Another hot and humid day in Chicago. Another afternoon run right at the hottest part of the day. I made sure to leave more than enough time for an icebath and shower before dinner, though.
Used a FuelBelt for the first time.
It was unwieldy for the first two miles and then I got used to it. Having it on really made me focus on drinking whenever I felt thirsty and on refilling my bottles every chance I got. For the first time on a long run this summer I felt I got enough water.
I had planned stops for refueling at miles 4, 8, 12, and 16, starting with Gatorade and then gels at the other stops, making sure to take water with the gels. GU strawberry/banana flavor (not as bad as it could have been, I prefer lemon/lime) and Accel Gel lemon/lime. I liked the Accel Gel, it had a slightly chalky feel to it but it was more liquid than the GU, so easier to get down. But in the future I'm going to bring more Gatorade with me (now that I've got my FuelBelt), since after two gels I just couldn't handle anymore, but I need more salt/sugar later in the run.
This was a much more pleasurable run than the last few have been, even though I still had to stop and walk a bit more in the last half than I would have liked. I attribute the improvement to better hydration, nutrition, and a better night's sleep than I usually get.
Despite the rest of my training going to plan, I haven't been able to hit my paces on my long runs. Well, I've hit my heat-adjusted paces, but it just doesn't feel the same --- on a long run those extra minutes really add up. I had a bit of despair about this on my final walk home, hurting, especially since I've signed up to do the CARA 20-mile training run on September 19 at a 11:00 pace (MP+30). But I'll just see what the weather is like that day and adjust accordingly.
Of course, my pace wouldn't matter if I were just looking to finish. But I've really enjoyed my training and have started to have ambitions. Like, maybe someday qualifying for Boston. Mind you, that's a lo-o-ong way off... I'm not even in the age group I hope to qualify for yet.
On the iPod: Fresh Air interviews with Sharon Jones, the creators of South Park, Marisa Tomei, and Jackie DeShannon. Cassandra Wilson's latest album Loverly. Then random songs from my running mix.
Next week --- another 18! At least I don't have to figure out a new route.