Aye Carumba! What a run! I took off for my long run with the thermometer reading 37F and a light rain falling, not exactly inspirational weather. My friend and I ran/walked the first 3.5 miles slowly and then she turned back for home while I headed on up the mountain alone. TOTALLY alone, I didn't see another person for hours! Fortunately, the rain stayed a drizzle so it wasn't too muddy or slippery, which was good since some of the hills were so steep I had to go up sideways.
Incidentally, going up and down hills sideways seems to be an excellent way to strengthen the sides of the hips because mine are complaining loudly today, LOL.
I also did a food experiment. I had made oatmeal raisin cookies for hubby's work and saved back a few. About an hour into the run I was getting really hungry so I had one cookie and quickly decided the second one didn't need to hang around in my pocket and inhaled that one too, LOL. They really stuck with me and didn't upset my stomach, but I have a sneaking suspicion that too much blood and energy was drawn to my stomach for digestion. I did do a caffeinated gel about an hour later and ate a piece of cheese with about an hour left to go. It all just seemed a bit heavy and unnecessary, although in some ways better because it wasn't as sickening sweet as the gels can be. I wish I could find a happy medium! (Please post suggestions in the comments if you have any!)
Unfortunately, I had a rough week and was wiped out tired before I even left the house, plus my quads were really sore from doing squats with a 24# kettle ball in CrossFit, so it was a tough run. Most went well, but the last 2 miles home really stunk and it was hard to convince myself to run much of it. I also paused my Garmin when I stopped to pull up the map and forgot to restart it so I'm not exactly sure how far I ran, but my best estimate from looking at the map and my splits is 15.7 miles in 4:31. When I came through the front door I gingerly lowered myself to the floor to do some stretches and relax my back. When the stench of rain soaked, sweaty runner hit my daughter it sent her fleeing! Hehehehehehehe.
This was my first run with my new 70 oz. Camelbak. It was very comfortable, didn't bounce around, and gave me the extra water I needed for the longer haul. I was getting low by the time I got to the hikers rest area on the way back, but never ran out and it was easy to refill and get back on the trail. I wasn’t sure I would like all that on my back, but I think it was actually easier than having it on my waist. I do wish there was one more pocket, but I’m sure I can work something out for more carrying space when it is too warm for my jacket and I lose those pockets. (Camelbak makes them with more pockets, but our selection on base is limited and I didn’t want to wait on a mail order.)
I’m feeling good about my 4+ hour runs and will do one more of at least 15 miles next week. The following week will be a Half marathon as a fall back week (Hahahahahaha) and a time trial for the marathon. I don’t plan to push hard, I just want to see what I have gained or lost in the way of strength, speed, and endurance. I won’t do CrossFit the week before the Half, preferring not to go into the race with sore, quivering muscles. After that I’ll keep up with CrossFit twice a week for another 3 weeks and then concentrate on running for the 6 weeks before the marathon. The general consensus when adding strength training to marathon training to to stop 6 weeks out.
If I didn't say it enough in my last post, I LOVE MY MERRELL TRAIL GLOVES!!! I'm looking forward to the weather warming up enough to wear them without socks and see how that goes. My plan is to have the option of running barefoot on the roads and through the villages in China if the surface is good and the sun hasn't baked the asphalt too much. A couple of years ago I was contacted about visiting China to do barefoot running clinics. The point was to show rural Chinese children that they don't need special shoes to run, just a will to do it. Of course, I didn't have the time or finances to pop over to China on my own dollar, but I have heard lots of kids come out to jog with the runners and I think they would get a kick out of someone being barefoot. So, I want to be able to pop my shoes on and off as needed without having to mess with socks as I'm sure I will need them on the Wall itself. (I will need to find a way to carry them easily, once again, open to suggestions :-)
I feel beat up from the week's mileage, but my RA is behaving. I still feel like I have a head cold, but the Koreans have started burning the rice fields for spring planting so it is probably just the pollution in the air. At least on the trails I’m not sucking on exhaust fumes!!!