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!


  1. I used Margarita shot bloks when doing long runs- they have more sodium and that helped a lot

    1. I've heard those are good, I will have to try them! Too bad they aren't actually alcoholic though. ;-)

  2. Awesome job for getting out there and doing it! Thanks for the I for the paragraphs about the shot blocks and other things. I am assuming that I'm going to have to possibly look into something as my half marathon training picks up and I start getting into 9 and 10 mile runs. (Probably should start eating before I run too. Hahahaha)

    1. Thanks MaryFran! I noticed when I was training for my first half a few years ago that I needed fuel for anything over 8 miles. And remember to take it early. Right now I am eating 3 of the honey stingers at mile 5 or 6 and then every couple miles after. If I don't start early enough I am really dead at about mile 8 or 9 and then have a hard time finishing.

      And yes, you need to be eating something beforehand with the long runs. I figure I need something before a run if it's over 5 miles. But then, I like running in the afternoon, so it's usually easy for me to do that, but I'm finding with my morning runs I have to force myself to eat something.