11 Really Hard Miles

I ran 11 miles yesterday morning. My longest run ever!

I headed out before the sun even rose which was awesome because I was able to watch the sun rise over the horizon at the beach. But that’s about where the awesome ended.

sunrise

When I got home from my run I wrote up a sad blog post about how I didn’t think I would be able to do the half marathon next month. Before I hit publish I decided to sleep on it for a little bit. Now that I’ve slept on it, refueled and marathon’d The Mindy Project season 1 I feel better.

But there is no doubt I had a hard run yesterday morning. In fact, yesterday’s run reminded me that my 10-miler last weekend was hard too. I had kind of forgotten how bad the last mile was last week because I was so excited about finally hitting double digits.

The truth is, I struggled a lot on the last mile last week, and I struggled A LOT yesterday during my last two miles.

Screen shot 2013-10-19 at 9.17.40 PM

The above picture made me laugh, but in all seriousness I’m feeling really nervous about the half marathon now.

Mentally I kept telling myself how strong I am and how I only had a little bit further to go. But physically, my legs just weren’t interested in going the distance. I walked a lot during the last two miles yesterday.

That scares me because I don’t want to all but walk the last three miles of the half marathon next month. I want to finish my first half strong, as a runner.

My only hope is that I know I haven’t been fueling right. I don’t think I’m drinking enough and I know I’m not eating enough. Yesterday I only had two energy chews out of the whole package. Maybe if I can nail my fueling situation next weekend I can get in a really strong 12 miles and feel confident going into the half.

I also think I need to bring gatorade instead of water on my runs. I noticed yesterday that I had salt buildup on my skin when I got home. I was sweating A LOT and not replenishing those lost electrolytes.

I honestly don’t know why I’ve been neglecting the fueling situation lately. For a while there I was really good about staying on top of it. I guess on these long runs I’m always afraid something I eat will upset my stomach. Also I am really sick of the taste of energy chews – they are sooo sweet.

Maybe I will experiment with other foods during my shorter runs this week to see how my stomach holds up with them.

When I was telling Adam how hard my run was, he said “You didn’t expect running a half marathon would be easy did you?” Tough love.

Of course I didn’t think running a half would be easy. But everything up until 9 miles feels really good… like, kind of easy. I feel strong, confident and steady. Something just happens at mile 10 where my legs fall apart.

Really hoping that nailing my fueling situation will really help because it will be hard to admit that my body just isn’t ready.

Advice? Words of encouragement?

13 comments

  1. Tracy

    Have you tried Nuun? I paid the price for not taking electrolytes seriously and had the worst calf cramps around mile 11 during my third half. They brought me to a complete stop and I had to stretch it out. Never again! My husband and I are training for our first marathon (next week…. ACK!) and started using salt tablets. They work great, too. I was getting sick of the sweet gels/chews and started eating Bonk Breakers. I liked eating “food” and it didn’t upset my stomach. You are doing GREAT!!!!

    1. Kristina @ Blog About Running

      Hi Tracy! I haven’t tried Nuun but I am definitely going to pick some up for my long run next weekend. Also I had never heard of Bonk Breakers before but I just looked up their website and they seem awesome. There is a store within 5 miles of my house that sells them so I am going to go pick some up today (the flavors sound delicious!). Thank you for the fuel advice!

      Good luck to you and your husband at your marathon next week!!!!

  2. Ali K. @ Hit the Ground Running

    Breaking into double digits is hard. It sounds like you know where the issue lies…Fueling is really key. Are you eating well throughout the day before your long run? Are you having a good dinner? Are you eating a real breakfast before the long run? Are you drinking tons of water the day before? All of these things matter.

    Finishing the distance despite the pain and difficulty is what makes you a runner, so never doubt that. You got the distance in, even if it was slow. I found for my half that I PR’d at, doing more long runs than were on my calendar helped. I know you have a coach and she may not want you to go the full 13 miles before race day, but doing that gave me the confidence to do the race.

    If your mental urge is still there and the problem is purely physical, stop worrying. You’ll break through the barrier, figure out the fueling, and your legs will get stronger. You WILL do this, and you’ll be awesome!
    Ali K. @ Hit the Ground Running recently posted…My Students Are Faster Than I AmMy Profile

    1. Kristina @ Blog About Running

      Thank you! I usually have a really good dinner the night before and I always drink a crazy amount of water (I pee more about 100x more than anyone else), but my breakfast could be better. I usually just have a couple of nutritional shakes which gives me between 500-750 calories but I don’t think it has the same effect as a bagel. I really need to just get over my fear of eating real food before a run and DO IT.

      I’m not too nervous about actually getting the 13.1 in, I’m sure I could crawl across the finish line haha, but hopefully getting the fueling right over the next couple of weeks will help me cross it standing upright! Thank you for the best advice!

  3. Erin

    I always try to think back to when I first started running. 2 miles became easy, but 3 was IMPOSSIBLE! Then 3 got easier, but 5 was INSANEand on and on. You’re running farther than you ever have and your body will adapt, just be patient. And keep up the great work!

    1. Kristina @ Blog About Running

      Thank you Erin! I really hope someday I can say that I’ve run an ultra like you! I’ll just keep plucking away at the miles and try not to get so down when I have a bad week.

  4. Amanda - RunToTheFinish

    We all have tough runs, especially at the height of training!! Remember that it’s your body’s way of breaking down so it can rebuild stronger
    Amanda – RunToTheFinish recently posted…The Last Ironman FinisherMy Profile

    1. Kristina @ Blog About Running

      Hi Amanda! Thank you for the reminder. I hadn’t really thought about how there will be a taper week before the half that should give my legs some bounce!

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  6. Lauren @ mostly i run

    I fortunately can tolerate Gu and try to take one per hour, if not sooner. But it can get overly sweet … and you have to make sure you really like whatever flavors you choose when running long enough to take more than one! There are more natural options available, but I don’t have too much experience with them. Honey Stingers are pretty good, but again sweet. Some people have said they cut up Larabars in a baggie to eat on the run. I love Larabars, but haven’t tried that yet.

    Best of luck with your half. You’ve gone far enough in training that you will finish for sure!
    Lauren @ mostly i run recently posted…race report: atlantic city marathonMy Profile

    1. Kristina @ Blog About Running

      Thank you Lauren! Honey Stingers are my favorite of the chews, but I am so over all chews right now. I like the idea of cutting up a Larabar! I am going to try cutting up a bar for my run tonight!

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