Yesterday I ran 18 miles and I was reminded of something very important. Fueling and hydrating properly in the days leading up to a long run is so very important. It was still raining in the morning so I decided to re-arrange my day a bit. I spent the morning sipping coffee and cuddling with the doodle which was pure bliss, and then got some freelance work and invoicing stuff done.

a perfect morning

a perfect morning

the usual

the usual

By 1:30 in the afternoon I was ready to attempt my 18 miler. The rain had dwindled down to just a drizzle but the wind was still pretty intense.

23 mph winds!

23 mph winds!

I drove to my favorite long run route which goes along the boardwalk and to the Verrazano Bridge.

routeI’ve been able to make each loop about 7.5 miles now by going a little further past the end of the boardwalk on both ends so I only had to do two loops to get to 15 miles and then did some short out and backs for the last 3 (so I could be near my car in case I felt I needed to stop early).

My first 3 miles were into the headwind and while I felt like I was struggling I was actually keeping a good pace.

That's the Verrazano behind me. =)

That’s the Verrazano behind me. =)

For miles 3-6, I had the wind at my back which was awesome. Overall I kept around 10:45-11:20 min miles for the first 7 1/2 miles. But somewhere around mile 8 or 9 I noticed my legs cramping up. I even stopped a few times to stretch which I don’t ever do. The water fountains along the boardwalk were still on so I took a few sips every few miles and I took a few honey stinger chews every 5-6 miles. But the damage was done. The second half of my run was painful. But I never gave up. I walked a little and shuffled a little but I just kept going until my Garmin hit 18. I tried to focus on how easy it was to cover 18 miles as far as my lungs were concerned. I never had breathing issues. The cool weather definitely helped. It was just the leg cramping that I struggled with.

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18  miles is far!

18 miles is far!

I was so happy to be done. I was on the verge of tears at mile 16.5 and wanted to stop but I really sucked it up to finish and I am so proud of myself for that.

IMG_8402After 3 hours and 39 minutes I got in the car, blasted the heat and headed home. Man was I shivering like crazy. This morning I’m feeling super tight and sore…..especially my calves, and hamstrings.

Next weekend I have my back to back half marathons (Rock n Roll Brooklyn Half and Staten Island Half) so I am going to focus on all the important stuff this week….stretching, foam rolling, hydrating and fueling with more nutrient dense foods and less crapola.

Oh and a big thank you to my amazing sister-in-law Sharon who sent me a new iPod Shuffle after reading that I lost mine. Thank you! What a perfect early birthday gift. =)

Have you ever had muscle cramps?

How do you keep your electrolytes in check for long runs?

Do you like the taste of water? 

 

 

10 Comments

  1. Nice working pushing through to hit your 18! I need to do some serious foam rolling and stretching this week too.

    I get muscle cramps from time to time, especially if I take a break from running and am just starting back at it. I depend on GU to keep my electrolytes happy on long runs. I also drink Nuun a lot, though mostly when I’m not running because I don’t want to put anything other than water in my hydration bladder.

    Plain water is alright, it’s better with lemon juice added :)

  2. Awww, what a cute dog you have!! Great job on pushing through that long run! I haven’t had muscle cramps really, but I do have totally sore glutes on my long runs and I always describe that as “my a$$ is on fire!!”.
    Don’t long runs look REALLY long when you see them mapped out like that! yikes. :)
    I do like plain water a lot and only train with that. When I’m racing I’ll take a little bit of Gatorade at the fluid stations just because I feel like I should!

    • Yes! When I look at the mapped route I can’t believe I covered that much distance. Same goes for the watch when I see I was running for 3 1/2 hours! Ah sore glutes. Yup my right one is still sore today. I think it’s actually top of my hamstring.

  3. good job on getting those 18 done even with the pain. its like once you get to a certain mileage your brain is just like “well we made it this far might as well keep going”. i know i have done that once or twice. good luck with your back to backs this weekend!!

  4. Great job finishing the run despite the leg cramps! I don’t mind the taste of water, but mostly I just guzzle it as often as I can remember and don’t pay attention to the taste.

  5. Great job on pushing through to the finish! Those kinds of runs are what I think of at the end of a long race – how I never gave up.

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