Because in 33 days I will be setting out to run. Not just any run, an ultra marathon. A 50 mile run to be exact :)
So yesterday I set out to run my last longest run before the race. My training plan called for a 50k so I knew I would spend the whole day running. I decided to go back to my favorite bike path in Lexington I know that path well now and I knew it would be perfect for this run. Who can argue with views like these?
I feel so lucky to live in such a beautiful state where the Autumn brings such a visual treat for the eyes.
I really used this run as a dress rehearsal for Stonecat. I ate what I will before the race the day before. I tracked it all. I ate breakfast like normal and even snuck in a protein shake before I started. It was all a good combination but I forgot about one thing.
Calories while I run. So I switched to pure honey last weekend instead of shot blocks and it worked well. For the first time ever I did not get nauseousat all during or after my long runs. The problem I had beginning this run was I did not take in enough honey in the beginning. I took out a small honey bear in my fuel belt and had only a few sips here and there.
I had trouble getting going. Luckily I treated this just like Stonecat. The course is a 12.5 mile loop, so I looped back after the first 12.5 miles to my car and got some fuel. I finally have my food all figures out while I'm running too. This has been a lot of rehearsing as well. Being dairy, gluten and now completely grain free to reduce my inflammation from RA it has been a challenge fueling on long runs. I am not the ultra runner who can eat a pbj at a rest atop lol
So I had sweet potato wedges baked in cinnamon, hard boiled eggs, and banana pumpkin baby food packets. Those little organic ones that come in a sip tube work perfect! Last weekend I ate a banana and while it helps I burped it up for a few miles. But the puréed ones work perfect. That combination worked and I had much more energy the second loop out.
The miles kept ticking away and I was happy that the rain that haunted me during the first loop had subsided by the second loop. I got my pace back into a respectable 9 minute mile and just gutted it out. I honestly did not really get into this run like I like until mile 16. The first 26 felt like a complete chore. But by mile 17 I was singing and crusing along. I got into the sub 9 pace I like to train at and I felt in control once again.
I felt that feeling I get when I am enjoying a run. I feel like an athlete when the miles tick away easily and I am really enjoying it. I was grateful because in those first 16 miles I had begun to get discouraged. It is amazing how mid long run the feelings can shift and success can creep in. By the end of the second loop at mile 25ish I was feeling so strong.
I grabbed some more food and headed back out. Unfortunatly it was getting late and I began to get upset. I knew I would have to cut the run short at 31 miles. I had to go pick up my daughter at 7:30. So I began to pick up the pace a bit. I felt great. I knocked out a few 8 minute even miles. I never imagined a few months ago that after running 26 miles I would have legs for 8 minute miles, but I did! I felt amazing. At mile 31 when I had to stop I was all fired up. I wanted to keep going. I know, that I will be ready for the 50 miler now. I have the confidence that my body can handle the miles!
I love when I can end a run with that feeling inside, one of accomplishment and confidence. Every single time I knock out a long run like this it just makes me fall in love with running distances even more. In fact, I cam to a conclusion while I was out there running yesterday....
I have a new goal for the spring time!!!!!
A 100 mile race.
I know crazy........ BUT I love running. I do. I have contemplated what my next move will be for awhile, do I focus on getting faster, do I go to triathlons, but every single time I complete a long run like this, I have to focus on what my heart is telling me. And it says, RUN. I can run for hours and hours and be in love with it still. I feel like it is exactly what I was made to do.
I cannot think of one ;)