Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Long, Hot, and Slow

Yesterday was my first long run in a long time --- one where I pushed myself to go significantly longer than my previous long run and also the first where I needed to think about fluid/nutrition intake on the run (8 miles). It's funny, there was a point in my marathon training where it felt like "8 is the new 5" - that is, not really a long run at all - but right now 8 is the new 12. Or 14.

The first two miles were hard (it was already 90 degrees when I started and I was feeling tight and sore), then the middle four miles felt great, and then the last two miles were hard again. Here's what I learned from the day.

1) I tried out Clif Shot gel for the first time. I'm a big fan of Clif products as a rule, so I had been wanting to try this anyway, but it's also what will be offered at the Women's Half that I'm doing. A win! It tasted good and I had no tummy troubles afterwards.

2) Early last year I had bought a Nathan hand-held bottle, looking for something lighter than what I was using.
When I used it the first time it seemed like a lot spilled out, so I assumed I had a faulty one and wrote to the company asking for a replacement, which came promptly. But then I got pregnant and didn't use it. Now, over a year later, I tried out the replacement. The liquid didn't so much spill out as shoot out, which made me realize that was the design --- it's made to be easy to drink from while running. You just have to make sure to hold it upright (and not squeeze it) when not drinking from it. Once I got used to that I really liked having it. It's possible to buy a small attachment for it to allow for holding gels and I might do that.

3) About halfway through my run I came close to a water fountain and questioned whether I should stop, take a drink, and fill up my bottle. I still had 1/2 a bottle left so I didn't and continued on. Note to self: if you're asking the question, the answer is YES.

4) Same thing with the walk breaks. Take them early, on schedule, and you might be able to skip some at the end. Skip them early (especially in this heat) and you're almost guaranteed to have to take extra later on.

So, not an easy run, but a good one. I finished strong, and felt of good mind throughout. These first long runs of the season are about learning what you need to do (training the mind) as much as about training the body to run long, so, success!


  1. Whoa!! Long run on such a hot day? Go you!! I usually "phone in" distance runs on hot days (see: under-training for a 10 mile race). Seriously- go you!!

    1. Oh, believe me, if I weren't attempting a half in three weeks I would not have bothered!

  2. Cool! Which half? (I mean, which race, not, like... the first half or the second half... it's early. No coffee yet)

    1. The Chicago Women's Half, put on by Fleet Feet and the American Heart Association. It's the first year for it here in Chicago, and it replaces the Fleet Feet Women's 5/10K Festival (which I'm sad about, but happy to have a women's only half, especially early in the season).