i think all i did yesterday was sleep (a lot), eat (a lot) and run (a lot). it was pretty awesome, actually. because i have next week off (!!!!!), i didn’t have to run to the grocery store or do all of my typical prep for the week up ahead. this allowed for copious amounts of sleep, which was wonderful.
i really did dive back into bed after initially blogging at 8 am! to be honest, i think i was a little hung over from a party i attended the night before. i don’t think i drank alllllllll that much, but i wasn’t really keeping track of the beaujolais i kept ‘refreshing’ into my plastic cup (yes, classy). so going back to bed was a good idea, and i only emerged from the covers at 11 because i knew we had a brunch date with friends.
after digesting my delicious sweet-potato soup and pecan/goat cheese/beet/arugula salad, i headed out for my 14-mile run. i wore a new pair of brooks glycerin 5s, and the temperature was up to 45 or so which was a huge improvement on the morning’s 23. i guess i was rewarded for my laziness (and therefore maybe even my haphazard drinking?) with a great run. i still need to work on calibrating my polar — i chose a 1.5 mile stretch to set it and i thought i had it right, but now it is erring on the ‘nice’ side, telling me that i am faster than the mile markers attest to. honestly, i’d rather have it the other way around so i can be pleasantly surprised and not disappointed at races!
i think my average pace was something like ~9:00/mi, but i can’t be sure. i know that my last couple of miles were in the 8:30-8:40/mi range, and i felt very strong towards the end. it was actually starting to get dark (just after 5pm!) and running in twilight always feels super-fast and smooth to me. if someone had asked me to finish with an extra 6 miles, i could have done it without a problem — distance (and NOT SPEED!) is really my strong point. i actually felt the best in the last few miles of my run.
yesterday, an anonymous reader asked about fuel, so i thought i’d expand on that a little. i actually do not do that many runs with ‘fuel stops’ when training for a half marathon. however, anything 12 or more i tend to want to stop and drink/eat midway. i generally like to just make one stop, unless it is super hot and therefore my water needs are higher. i am weird in that i refuse to carry water or a fuel belt — it would bug me the entire time! so, i break my runs into pieces with a ‘snack break’ in the middle.
when i’m feeling hard-core, i use gels. i like the hammergel brand because they are not too gooey. ‘gu’ and most powergels make me want to barf. i can only deal with fruit flavors, and specifically my preferences are hammergel raspberry or apple cinnamon. when i want caffeine (ie, in a race), i force down the orange powergels that are caffeinated.
when i’m not feeling hard-core (and currently, i’m not), i use whatever is hanging around that has some carbs and protein in it. sometimes i’ll use part of a clif bar, other times something random like pretzels or crackers. yesterday i brought this lovely lance peanut-butter cracker pack with me and ate 2 crackers mid-run (after 8 miles) and 2 at the end. i pretty much only drink water unless it’s a race and then i sometimes turn to gatorade in later miles when the thought of any solid fuel is nauseating.
if i am doing longer runs (ie, 16 – 22 miles for marathon training), i typically make 2 stops for water/re-fueling. usually after mile 6-8 or so and then after around 12-14 to get me to the end. i definitely notice a ‘kick’ after downing a gel or other carbohydrate source and cannot imaging doing these kinds of distances without anything.
anonymous, hope that helps! i like being treated as some sort of running authority (even though i’m not!), so if anyone else has any questions, please feel free!
i just have to point out that i’m about to leave for my LAST CALL of 2008. HOORAY!