Yesterday I did the longest distance I’ve ever done. Over 12 miles. This will be my longest distance before my first half on June 2nd, two weeks away from yesterday. This Sunday I will taper down to an 8 mile run to make sure I don’t wear myself out before race day. I’m really proud of myself for pushing my body …I didn’t ever think that I could be capable of something like this!
So that’s the quick summary, the "good" if you will. Fair warning, I’m about to get pretty detailed about the side of half training that no one ever talks about. There’s the good side everyone always talks about…then there’s the bad, and the ugly. I’m going to talk about those last ones now…so if you don’t want to hear it, stop reading now (consider yourself warned).
My run yesterday started off pretty good. I was feeling great, my lungs felt good, my hips and knees felt good, and I knew I could do all 12 miles without a problem. Around mile 5 I started getting that strange pins and needles thing in my right foot again (this happened on my last long run), but I powered through and kept going. I’ve been experimenting with different fuels to see how my body reacts to them, and yesterday I tried a power gel by stinger.
In a word, yuck. Not for me. I didn’t like this stuff for 2 main reasons. 1) I didn’t like the sensation of this warm gooey stuff coating my mouth (it didn’t help that I didn’t care for the taste) and 2) I’m pretty sure my stomach didn’t care for it either. Which leads me to my next topic.
Poop. There I said it.
Around mile 7 I was feeling pretty crampy, and by mile 9, I knew I needed to get to a bathroom fast. I was running by a sports field, and I thought there might be some porta-potties lined up, so I headed off course towards what I thought might be a great solution to my problem. Alas…no porta potties, just a locked field house. I had made it to mile 9.5, but knew that I was in serious trouble, so I made that phone call that no girl wants to make…I stopped to walk and called my husband to come pick me up so that I could get home to use the bathroom. I continued to walk for the next .5 miles (mainly because I was truly afraid if I kept running that I might have an “accident”), and had hit 10 miles before my husband arrived. I paused my runkeeper app, got home, did my thing, then went back out to finish the last 2 miles. It’s hard to say if this was a result of my Crohn’s affliction, if it’s just what distance running does to your body, or if it was the gel fuel that set me off, but it pretty much sucked all of the energy out of me. Those last 2 miles were HARD. I tried to keep hydrating, and ended up going a little further than 2 because I felt guilty about 1) walking a ½ mile, and 2) stopping for my little “break”, even though it was probably only 10 minutes total time.
The rest of the day, I was pretty much a waste of life. All I wanted to do was lie on the couch. I felt crampy and awful the rest of the day, and had no energy to do anything around the house. I was supposed to go grocery shopping, but I didn’t. I was supposed to do some cleaning around the house, but I didn’t. I took a hot shower and it was all I could do to make it through that without sitting down for a bit! By the evening I was feeling a little better, and went out to dinner and a movie with my husband. I took a bubble bath before bed, with lots of epsom salts to help ease my sore muslces, so that helped me a bit, but I slept like a rock last night, and I’m sore as hell this morning.
(My right knee is still pretty bruised from my fall last week, but it doesn't bother me unless I'm kneeling now)
I know these are things you probably don’t hear about a lot from the people that talk about training for a half, so I wanted to be honest with you about how my body is reacting. I should also mention that this long distance running is making me HUNGRY. Like I could eat non-stop, all day, and still not feel full. It’s not doing wonders for my weight loss, but I’m still proud that I can say I was able to push my body that far.
So there you have it. The good, the bad, the ugly.Do you have any experiences to share about running long distances? I’d love to hear them!