I woke up Sunday morning at 4:30 and started my (newly formed) pre-run routine:
- Wake an hour before I need to leave
- Start drinking a glass of water
- Eat my PB, Nutella, Banana on an English Muffin Sandwich
- Fill up my water bottles, drop a Nuun in one
- Pack my belt with gels and Nuun
- Tape the nips
- Body glide
- Suit up
- Wait for the remainder of the hour for nature to take course
The GP Runners had a group of four planning to head out at 6:30 for 10 miles. My plan was to get out an hour earlier and get 5-6 miles in before meeting up with the rest. I managed about 4 miles with plenty of walking and stretching.
I met up with the group and we headed out. We took two breaks, the first was 2 miles in, so we could stretch. The other was at mile 7 when we stopped at one runner’s house. She had set up a large water dispenser and a bunch of bananas. I stuck with the water and dropped another Nuun.
By the end of the GP runner portion of the run, we had actually gone just short of 11 miles at a consistent 9:30 pace. For the first time, I looked at my GPS to see I was at 15.5. Only 3.5 more miles? Totally doable! I said my goodbyes and headed out to quickly wrap this up…just kidding. A few minutes in, I realized I needed a pit stop. I thought I could run home real quick, but it was a mile away. Luckily a Starbucks was nearby and rather than chancing it, I ran in.
Feeling better, I continued on a small loop around the house for the last 3 miles.
- Tired (obviously)
- Soreness in my knees, but not too bad
- Legs muscles immediately started to tighten up
- Not hungry or thirsty (good signs, I think)
I had two gels during this run. Around mile 9, I tried one of the Chia Surge Gels from Vitalyte. It was easy on the stomach and seemed to do the job. It didn’t taste that great. It was pineapple-orange and I’m not a big fan of fruit-flavored gels. Also, it was definitely made with chia seeds. It felt like I was swallowing fish eggs. I tried not to let it linger in my mouth and instead, gulped it down. If you can’t stomach gels like GU or Hammer, they’re definitely worth a try.
Gel #2 was an Espresso Hammer Gel, my old stand-by. I only wish I had taken it a little sooner. It would have been more of a help, but I didn’t realize I was a mile further into my run than planned. I’m slowly forming my gel strategery for Detroit.
No cramps was a plus. I’ve only encountered a leg cramp once, during last April’s Let’s Move half. I felt a slight twitch and immediately downed the rest of my HEED, which worked at warding it off. I’ve been consistently taking at least one tab of Nuun on these long runs (two this time) and I think its working.
In two weeks I have my 20-miler. After that, I start my taper. I’m welcoming it, despite regretting that I did not get nearly as miles in as I had hoped. I just really need some time opened up for the rest of my life.