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? 

 

 

Seriously, I can’t believe how much food I ate yesterday after getting home from my 17 mile run.

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Let’s rewind to how the day started. I was smacked in the face by the obnoxious alarm clock blaring at 3:45am. I had all my gear laid out the night before so I slathered sunscreen and anti-chafe balm everywhere and then somehow managed to get dressed while not nearly awake. I ate a soft pretzel and took a few swigs of water. Took Duncan out quick to do is biz and then I was on the road by 4:25am.

By 5am I was parking in Brooklyn and meeting up with Lisa and Mike. We had planned to run mostly along the NYC Marathon route. We ran 9/1 intervals (9 running 1 walking) and were keeping sub 11 min miles until hitting the Pulaski Bridge. We didn’t really chat much in the beginning. We just ran and every so often five minutes I would complain about the humidity.

Before we knew it we were in Queens and then Erin joined us at the base of the Queensboro Bridge.

peeps on the QB (we'll be back here at mile 16 on November 1!)

Lisa and Mike on the QB (we’ll be back here at mile 16 on November 1!)

At this point the sun had finally come up and I was finally awake enough so the conversation started to flow as we crossed over the Queensboro and into Manhattan.

FullSizeRender 3The next few miles seemed to fly and I felt pretty comfortable. By mile 8 though, the outside of my left foot started to hurt. This is a spot that has caused me a lot of aching for a long time. I have had peroneal tendon issues on and off since an ankle sprain in 2011. And the outside of the foot is where the tendon attaches. I thought about stopping to prevent further irritation but with our walk breaks I figured I’d be ok.

Erin and Mike somewhere on the east side

Erin and Mike somewhere on the east side

By mile 11 we met up with a couple more friends. The humidity was raging and I think Erin was starting to have some dehydration issues. Her legs were cramping and she was fading. By mile 13 she decided to change her intervals to 4/1 and I opted to stay with her. I figured that walk breaks more frequently would take some pressure off my foot. So we split up with the rest of the group. It was nice to catch up with Erin since I hadn’t seen her in probably a year! We walked a lot but ran when we could. I wasn’t really concerned at all about the walking—I just wanted to cover the mileage. It’s nice to have no real time goals this time around =)

sunflower in the foreground and the Chrysler building in the background

sunflower in the foreground and the Chrysler building in the background

I stopped my Garmin at mile 17 but we walked another mile to get from the west side to the east side. The good news is that I felt pretty strong even in the later miles. Never felt winded or defeated. Granted I felt the fatigue in my legs but it was just normal fatigue for running for 3+ hours. And I was happy and relaxed. I wasn’t hating running as I can usually do when running long. I would normally have one or two more long runs before the marathon. Probably an 18-19ish and a 20ish. I might still get the 18-19ish done on 10/3 but if not I’m running 2 back to back half marathons the weekend after that (10/10 and 10/11) which will be replacing my 20ish miler. I’ll see how I feel. Next week I’m signed up for the Beat the Blerch half but after finding out it’s mostly a trail run I’ll probably drop back to the 10k. Next week is a step back week for me anyway so no need to run 13 =)

 

50,000 runners will have to deal with the construction on the Verrazano during the marathon. I doubt it will be complete by then. Oh well.

50,000 runners will have to deal with the construction on the Verrazano during the marathon. I doubt it will be complete by then. Oh well.

Meanwhile when I came home I tried to figure out why my foot had started hurting so suddenly. That’s when I felt the inside of my new Brooks Ghost sneakers and realized the vinyl strip under the logo was super stiff and protruded through so that you could feel the ridge on the inside of the sneaker. I’m guessing the 2 shorter runs I did in them didn’t bother me because I wasn’t wearing them that long.

That silver part right under the pink part of the logo

That silver part right under the pink part of the logo :(

Sadly, I returned the sneakers. Thank you to Dicks Sporting Goods for taking back slightly worn merchandise! Boo hoo! I’m gonna have to wait a bit for my foot to feel better (been alternating between ice and heat and wearing compression socks to help) and then probably just get another pair of Asics Cumulus. Or maybe get a wide width of these.

Today Duncan and I are relaxing and then I have some freelance work to do. We went for a nice walk early this morning (since I went to bed at 9pm last night I was up super early today).

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I can’t believe she took me out so early on a Sunday. She must really feel guilty she was gone for so long yesterday

relaxing

relaxing

Early morning walk

Early morning walk

I hope you all are having a great weekend! And a big shout out to Becky who ran 20 strong miles today. She’ll be rocking the Steamtown Marathon (her first marathon!) in just a few weeks.

Who’s running a fall marathon?
Who has a birthday coming up? Mine’s in 35 days =)

This weekend my running took a front seat for a change. Saturday I went to the first New York Road Runner’s Open Run held on Staten Island. The goal is to utilize the NYC parks more. They plan on holding this event (it’s a 5k but yesterday’s course was a little shy and they will be adjusting for next week) every Saturday. I almost didn’t get out the door because someone was holding my foot hostage.

IMG_7112Eventually he let go though and shortly after I arrived I bumped into an old friend I knew from when I brought Duncan to the dog park on a regular basis back in the day. He’s a school track coach. As a matter of fact he introduced me to KT tape and some great calf stretches too. I was training for my first marathon back in 2011 and I remember all the conversations we had about running. As with most friends from the dog park I only remember the dogs’ names. LOL! His boxers were named Nike, Swoosh and JD (for Just Do It.) See a theme?!

Anyway we chatted the entire (almost) 3 miles and I was excited to see I finished with a sub 10 min pace. YAY!

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Yesterday I went to the beach to run 9 miles. It was hot and I tanked the second half of the run. With all my walk breaks came lots of pictures…

Made me wish I was a boat...

Made me wish I was a boat…

mile 2

mile 2

these flowers make me happy

these flowers make me happy

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I picked the most not scenic spot for a selfie....next to the bathrooms. LOL

I picked the most not scenic spot for a selfie….next to the bathrooms. LOL

The day I can take a non-blurry shot with the self timer...

Just beachy

there was a classic car show happening in the beach parking lot

there was a classic car show happening in the beach parking lot

There was a great breeze that I enjoyed for miles 1 and 2 and 5 and 6. But the other miles my back was to the breeze. Oh well. Can’t have it all right? =)

I spent Saturday evening with my sister-in-law while my brother and nephew went to a rock concert (and my niece is still in Costa Rica). We had dinner and then went out for fro-yo. Then we walked the dogs around the neighborhood and then spent some time enjoying the lovely summer night on her patio sipping spiked lemonade.

I controlled myself with just one cookie.

I controlled myself with just one cookie.

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so relaxing!

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Doodle sniffing

I managed to spend a lot of time on the couch too which I think I really needed. Last weekend was go.go.go and it was nice to catch a breather.

Well, here’s to a lovely week people. Happy Monday!

One last thing! I’m excited to announce the winner of the Pro Compression Giveaway is Becky from OK so here’s the plan. She’s training for her first full marathon this fall and she has an adorable dog as well. Congrats Becky!

What did you do this weekend?