Wednesday, March 3, 2010

14 miles and still alive to blog about it

So the day after the blog post you see below (ps. Sorry for the emo-ness of it all, but sometimes you just gotta blog and make cheesy but rather accurate metaphors to get all those “feelings” out….) I ran 14 miles.

14 miles is the longest I have ever run in my life, and, frankly, it wasn’t that bad. In fact, it was pretty good.

I woke up early that Saturday morning- around 7- got ready, ate some cereal, filled my water bottle, gather my energy bars, and hit the road to Shelby Farms.

NOTE- there are some people who cannot eat before exercising. I am not one of those people. While I probably couldn’t eat an entire thanksgiving meal or Huey Burger pre-workout without vomming, cereal/oatmeal/eggs/sandwich/granola bar/fruit (anything relatively light in size and general texture—does that even make sense? I don’t know) are just fine pre-workout. Pre-workout equals anywhere from an hour to right before my workout- FYI. If eating pre workout makes you nervous, try starting with a granola bar or a little bit of apple sauce. If you (me) are going to be running long distances, you have to get used to eating while running because your body needs fuel. From what I have read, what and when you eat on a long run really depends on the individual. As I figure out what works for me, I will share. Duh.
Anyway, my 14 mile run. I ran out at Shelby Farms sans Luna. I just didn’t think jumping into 14 miles was a good idea for her. I’m relatively sure she could handle it, but I want to work her up to the long runs (and make sure I can get her proper access to water along the way- her safety and health are number one).

Anyway again- back to the run- I ran the Tour D’Wolf (6 miles) twice and then tacked on 2 miles at the end, like I did on my 8 mile run from a little bit ago.

There were a few things that made this run particularly enjoyable.

1.The weather was perfect. Just the right temperature, partly cloudy (too much sun= squinty eyes and sunburn).
2.The perfect weather meant there were lots of dogs out and about. I got to smile at lots of dogs which made the run seem less long. A sweet puppy-semi jumped on me and left a muddy paw-print on my pants. This made me really happy for some strange reason.
3.I found a secret passage.

Eeeeeeeeeee! Excitement! Let me tell you about this secret passage. At mile 4 ¼ into the trail, there is this gap in a fence that you have to run through. This gap is ALWAYS varying degrees of muddy. From squishy to standing water. Mostly, some level of standing water is involved. AND- because the muddy area extends from about 20 feet in front of the gap in the fence to about 10 feet after this gap, there is nowhere to go but right through the mud.
Well, that USED to be how it was til I found my secret passage, my hidden jewel, my sanctuary of awesomeness. To the left of the muddy area that is in front of the gap in the fence, there is a tree that fell over some time ago. In my desperation to not have wet shoes for 10 miles, I inched my way to investigate what looked like it could be some other footprints. I climbed over this tree and what did I find???? THE REAL MILE 4 ¼ OF THE TRAIL. How do I know this, you ask? Because the 4 ¼ mile marker was there! From what my St. Mary’s/Georgetown education has enabled me to discern, this tree fell many moons ago, thus making the gap in the fence SLASH redirecting of the trail necessary. However, the trail on the other side of the tree is NOT muddy at all. And you can see puppy paw prints in the ground. This real/old part of the trail meets up with the fake/new part of the trail about 50 feet down the way where the fence ends. For the visual- the old trail runs along the left of the fence, and the new trail runs along the right of the fence. The fence is pretty much hidden by trees and bushes though. FANTASTIC. It really made my day. I am not kidding. If you ever run with me, I will show you all its secretness.

In other news, after mile 6, when I looped around to start the trail again, I stopped by my car to drink some water and eat a Cliff bar. The water was perfect, but my mouth really didn’t want to eat the Cliff bar. I am thinking of investing in Gu because chewing doesn’t seem high on my list of priorities mid-run.
Besides that, it was a great run. I even pushed myself on the last mile. My time was about 2:20 -2:30 which is right for me. I am a 10 minute miler and have always been. That will probably get better over the years, but, for my first real try at a marathon, I will stick with my 10 min mile goal.

Tonight is 16 miles. My schedule was de-railed slightly because of a CRUISE. Don’t worry- the 16 mile run and the cruise will suffer HUGE dumps of blog.

ultra love.

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