One of my most favorite “blends”, Erica, is in the midst of a full-marathon training adventure. As I’ve been following her progress (you should too!) and watching her bust through barriers and comfort zones, I’ve become even more motivated to break through my own personal comfort zones.
That motivation led me to running 14 miles on Sunday. After running what will soon be my 4th half-marathon, you would think (at least I did) if you’re already running 13.1 miles, what’s another .90? Seems logical to me! But this is where the old adage of “mind over matter” really rings true. I friggen HATED that .90 miles! ha ha
I should be more specific—I hated it DURING the run. Afterwards I felt pretty like I could take on the world. With that being said—I’ve had this nagging urge to do a full marathon for quite a while—I’ve just never gotten the “stones” to sign up for one. With how I felt during these 14 miles, I’m not sure I would have the heart to get through 26.2! (sad I know!) But before I make that judgment call, I’ll have to try running it again and see how it feels.
On to the run:
The night before I made sure to take good care of myself. Drank plenty of non-beer/wine fluids. Made sure to eat plenty for dinner. I even wore my new Zensah compression socks around the house for a little bit:
I first heard about these socks on Erica’s blog, and it just so happened that I won a pair in a giveaway! They came on Saturday morning, and since I’ve never tried anything compression before, I thought I’d give them a whirl while I bopped around the house. (I wore them during the run as well)
The morning of, I decided I needed to eat a bit more than just my typical banana. My energy levels have been lagging during long runs, and I’m trying to find ways to increase it. I decided to have a strawberry smoothie. It sat well with me during my last 11 mile run, so I thought I’d give it a shot again. I also stocked up my fuel belt with water and raisins for my adventure.
As I headed out the door I was being mindful of how my snazzy new socks felt because I wanted to be able to share the experience with you guys! I find my inward commentary quite funny during runs.
The first part of my run, the thoughts went something like this:
- “Oh boy, is this a mistake?!”
- “What’s up compression socks?! Why aren’t floating like a butterfly?!”
- “Crap—I’m only 3 miles in and feeling it—I HATE running!”
I honestly don’t start settling in to a grove until around the 4-5 mile marker, and I’ve consistently noticed in my splits that between the 6-7 mile marker is usually my fastest mile. After that, it tapers off a tad bit, but then by the very end I completely crap out. Perhaps this is a fueling issue?
Between mile 8 and 9, I started to feel myself lagging and decided to walk a bit so I could drink some water and eat some of my raisins. I felt better, but I was definitely slowing down. I’m thinking I need to start fueling myself BEFORE I start lagging, perhaps around mile 4 and then again at mile 8. (Do any of my readers have any thoughts on this?)
Anyway, from there it sort of went down hill. It was getting close to 11am and the temperature was starting to rise. I was hot, and had run out of water around mile 11.
In the spirit of full disclosure – I ran home for mile 12, popped in to pee (TMI, I know) and refill my water. Hey—after seeing that news story of the runner being video taped pooping in a yard, I wasn’t about the drop trou somewhere for a number 1!
I immediately went back out to finish the last two miles. I must say—it was brutal. I was hot, tired, my legs were jello. And I half wondered to myself if I would have been better off not going potty and getting more water and just gutted it out. But then I was risking dehydration (and peeing my pants!).
When it was all said and done, I was practically crawling to the finish of my 14 miles! But when it was over, I was so happy I had done it! I’d venture to say I even got a little cocky:
I definitely want to get faster the next time around, but all in all I’m glad I mentally broke through that barrier of only ever doing 13.1 as my distance. I looked at this as an incredible learning experience! So I’m pretty excited about that! I now have things that I will try differently the next time around.
So how did the socks perform? Uh….. Not only do they look friggen awesome (who doesn’t love argyle), but I definitely noticed a difference during AND after the run. My calves are usually on fire while doing my cool down, but this time they weren’t. They were definitely tired, but not so unbearable that I just wanted to get off my feet.
I also noticed that the extra cushioning made my feet happy! I usually end up having some sort of arch aches or Achilles tendon pain or losing a toe nail, but I had none of that at all during this run. And my feet/calves weren’t nearly as sore the next day.
I’m pretty sure I’m going to want to wear these for every run now. They’ll be my girl version of a lucky jock strap.
Are you superstitious about your runs? Is there one article of clothing or one item you MUST wear? If so what is it?