Thursday, September 24, 2015

20 freaking miles is a long way!

Last Sunday I ran 20 miles.  And it was very hard.  I finished with extremely sore legs and feet and had problems walking anywhere.  I changed my fueling technique as well, so that may have contributed a little.  The reason I changed it was because I was eating 3 Honey Stingers every 2 miles starting at mile 5, and during my 18 mile run I felt great.  However, when I got done, I spent 3 hours in the bathroom on the toilet, and I wondered if it was the amount of Honey Stingers I ate.  Not to mention, having to stop mid-run to poo.  Lots of people have to stop mid-run, but it was a first for me, so it got me thinking about what caused it. 

During my 20 mile run, I ate 1 Honey Stinger every mile starting at mile 7.  A few times I felt really fatigued, so I ate 2 at those times.  And I had no bathroom issues afterwards, but I was tired, really tired.

I also had sore legs for the first time in years.  And on my 5 mile run yesterday, my feet still hurt, not plantar faciitis hurt, but fatigue hurt (thankfully). 

All of this has me questioning again if I can actually run 26.2 miles.  I have not followed the training plan I have been using.  I have consistently skipped 3-8 miles weekly, never my long run, but usually my mid-long run, I only run 5 or less miles instead of 8 or 9.  I just have a hard time wanting to run over an hour after I get home from work in the middle of the week.  I've thought about doing the mid-long run on Saturdays, but then I'm running 8 or 9 miles right before my long run, and I didn't think that would be good for my feet. 

I'm using Hal Higdon's novice marathon training, and it stops long runs at 20, saying that if you can run 20, then you can run 26.2, but I've never been convinced of that.  So I added a couple extra weeks and have a 24 mile run in a week and a half.  Which I'm super worried about now.  But I think if I can run 24 miles, I can run 26.2 miles.  And I'm hoping that since I added the extra long run, it will make up for the lack of mid-long runs.  (I hope.) 

I have been leaving my house for long runs around 10 or 12 and I really don't like leaving that late, I keep thinking while I'm running that if I had started earlier, I'd already be done.  So this run I was going to start at 8am.  I wasn't going to procrastinate, I was going to do it.  I went to bed at my normal weekly bedtime (sometime between 8:30pm and 9) and woke up at my normal weekly wake up time, 5am.  I drank my coffee, ate my eggs, drank water (3 water bottles), used the bathroom, a couple times, and I was ready at 8, just like I planned. 

I really did like doing it so early, not to mention that the marathon starts at 8 anyway, so that means I should try to get used to it anyway. Except for my marathon, I will have to travel an hour before getting there, so I will have to get my coffee, food and water all in very, very early. 

So, 20 miles.  For whatever reason that number is crazy to me.  18 miles was crazy, but 20 just seems crazier.  Maybe because it's 20 miles.  Anyway, I was thinking rather than wing it and end up having to tack on a bunch of miles at the end, I should actually plan out my route this time.  So I mapped a course on  I knew that if I went to 11.5 miles on the last little out and back at the bottom of that map and then turned around I would have 20 miles when I got to a park where there is water and a bathroom.  I asked Chris if he would pick me up there so I wouldn't have to walk home.  Well, when I got to that out and back, there was a very steep hill in front of me and I decided I wasn't going to climb it, not on legs that had already run 11miles, and had another 9 to go, so I turned around, not thinking it would be that much of a difference.  In my tired brain I thought losing half a mile wasn't that bad, not thinking that I wasn't losing half a mile, but a full mile. 

So I ran to the park where I was going to meet Chris, and when I got there, I still had a mile left.  I was exhausted and just wanted to stop.  I almost did.  But I kept going.  I thought that if I went to where Damian picked me up last week (a 15 mile run) I would be good.  I shot Chris a quick text telling him where I'd be and kept going.  And then I got to that spot and I STILL wasn't done, I still needed a half mile.  I was so tired I wanted to cry.  I wanted to sit down in the car and just stop, but 20 miles was the plan, so 20 miles it was going to be.  Chris had Maddox so he could play in the park he was supposed to pick me up at, so I told him to just go to the park and I'd meet them there. And I turned around and finished my run. 

These two pictures were on a new part of my run, one (top)
was looking at the Skagit Valley. Then I turned around and the
second (bottom) was looking at the hills that create the Valley.
My legs hurt, my feet were killing me.  I was dead.  Completely dead.  I collapsed on the grass and just laid there for a little while so Maddox could play some and then Chris took me home.  I couldn't even take a shower, I had to take a bath, my feet hurt so much. 

The park where I collapsed.

I realized right before I went out to run that I was estimating 3 1/2 hours, which is only about an hour and a half less than it take me to drive to my parent's house. That really is crazy.
It only took me 6 hours or so before I felt good enough to walk without feeling like my feet were going to fall off.  I need, desperately need, new shoes.  I am happy to say I'm getting them tomorrow or Saturday. =) 
 And then the Seahawks played, and lost spectacularly.  =(

This week is the first of my "made up" weeks and I only have 13 miles, but I may run more.  Last week I ran 15 before my jump to 20, in 2 weeks I said I would run 24, so maybe 13 miles isn't enough.  I haven't decided but I'm thinking at least 15 again. 

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

That time I broke into a church

This last weekend was crazy.  It was Labor Day and we didn't have plans, except that we canceled our yard sale we were going to have the weekend before and rescheduled it for this last weekend.  And in true procrastinator fashion we put off getting ready for it. 

I went out for drinks after work on Friday evening and when I got home we watched a little tv.  About 11pm Chris decided to go to bed (late for him because he works Saturdays) and I was annoyed.  I'm sure it was the drinks, I had a glass of wine after getting home and that, on top of what I had while I was out made me a little buzzed.  I was annoyed because nothing had been done with our stuff and Chris was working in the morning and I was forced to set it up all alone and do the yard sale alone.  In true buzzed/girl fashion, I blamed Chris in the moment and he went out to the garage and started . . .well, I don't know what he was doing, I thought he was being an idiot (I'm not saying I was right, just what I thought in the moment).  I told him to go to bed, we got in an argument and then I ended up canceling the yard sale again and moving it to Sunday.  Chris's schedule changed the first of Sept and he now has Sunday and Monday off instead of 3 days in the middle of the week. 

So Saturday was a beautiful day.  Sunny, warm, but not too hot.  I felt guilty for not having the yard sale, but thought, that's okay, we'll do it tomorrow and it will be fine.  And then sometime in the middle of the night I woke up to the sound of very heavy rain.  And then woke up at 6am to rain. Great! rain. 

We set up our 1 canopy and tried to clean out half the garage and put stuff in the garage and under the canopy.  It was horrible.  I think maybe 3 people stopped.  It was supposed to clear up in the afternoon, but I wasn't planning on being out there all morning and afternoon. 

I will pause to say, I went for a run about 12 on Sunday afternoon, but I will get to my run in a min.

We made no money at our yard sale and even though I said I wasn't going to, I decided to put stuff out again on Monday.  We were already set up with stuff on tables, so I figured it wouldn't be as difficult to get it going.  I was right.  We did have more people come by, but it was pretty slim.  Still didn't make much money and I still have a garage full of stuff.  I'm going to Leavenworth with my sister this weekend but Chris said he was going to put stuff out again on Sunday.  His only day off (he's doing overtime right now).  It made for a busy weekend, and a little disappointing.

For whatever reason, I have not wanted to run. The only run I've been really wanting to do is my long runs, and even those are hard for me to go do because I'm so nervous about the new distances.  My middle of the week runs have been extremely hard for me to go do.  In August there was not one week I ran the entire number of miles I was supposed to.  I was 15 miles short of what I was supposed to be for the entire month.  And the middle of the week mid-long runs, yeah, I still have yet to do one over 7 miles.  Even last week, I skipped the 9 miles I was supposed to do on Thursday and ran 5 on Thursday and 3 on Friday (a normal rest day). 

Like I said, though, I have been diligent in doing my long runs on Sunday.  Even on my scale back week while I was on vacation, I still ran 10 miles (on Monday).  So on Sunday I had 18 miles scheduled.  I don't mind running in the rain, and have actually looked forward to my first rain run, but I did not want to run 18 miles in the misty rain that was happening Sunday morning.  I put it off, and put it off, and put it off.  Finally about 11:30 I decided I just needed to go do it.  So I slowly, very slowly, got ready.  Then I realized that I should probably eat something, I had breakfast, but that was a little while ago, and I was headed out for a 3 hour run at lunch time.  So I ate an egg and got out the door about 12pm.

The beginning of the run was hard for me mentally.  I was worried about 18 miles, what if I couldn't do it?  Then I was bargaining in my head, maybe I'll just do 9, maybe just 10.  Last week 12 miles felt fantastic, maybe I'll do 12.  At some point I told myself that if I was going to do 26.2 in just over a month, then I needed to do 18 miles and I needed to shut up and just run.  (By the way, there is a fantastic blog called Shut Up and Run, you should check her out, she's hilarious.)

I followed my fueling plan of 3 Honey Stingers every 2 miles starting at mile 5, plus the Nuun in my water bottle.  And honestly, I think it worked great.  At about the halfway point I felt great.  Thinking about how much farther I had to go, and it didn't scare me.  This was the third time I'd run that route and I knew I could finish it.  I was feeling great. 

I had about 5 miles left, I was feeling great, I was at 13 miles and I ate 3 Honey Stingers, took a swig of Nuun, noting how much I had left (not much) and suddenly it hit.  I had to use the bathroom.  I had to use the bathroom NOW!  I was just getting back into town, to my right was a couple farmhouses and on my left was a nursery, wait, are those restrooms near the offices of the nursery? Yes!! Saved!

Walked across the street, and guess what, locked!  Ugh!  Then up ahead, there was a church.  Churches are nice places, it's Sunday, there's a few cars in the parking lot, they wouldn't turn away someone who really needed to use their bathroom, would they??  I ran to it, and pulled on the front door.  Yay! it was unlocked.  I went inside and it was dark and quiet, it smelled like food, so I wondered if they were having an after church potluck or something.  I called out "hello" a couple times and was looking for the office.  I didn't see an office, but a men's room! yay, that means a woman's room was close.  Around a corner and there it was!  Saved.  I snuck in, did my business and left.  No one ever saw me. 

I finished out my run "easily."  Mile 18, yeah, it was an average 8.47min/mile.  Yes, after running 17 miles, I pulled out a 8.47 min/mile.  I felt great. =)
And then I got home.  And I sat on the toilet for almost 3 hours.  I'm serious.  Everytime I got up, I felt the urge to go sit down again.  It was terrible.  Honestly, terrible.  I didn't get to enjoy my long run treat, an awesome red velvet bundt cake.  Chris got pizza for dinner, which I did eat one piece of, but very carefully.  ; )
I don't know if it was the Honey Stingers, or just because I ran 18 miles.  It was awful.  And such a horrible way to end a great long run.  I also wondered if I didn't drink enough water.  I did a lot of research while sitting on the toilet, and dehydration can lead to diarrhea.  But "runner's trots" is common, I read that 30-50% of long distance runners suffer from it and it's most common in females.  Great! 
This week I'm headed to Leavenworth and it's "only" 14 miles.  My sister wants to leave early on Sunday, so I should have some time when I get home to run.  However, it's also Seahawks opening day, and I want to watch that as well.  

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Not bad

This last weekend my Mom came to town to help me have a yard sale.  My aunt died a few months ago, and my mom has been working on cleaning out her house, that she didn’t live in, that was piled high in stuff, because apparently my aunt was a hoarder, literally.  Anyway, with all the stuff that my Mom has been pulling out of her house, she was going to bring some of it to my house for a yard sale.  We were going to do it on Saturday only.

Then throughout the week the weather was predicted to be rainy.  We haven’t had a lot of rain here for the last 3 months (maybe common for other areas, but I live in western WA, rain is common here, even in the summer).  I decided that even if it rained we were going to go ahead with the yard sale, I’ve been saying I was going to have a yard sale since May and finally scheduled it, my Mom was here, we were having it.
And then Friday night I looked at the weather and it was predicting a major windstorm.  Rain and wind?  Nothing would be dry.  Everything would blow away.  So my Mom and I decided to skip the yard sale.  She left some of her stuff at my house and I decided I would have it this Saturday, which is supposed to be sunny and in the 70’s.  And we had a windstorm.  I guess some places the wind got up to 85 mph, not my house, but not very far away.

We decided to do some grocery shopping instead. So Saturday we went to Walmart, no power, they were turning people away at the door.  Okay, we went to Safeway instead (I like Safeway a lot better anyway).  Then I remembered that I was out of running fuel, so I rushed to the running store to get some, closed, no power.  Ugh!  Then I remembered my Nuun and decided that I would just use that.  I haven’t taken a water bottle on a run “only” 12 miles long, but that was all I had so it would have to do. 
Luckily the wind only lasted Saturday.  I skipped my 5 mile run on Saturday because of it, but didn’t want to skip my 12 mile scale back run on Sunday.

I decided to just run my old long route through town.  I’ve done it so many times it was no big deal.  Although, when I looked at it to make sure it was 12 miles, I apparently looked at the wrong day.  I got to about mile 7 and realized I was only 2 miles from home.  I needed to be 5 miles from home.  Crap! So I had to do some figuring out where I could get another 2 miles in.  I hate adding miles at the end of my run, especially on a route I do regularly.  I like to get the added mileage done early so that I end in the same spot so I trick myself into thinking it wasn’t really longer.  (I don’t think it quite works though.) 
I usually end at a Middle School in the middle of a trail that I’ve run hundreds of times.  It’s a 2 mile trail that I used to run out and back one way and then out and back the other because the road I lived on was in exactly in the middle of the trail.  Well, lately I’ve been ended my runs after only running one mile of that trail, so I knew I could run out and back on the part I haven’t been running much lately and then add a half mile on the end of the out part of the trail to get the extra 3 miles I would need.  I did it and it didn’t suck.
I actually felt good about my run this last weekend.  I wasn't exhausted afterwards like I have been.  I didn't feel the need to crash on my couch for an hour or longer.  And my feet didn't hurt as much.  All good things.  Too bad marathons aren't shorter.  ; )
This week, 18 miles scheduled!  I'm sure my feet will be tired.  I'm sure I will be exhausted.  I'm hoping I have my fuel figured out.