Lessons Learned, Eleven Miles Later

1. My official night before run meal needs to be spaghetti and meatballs. Rice doesn’t work, bread doesn’t work. Mr. E can get all up in my mix with his science talk about how all carbs are the same blah blah blah, but spaghetti and chicken meatballs works better than anything else at giving me energy the next day.
2. After much experimentation, I’ve now set my official before run breakfast at half a Carrot Cake Clif Bar, oranges, yogurt, and oatmeal with brown sugar and coffee with sugar. As much of it as I can eat. (I had about half or 1/3 of my oatmeal, three orange slices, and half the yogurt).
3. I officially love my Camel bak. SO much better than carrying a water bottle. I love love love it. I’m mad at myself that I waited so long to get it. Best 29.95 I ever spent. And no shoulder aching! Yeah!
4. The extra one hundred calories for an extra Gu are so worth it (I used two total). When I get that weird “hmmm” in the back of my head, I need to eat my Gu RIGHT THEN, rather than waiting for a preset mile marker to go past. And don’t make fun of me, but something about running along eating a Gu makes me feel like SUCH AN OFFICIAL RUNNER! I am hard core, ya’all! I am eating energy gel cuz I am running so damn far!!! I am a loser, I know it. But when that voice in the back of your head says “You can barely run four miles! You’ll never be able to run ten miles” and then work and work and work and lo and behold, one day you run eleven miles, well, you feel like you achieved something incredible and pulled some sort of con, all at the same time. And somehow the Gu thing makes me feel more like a real runner and less like a poser. I feel…proud of me. That is a rare feeling.
5. I need to run on a smooth (non gravel surface). My hip joints did hurt this week, but not so bad I couldn’t keep going. The pea gravel I ran on last week is deadly.
6. If something doesn’t work right, even if other people swear by it, keep trying other options. My best friend swears by Wrightsocks to prevent blisters, and they just don’t work for me. However, the Asics Kayano Extreme socks recommended by Runner’s World are the bomb! 11 miles and no blisters. Usually I have blisters from four miles. Love love love these socks. They are expensive, but totally worth it. Also, just in general, I really really really like Asics products. I have an Asics long sleeved running shirt that wicks and is the softest thing ever, and I love it.
7. Number One Lesson Learned? I had a terrible 10 miles last week. My worst run, ever, practically. I got so freaked out and depressed and stressed out after it that I didn’t even want to blog about it or think about it. Now I’m 99.99% certain it was because I went out running too fast. It didn’t even occur to me, for some reason, that I was just running too fast, especially at the beginning of my run. Maybe I am out of practice at this because I do so much speed work during the week and so much of it is on the treadmill and I am used to trying to make myself go faster, but that’s not the point of the long run. Even if it were, I’m not a fast runner, esp since I’m so short, and the only way I can get through long runs, especially ones I do outside, is to remind myself every 30 seconds to slow down. Yesterday I had my IPOD but I was really running to a constant mental soundtrack that went “slow down, slow down, slow down”. And it was awesome. I had a great great run. I felt tired afterwards, but a good tired. Like I could have run 2 more miles. Like I could run a half marathon if I wanted to.

13 miles, I’ll see you in two weeks. Full of spaghetti and ready to kick ass.

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