Monday, April 30, 2012

Random thoughts on a "long" run

Scary self-portrait before run - when hope
still sprang eternal.  Like the running medals?
Yeah, they're not mine.  lol
So, my half marathon is in six days, and my last "long run" was done yesterday.  I can't say too much good about it, except that I got it done.  It was only 7.2 miles long, and my pace wasn't too bad overall - generally around 9:45 per mile.  (One longer walk break in the middle to suck down a GU pushed it to 9:52).  Generally speaking, I am supposed to be keeping my long runs to between 10 and 10:30 pace, but I cannot seem to do that.  The result?  I think I am training at what will end up being my race pace.  A real bummer, considering I want to go faster than that by a good 45 seconds per mile.

So, because I am tired and my brain is not firing on all cylinders this morning .... here is a simple list of random thoughts I had from yesterday's run:
  1. I am not trained well enough to get that sub-2:00 PR that I have dreamed about.  Oh sure, I have had a lot of runs - even up to a 10K - with a sub-9:00 pace, but I don't believe that is enough to carry me to a 9:00 pace for 13.1 miles.
  2. I hope the excitement of race day negates what I wrote in #1, but I am not counting on it.
  3. Although I feel I have trained smartly this time around, there is still serious room for improvement.
  4. As soon as I am able after this run, I am going to re-visit the whole speed work thing.  I think it's the key to my improvement and I should not be afraid.
  5. I really regret letting my strength training slide the past couple of months.  I am starting to notice old aches and pains creeping in.  They generally subside with strength training, but come back when I neglect it. I KNOW this, but still find it hard to get into a routine with it all.  (It's hard enough to find time to do the cardio!)
  6. I really need to work on eating more healthfully again.  Veggie burgers and sweet potato fries - while healthier versions of not-so-good food - are still not so good for you, especially the night before a run.
  7. I really need to concentrate on getting good sleep this week - and not burning the candle at both ends, as I seem to be doing a lot lately
  8. I really prefer Clif Blocks to GUs, but GUs are so much more convenient to suck down on the run. I wonder if it would be too gross to just load my running skirt's pockets with Clif Blocks sans bag or packaging - to make for quicker access.  Even putting the Blocks in little baggies still calls for a good deal of fumbling to open the baggies.  Would that get sticky after a while?  Or be too gross to contemplate eating?
  9. Why is it that with the temp at 50 degrees, I still get hot?  Ugh.  
  10. I need a massage.  My muscles are so tight right now that I feel I am walking around like a body builder on steroids (and not because of huge muscles getting in the way - more just from being stiff).
  11. I wonder if I could run in my running skirt commando.... Are they made for that?
  12. I hope the Kalamazoo Marathon knows what it is doing with GU Brew.
Regarding that last one, on yesterday's run I decided to try GU Brew, the beverage they will be serving on the Kalamazoo course, and I have to say that I am a little concerned.  The taste was okay, and I suppose it did what it is supposed to do.  However, mixing it was a PITA.  I admit I did not follow the instructions to a T.  They said to pour the powder into a half filled water bottle and shake.  I poured the mix in first, added the water, and shook...

...And watched as the mix sat on the bottom like sludge...  

...Even after several minutes of working the sludge with a fork to break it up, I was still left with a little chunk that I ended up throwing away, because I was afraid it would clog my water bottle.  Anyway, the stuff just didn't dissolve easily.  I have visions of no electrolyte replacement beverage on the course, because it is sitting like taffy on the bottom of the dispenser buckets.  Oh well.... I am sure I just did it wrong.

So, that's it.   Any thoughts on the above? Please share!

Happy Running!

Picture of the day:
It's kind of nice having E.
be the only girl on her flag
football league.  She's easy
to spot in all her pink.


  1. I think the clif bloks would get sticky. I know on some runs, when i use them or honey stingers, they get mushy by the end just by being in the open bag. Good luck at your half! You may surprise yourself and do the sub-9s and if not, I'm sure itll still be an awesome race!

    1. Thanks, Meg, for the well wishes.... I am more nervous about this race than any in a long time..... Well, at least since the last one. :)

      Yeah, I am thinking the Clif Block in the pocket idea is not a good one. I just wish I could work out a quick access system. I always feel I spend so much time fumbling around with them. I'll keep thinking on it.

      Btw, have fun with your marathon coming up! I love reading your posts, as I am originally from that neck of the woods. :)

  2. I have a lot of random thoughts to your random thoughts. Plain bloks in the pocket equals mess. I tried that with ibuprofen and even it was disgusting when I took it out. Very sweaty. Definitely go commando with your running skirt. That is assuming that it has shorts under it!:) We just redeemed some myofascial massages from a groupon a couple weeks ago. Amazing! He worked out a lot of things that haven't bothered me since the massage. My neck was popping all the time, and now it doesn't. I'm even considering paying full price (gasp!) to go back. It was that beneficial. GU brew sounds gross. I just read recently that lemon-lime is the most popular sports drink flavor because it is usually the one they make in liquid concentrate. Wonder if gu brew has a liquid concentrate? One day a week of strength training (a class that hits the major stuff) has seemed to help me. I'm never sure which new experiment is helping, but as of right now (knock on some major wood) nothing is hurting in my body. Weird. And most important, good luck in the half! I'm visualizing your sub-2 right now.

    1. Thanks, Yo, for all the positive advice and vibes! I think I have definitely decided that the Clif Blocks in the pocket won't work. Pity. I really like them.... I might see what I can come up with for carrying and quick access.... Maybe just suffer through the baggies. I guess if I can manage not to carry a water bottle, that will at least mitigate some fumbling. LOL - the skirt does have shorts under. I might try that on a shorter run this week. GU brew didn't taste so bad - basically like watered down Gatorade (it was a raspberry flavor)... that's funny, because supposedly it has more sodium than Gatorade. Massage is the best! I weedled my way in for one on Thursday - there was obviously a cancellation, and I am so happy. Definitely worth the full price. A lot of places offer deals if you buy a few massages at a time. You could look into that.

      Are you going to do a full race report on Nashville? Hope so, I am looking forward to it!

  3. Regarding your comment on my post about my 10K PR, running never ceases to amaze me... If you want to break up with your PR at some point, I have no DOUBT that it can be done. ...just have to use the Yoda principle of running: Believe, and anything is possible.

    Regarding your post -
    commando is the only way to go...
    cliff blocks loose in a regular sandwich bag is good, if you can't get into it on the run, you can always tear off a corner of the bag. I like to use 2 bags, one for each side of my skirt. ALso then if you drop one bag, you've got a few in the other pocket and can just keep running.

    1. Yoda was wise, but I don't know if he was ever faced with as lazy a pupil as I. :)

      Ok, commando....I will give it a try. The panel inside just looks like it will ride up, and I am not into the thong thing. I'll check it out on a shorter run this week. (Geez, this is more information than I think I have ever shared in over six months of blogging.)

      Will do on the sandwich bag idea, too. I have been doing that, but had they zipped. Duh. I'll leave them unzipped and se how that works. :)

  4. That pic for your header is AMAZING...whre in Wisconsin do you live again? huge Packer fans here ;)

    i just found you off of Annette's blog...a good friend of mine...i just followed you! good Luck on your half!! I am still recovering from hip surgery so not really running yet...but hopefully soon!

    Your daughter playing flag football...Awesome! What a catch!

    1. Hi there! We're in Northeast Wisconsin, a stone's throw from Packerland. It's a crazy, fanatical football area, of course, but we like it.

      I stopped by your blog. The road to recovery does NOT look like it is much fun, but you seem to be doing amazing! I had a hip issue last year that I was able to work through with PT. That's definitely an area I don't want to have to deal with again if I can avoid it!

      Thanks for noticing the picture. I didn't know if anyone really noticed it. It means a lot to me, but others I can imagine not so much. Anyway, it's the turn for the Pikes Peak Marathon and finish for the Half. I did the Half last year and it was one of the most amazing race experiences I have had to date. :)

      Thanks for stopping by!

    2. What was up with your hip? I have been going to my PT for over a year now...I love him! I'm actaully scheduled for another mri in June becasue I can't seem to get over the hump...I starting to get very impatient!

      My husband goes to a packer game every year up there...I'll have to go with him one year ;)

      that is an amazing finish line!!! Would LOVE to run that one day! Is it the finish for hte marathon as well?