Saturday, July 25, 2009

18 Miles? No Problem!

North end of Cheshire random run: Temperature range from start to finish: 59 degrees to 69 degrees. Splits 9:43; 10:11; 9:46; 10:09; 10:23; 10:23; 10:10; 10:28; 10:34; 10:50; 9:48; 11:08; 10:38; 10:14; 9:51; 10:20; 10:12; 9:39... 3:04:28 total for 18 miles; 10:14 per mile pace.
(WARNING: Post-run runner's high still in effect. This post is all over the place)

I woke up at 4 a.m. today, determined to be out of the house and on the road by 5 a.m. (side note: I started running at 5:20..OOPS!)so that I could beat the scheduled 85 degree temperature and humidity. I ate my normal breakfast of 2 english muffins with Smart Balance Light and strawberry jelly, downed a big cup of coffee, and started packing both "tool belts" with my 18 mile runner's survival kit: 2 bottles of ice cold water, and 2 bottles of water mixed with Hammer Nutrition's unflavored "Sustained Energy" powder. I left one tool belt with a bottle of Sustained Energy and a bottle of water in my garage for the halfway point of my run. The Sustained Energy comes in 85 gram packets, and I mixed each one with about 20 oz. of water. Here's the info. about it:* Enjoy sustained energy hour after hour.
* Easy to digest.
* Reduce muscle fatigue & recovery time.
* Gluten-Free and Vegan Friendly.
* Contains no MSG.

"One of the original long distance fuels, Sustained Energy has attained a legendary status in the world of endurance sports since its introduction in 1992. Tested and proven in virtually every endurance event on the planet, Sustained Energy's unique 7:1 carbohydrate to protein ratio, and it's neutral flavor, is still the first choice of thousands of athletes. After about two hours of exercise you need to have some protein in your fuel or you will start to cannibalize or break down precious muscle tissue."
Well, I certainly don't want to "cannibalize" my muscle tissue, do I?! I also downed my favorite energy gel, a Vanilla Bean flavored GU Energy Gel the recommended 15 minutes before I started running, and sucked down 2 more at about the recommended 45 minute and 1 1/2 hour intervals of my run. I regretted not having more of them on me. Instead I tried, for the first time, a tangerine flavored PowerBar gel, at about the 2 1/4 hour part of my run. It has 50 mg, or 2 times the normal caffeine of other gels, or so they claim. All I can say about it is "YUCK!" It tasted horrible, and I literally gagged it down. I also have it in double latte flavor, so to be fair I'll try that flavor at some point. Both were freebies at the Petit 5K Race, so at least I didn't spend any money on them.
Today's run was the first time in my Jeff Galloway training plan that I was supposed to run less and walk more. What I mean is that up until today, my "Long Ones" as he calls them, consisted of me running for a mile (approximately 8 1/2 to 9 minutes), and walking for a minute. Starting today, I was supposed to cut back to running for 5 minutes, and walking for a minute. Galloway's reasoning is that "These walk breaks shift the use of the muscles before they get over-fatigued. You'll have better muscle response late in the run and will recover faster.. There is NO reduction of endurance when you take walk breaks." Well, he's right. Twelve days ago I ran 16 miles with a walk break every mile, and averaged a 10:18 per mile. Today, with the more frequent walk breaks I averaged a 10:14 per mile pace. More walking resulted in a faster per mile pace overall!! OK fellow bloggers, if you haven't realized it by now, then I'll repeat myself: I LOVE THIS MARATHON TRAINING PLAN. The miles go by quicker and easier, and I find myself focusing on my Garmin and the 5 minute and 1 minute intervals, rather than on how far I've run and how many miles I have left. Come on...all of us can certainly run for 5 minutes and walk for a minute repeatedly, right?! Talk about something to look forward to..even left brain was OK with this training run today. You know from my last post how difficult left brain can be!
Between properly hydrating myself (Proud of me Lindsay?!), the GU gels, and the frequent walk breaks, I ran well and still feel well. It's 10 hours after my run, and other than a little leg and toes pain, I'm feeling great. How much of this is due to the Hammer Nutrition products and GU Gel I don't know. I have a scheduled 20 miler on August 9th. Maybe I'll run without the Hammer Nutrition products and see if I feel as good as I do right now. In closing, I believe I could have run-walk-run 26.2 miles today. At a 10:14 per mile pace, that would have been a 4:28:41 marathon time. Not bad, and certainly I would be happy if I have that time in NY.


Mel-2nd Chances said...

I'm so glad that training is working for you. If, and this is a BIG IF, I can eventually train for distance again, I will likely need to follow this a little more religiously, and make my left brain come along for the ride. Great job!! Enjoy the rest of the weekend :)

Irish Cream said...

GREAT run! Wow, isn't it wonderful to have a run like that, where you just KNOW you'll be able to do it come day? I know I've said this before, but I am SO glad that Galloway is working out so well for you! You're seriously going to rock NYC! ;)

Burt said...

For the first time, I added in some walk breaks into my 8 miler. I mainly did it because to was so hot. (94f) I curious to see how it will work when heat isnt such a factor. I have also been considering trying some Hammer products. So your post hit right at home for me today.

Anonymous said...

way to go!!! I had my 18 miler on sat too; still need to write the blog about it...but it went great!

Anais said...

omg...18 miles...just thinking about that is making me sweat!!! Good job on going through it effortlessly!! I can't believe that the marathon is coming up so soon!!

lindsay said...

nice job on your 18-miler! i don't think i was even on my out starting mine before you were done!

i wonder how much the gu's help with post-run soreness too... but i'm not about to try a long run without them anymore!

the powerbar gel flavors are hit-or-miss with me too... i much prefer gu myself.

hope you are working on that post-run hydrating too:)