has made news outside of WA, but there have been some major fires here.  Not very close to me, but last weekend (August 23) the wind had carried a lot of the smoke to western WA, and it was especially bad on Sunday when I do my long run.  I worried a little bit about the quality of the air and if it would cause problems, but I needed to do it, so I left.

I should back up, I am going through about 2 packets of those Honey stingers a long run (well, I started with the 15 miles) so I need to go buy more every week, I should look them up on Amazon and see how much a box would be.  Anyway, on Saturday when I went to go get the Honey Stingers from the running store, I asked them about liquid fuel.  I didn't like the Gatorade very much, especially the sugar aftertaste.  They didn't carry anything, but they said that they really liked Nuun.  No sugar and you put it in water to dissolve and has a mild taste.  (Have you heard of Airborne? it looks just like that.)  They said that it was only at one of the grocery stores here, so even though I don't shop there (too expensive) that's where I went. 

I didn't feel that the way I had fueled while I ran was very good during my 15 mile run.  I felt dead towards the end, so I thought maybe I was too inconsistent with it, or not often enough.  I decided that starting at mile 5 I would take 3 honey stingers every 2 miles, and I would take sips of the Nuun whenever I felt like it. 
Nuun nutrition facts
I really think the sodium in these drinks is good for me.  When I don't have them, I want to lick the sweat off my arm after my run and I always crave really salty foods. I didn't have that feeling much last week (or this week).  The Nuun didn't taste great, but it had no sugar after taste like the Gatorade.  I did notice a bit of a chalky taste to it though, but it wasn't horrible.  I do crave water after awhile, I've noticed, but the only water fountains on my long run route is when I am 2 miles and half a mile from home.  But I stop, fill my water bottle and go on.

Anyway, thankfully the smoke didn't affect my run.  At the halfway point of my 15 mile run I stopped and took a picture, it's on my last blog post, but when I got to that same spot on this run I had to take a picture.  Both days there are no clouds, no fog. 

 I wish I had taken both pictures exactly the same, but in my defense I was in the middle of a long run, I wasn't thinking completely clearly. ; )  Anyway, they are at the same spot in the road. 

I thought maybe the run felt better than the 15 mile run because I knew I could run that far.  But after thinking about it, I really think between the Nuun, and eating the Honey Stingers every 2 miles, that was what helped.  Oh, and I purposely started out slow.  I tend to start too fast.  This time I purposely made myself slow down, even when I felt I was already going really slow.  I think it all worked well.  I was not nearly as tired at the end of the run as I have been at the end of all my other long runs.  I still wobbled a bit at the end of my run, but it didn't feel as bad as my 15 miler. 

And, my last mile was my fastest one.

I did come home and crash on my couch for about an hour.  But overall, my longest run ever, went better than all my other longest runs ever.  =)  Yesterday (Sunday) was 12 miles, easy.  And this next Sunday, 18!  Another longest run ever.  I feel very proud of myself, but each new distance makes me super worried.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

This marathon won't run itself

On Sunday I ran 15 miles.  Yes, you read that correctly.  15 miles. 

Officially my longest single run ever.

And it will only stay my longest single run ever until this next Sunday, when I run 16 miles. 

You know what the mantra that goes through my head is when I don't want to go for a run (which, lately, has been every scheduled run I have)?  "This marathon won't run itself."  It works, I go for a run.  Sunday I didn't want to run 15 miles, but I knew I had to, so I sucked it up. 

My last long run of 13 miles was terrible.  I felt dead at 10 miles, and wiped out at 11 miles.  I thought afterwards that I probably had started too fast, plus, running in town with all the hills, probably contributed to my struggle.  I didn't want to drive out to the farm land to get to the flat areas, but 15 miles is more than enough to get me out of town.  So I started from home and ran out of town.  It was uphill for the first mile, and then downhill for the next mile, and I was out of town and on a flat road. 

5 miles out of town, 5 miles back to town, and then along the river and up a trail because that way is less of a hill to get home than the way I took to get out of town.  I felt really great for the first 7 or 8 miles, and then I started getting tired.  I even bought some Gatorade and had more than my normal amount of chews (honey stingers, I finally remembered to look).  I was still going pretty strong though at 10 miles, and then stopped to walk close to the 11 mile mark.  From there on I took several walk breaks. 
The red is the elevation, and the blue is my pace.
You can see where I started to slow down, until then I was pretty good at
keeping my pace even.
The mind is a terrible thing.  Once I got it in my head that my legs were tired, I couldn't shake that feeling.  My legs were tired, but looking back, probably not that tired.  I did find it interesting that I really started to get tired at about mile 11, last time it was at 10 miles. 
I have noticed that switching to music at the end of the run helps a lot with slowing down.  If you can see it above, you can see where I switched to music.  Right about mile 13 I got faster.  I listen to audiobooks on long runs, but music picks my pace up a little and the change helps me to forget for a little while.  I like to zone out with an audiobook, plus it keeps my pace down in the beginning, but I tend to run faster when listening to music.  When I get really tired, the music helps boost me a little.  My last mile was slower, but not my slowest (that was mile 11). 
I didn't like the Gatorade as my only thing to drink, and I missed water.  However, I think the Gatorade helped a lot with my tiredness, I definitely didn't feel as dead as my last long run.  When I drink soda (which is very rarely) I drink diet soda, so the sugar in the Gatorade (34g) left a bad taste in my mouth.  But I did feel much less like licking the salt off my arm when I was done, so the sodium (270mg) in it was probably a good thing (I am a very salty sweater).  I didn't think the honey stingers on my 13 mile run was enough, so I decided to try the Gatorade.  I think it helped, but like I said I didn't care for the after taste.  Of course, that might also have been the flavor I picked, lemon-lime, which I like when I'm not running but not so much while running.  I will try a different flavor this next Sunday.  And I think I'm going to get some more ShotBlocks.  I did those for my 10 mile run and liked them a lot.  I don't know if I am getting more tired because of the fuel, or just because of the increased mileage, but I'm willing to switch things up to see what works best for me. 

I just decided to look up the nutritional differences for Shot Blocks and Honey Stingers.
Shot Blocks                                 Honey Stingers
And it looks like the Honey Stingers are actually better.  I may get the Shot blocks anyway, maybe for my next scale back week and see how I do.  I also definitely felt that I didn't have enough Gatorade, but I don't want to buy another waterbottle, I just got the one I have.  I guess we'll see how I do with my 16 miles this week.  I may not have a choice about buying a new one, I may need something bigger. 

Anyway, I finished my run and was tired.  I laid down for about an hour in the afternoon, but again, I am not that sore.  And I haven't really noticed much increased hunger.  I did eat more than normal on Sunday, but according to MyFitnessPal, I did not eat as much as I burned calorie-wise so that is good.  I have heard that marathon training often makes you gain weight, because even though you are running farther, you are eating more and can easily overeat.  I am trying not to do that, I don't want to gain weight. 
Halfway point . . . I love the farmland.
While on my run I saw a hang glider, I wondered if he (or she) saw me as well.  While I was envious of them, I'm sure they weren't envious of me.  =)  I also saw an eagle, and a spray plane (can't think of their name, but you know, one of those planes that sprays weed killer on crops like in the Disney movie Planes).  =)

I will not wear that shirt again on a long run.  The seams under my arms started to chafe very badly.  I was in pain, although I did not have any marks when I was done, which surprised me a lot.  I did get new capri pants, which you can't see well here.  I love them.  I will have to get someone to take a picture of me in them because they are cute. 

16 miles on Sunday.  Ouch! That's going to hurt!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015


My vacation last week was fantastic.  It was extremely relaxing and I wished I didn't have to come back.  In fact, Chris tried to get 2 extra days off (I already had requested Friday off) but he was unsuccessful, so we had to come home on Thursday.  We did a lot of sitting on the lake, by the lake, at the lake, and a lot of not much else.  Damian requested we go bowling one day, so we did.  And we got ice cream at a place my dad suggested.  And that's the only time we went out.

We did start the week at my parent's house, we were going to go boating, but when we got to that lake (a different one than the one we stayed at) the boat didn't work, so we played in the water, and visited.  I was a little worried about the house we were going to, because it's my aunts', uncles', and dad's house, and they (other than my dad) are hoarders.  But it wasn't bad.  It was cluttered, and definitely hasn't had a good cleaning in awhile (the vacuum didn't even work) but we spent most of the time outside, so it didn't matter that much. 
My first morning

 I spent all of my mornings in that position above.

I spent my afternoons and evenings in this position.

The only thing missing was my wine
 Sunset on the last day

such a good looking kid

Chris and Damian enjoying the last sunset from the water
My last morning.  =(
The first morning, Monday, I was sitting on the porch, drinking my coffee (look at my 2nd picture) and I decided I really did need to do my run.  Up until then I had decided not to run.  It was "only" 10 miles, a scale back week, so I thought it probably wouldn't hurt me to not run.  And then I suddenly decided I needed to run.  I was awake, it was cool enough . . . why not?  So I ate, drank water, and went for a 10 mile run.  It was a little hilly, but it was good.  And I felt badass for running while on vacation (something I don't think I've ever done). 
My halfway point
I was about half a mile from the house (at the end of the run) when suddenly a big dog came charging at me.  Not in a friendly way.  Teeth bared, ears back, growling and barking.  I thought I was going to get attacked.  The last time I had dogs come after me I didn't know what to do.  I looked down, put my hands up, kinda turned so I was in a submissive posture (or so I thought).  After that, I talked to my sister and she said she yells at the dog and says No! or something, trying to be more aggressive. So this time, that's what I did.  I screamed NO!! stomped my foot, and screamed NO!! over and over.  The dog backed off before it got to me, but was still very aggressive towards me.  I backed up, screaming NO! and stomping my foot.  It stayed put, but as soon as I turned around to start running again, it came at me again, so I faced it and did it all over again, while backing up, away from it's house.  I kept hoping the owners would come out, but they never did.  Eventually the dog went back to it's house and I finally turned around and started running again.  It was a scary experience.  I don't know why I run.  ; )
After my run, getting ready for the sun.  =)

 I did run one more time while there.  The last run was only 3 miles.  I turned a different direction (I didn't want to go past the dog again).  But about a half mile down the road it turned to gravel and then another quarter mile it said Dead End, but I decided to just go to the end of the road.  I never made it to the dead end, but it did get a little creepy.  Very wooded, with trailers and houses that you'd find in almost any horror movie. 
Halfway point
I made it back without finding any children of the corn, or ax murders. =)

On Thursday we decided to go the scenic way home, which was a good 2 hours or more longer.  I don't think I'll go that way again, even though it was pretty. 

When we got home we saw this.
Our neighbors had decided to mess with us.  I seriously love living next to people that are nice.  ; )  But seriously, this is way, way better than being attacked by a neighbor.  And I really do like my neighbors.  =)

I ran again on Friday and then a long run on Sunday, which I will save for another post because this is long. 

Thursday, August 6, 2015

I needed that

Yesterday I went for a 7 mile run.  I didn't want to.  I don't like running so many miles in the middle of the week, I feel like I just don't have the time.  I get home at 5:30pm, if I'm lucky I'm out the door by 5:45, 7 miles means more than an hour, most likely.  So I get back home sometime after 6:45, and have to shower.  If I'm lucky I'm eating dinner at 7pm, most likely later and only if Chris cooks.  If Chris doesn't cook, I'll be eating at 7:30 or 8.  I go to bed at 8:30-9:30 most nights. 

And don't even get me started on running in the morning.  It takes me an hour to get ready.  I don't think I'm that high maintenance but I straighten my hair, and if I run, I take a shower, don't straighten my hair, but still have to figure out what to do with the wet mess that is going to be frizzy later (I never blow dry my hair) and the time equals out to an hour.  So, if I run in the morning, 7 miles, I'm getting up at 4:30am, to run, shower, get ready, and then I probably don't have time for breakfast or coffee.  And with 7 miles, I really should eat something first, so then I'm getting up at 4, yeah. no. 

It's only going to get worse.

Anyway, yesterday was a break in the warm weather.  The forecast called for rain, and I thought that would be nice to run in the rain.(Sadly it didn't rain while I was running.)  I planned to run in the evening.  I didn't want to.  I keep telling myself that I WANT to do a marathon.  No one is forcing me.  Most people think I'm crazy.  Hell, I think I'm crazy. 

So I ran.  It was a good run.  I needed a good run.  Sunday's run was just hard.  My legs were tired, I felt like I'd never finish, or wouldn't be able to.  Tuesday's run was fast.  It also felt hard.  I stopped at one point to mess with my phone, don't remember why, and realized how tired my legs were and that I didn't want to go on.  I finished the run, but it was hard. 

Yesterday's 7 miles had me apprehensive, middle of the week, two hard runs before it.  I was going to take my time and try to enjoy my run.  And I did.  I was a little tired at the end, thinking I wished I had grabbed some fuel, because I hadn't eaten since lunch, but I knew it wouldn't be long before I was done.  I enjoyed listening to my audiobook and got caught up in it for a while.  It wasn't overly fast, but it was a good pace for me, for 7 miles.

 Thinking about it now, Sunday's run might have been so hard because I was going too fast.  It was averaged to be only 9 seconds per mile slower than my 7 miles yesterday.  I am not good at slowing down on long runs.  Right before we moved back to Mt. Vernon I was using my Garmin to keep my miles as evenly paced as I could, and I was doing really well with it.  But then we moved, I used my Garmin 2 or 3 times after our move and lost it.  I tore my room apart, which is where I know I put it, and still couldn't find it.  And actually tore other parts of my house apart as well thinking I was wrong.  But it's no where.  I have no idea where it went.  It's been 2 months since I've seen it.  It's much harder to pace myself with my phone.  Anyway, in a week and a half when I do 14 miles, I'm gonna need to slow down.

We're going out of town tomorrow evening for a week.  I don't know if I'll get my scheduled 10 miles in this weekend, or any of my other scheduled runs in.  I don't know if I'm okay with that.  I will take my running clothes.  Maybe I'll run stairs, there are stairs in the house we are going to.  But I won't be posting.  There is no internet.

Have a great week!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015


My scheduled long run said to do a half marathon.  I half-ass looked for an official half marathon and didn't find anything I wanted to do that was close.  But I was okay with that, I'd just run 13.1 miles on my own.  Thinking about it, I had decided to drive to the tulip fields of Mt. Vernon to run on the roads out there.  It's not tulip season, so I figured there wouldn't be much traffic, but knowing the roads, they are narrow, with little to no shoulder and the speed limits are in the 40-55 range.  Thinking of running on a (country road) with people potentially passing me going 60+ miles an hour with no shoulder, and somewhere I've never run before, it scared me.  I opted out.  (Not out of my run though.)  I decided to just do my normal long run route and add miles, probably at the end (which I hate). 

It was supposed to get to the high 80's (quit, I know that's not hot for the rest of the world but for this western WA acclimated girl, it's hot) and I didn't want to be running 13 miles in it.  So I was going to leave early.  I got out of my house at 8:45 (no, I don't think that's early), but when I left my house it was 64 degrees, doable.  When I got done it was closer to 75 degrees.

Nothing about the beginning of the run is notable.  It was a typical long run along familiar roads and trails. 
This is a duck pond we walk to
regularly.  I've never seen it so dry.

I took a couple detours, one I've done before and one off onto one of those narrow farm roads I was talking about earlier.  I went about a mile off on the farm road and turned around. When I turned around there was a beautiful view of Mt. Baker.  I tried to take a picture, but of course it didn't come out as nice as the actual view. 
You can't even see the mountain.
Anyway, it was shortly after this picture that I felt dead.  I didn't want to run anymore.  I was tired.  I don't know why it hit me so hard, but at mile 10 I stopped.  I mean dead stop.  I squatted down and posted on Facebook. 
I ate some fuel, I can't think of the name, and went on.  I wish I could say that was it, I was motivated and finished strong from there, but I can't.  Only a mile later I again stopped.  This time I sat down.  Sat right on the trail, I didn't want to go on.  I was tired.  I just wanted to be done.  I thought about finishing out one more mile (that would have put me at my normal ending spot) and just go home from there, but I thought that was silly, what's one more mile (well, one more after the next one).  I took a picture and posted on Instagram.
I got up.  I finished my run.  I had been planning on running 13.1 miles, after all, that was on my schedule, but I hit that 13 mile mark, picked a pole ahead and stopped at the pole.  I laid down, and of course, took a couple pictures (none of which were pretty). 

I had thought ahead and bought donuts and fixings for mimosa's so when I got home, after my shower, and some water, I enjoyed my donut and mimosa.  =)

I have been surprised that I haven't been super sore after my long runs.  I guess this week has been the worst, and it's been practically nothing.  I'm happy with that.  =)  And no foot pain.  Seriously, none.  How awesome is that!!

Yesterday I had 3 miles on the schedule and I almost skipped it, but I didn't.  I'm going out of town on Friday evening and knew if I skipped it I'd have a hard time making it up.  So I went for a run.  It was faster than my runs have been lately.  I think it's because it was an evening run (which I prefer).  There were a couple times during that run (only 3 miles) that I wanted to stop as well.  I didn't, but man, 2 runs in a row where I just didn't have the energy to finish. . . well, I did, because I did finish, but still. . .
Today is supposed to be cooler and rainy, so even though it's normally a rest day, I'm planning on running 7 miles.  (Ugh! 7 miles in the middle of the week, it's only going to get worse.) #marathontraining 

This Friday we're going to eastern WA for 5 days.  I don't know how that will affect my running.  Luckily it's a scale back week, so if I miss my long run, I'm missing 10 miles instead of 14 (I've never ran 14 and that's on the schedule for next week, scary!!).  I'll see what the terrain is like where we're going and what the weather is like.  Eastern WA is much hotter than western WA, so my refusal to run above 75 degrees, may be detrimental.  I'll let you know.  ; )