Today is Saturday, August 7th. I ran 17 (okay, the actual run figured to 16.95) miles today. It took some time but I felt really good running and after I was done. But let me take you back to the scenario this morning.
I have spent a lot of time trying to figure out where I would run this distance. I have several 8 mile runs, a couple 10’s but 17 would mean doing something twice if I took one of the shorter routes or, worse, doing lots of hills if I combined a couple of routes. I opted for an out and back on roads I am extremely familiar with but that I have never run on before in my life.
The next planning item was to make sure my technology was in shape, charged, for the event. My guess was somewhere around three hours and 45 minutes if I kept a good pace and the weather actually did what was forecast. I charged my mp3 player and my cell phone the night before the run. When I unplugged my mp3 player this morning, it froze. This happens occasionally and I just have to let the battery die before I can recharge and get to my music. So I was set to run 17 miles without music. Technology fail!
I got up as my alarm was ringing and thought I could sleep another half hour. It was still sort of dark out and I didn’t want to run in a dangerous setting (no sidewalks or shoulders on most of the roads I ran on). I wasn’t going back to sleep so I got up, started water for my coffee in my French press, and got the toaster out for breakfast. The FRS drink I have been using the last ten days says to have at least 30 minutes before a workout or event so I drank my drink. I made two pieces of whole wheat toast and put Naturally More peanut butter on them and sliced up a banana to top them off. Down I sat for breakfast. YUM! It was not even 6 am yet.
The biggest issue for this run was staying hydrated. I was unable to drop water in advance as my 19 year old had to work overnight last night and was not yet home. I took off for this run with a 20 ounce bottle of G2 in one hand and a 16.9 ounce bottle of water in the other hand. On my back was a cinch sack with a 24 ounce bottle of water frozen and another bottle of G2 frozen. The plan was to drop these at a friend’s house on the route which would mean I would carry them only about half of the run.
It was a bit cool out this morning, not quite 51F when I left and the sun just starting to peekover the hill I live at the bottom of. As I ran off, I could hear the neighbor’s rooster crowing. My short’s pockets were a bit full – cell phone, three Clif Shots, two FRS lemon lime chews. I was unsure of any of these things other than the water and G2 as I had never tried either but was looking forward to the mocha flavored shots. I had my first Clif Shot at 3.65 miles. I knew I didn’t need it yet but wanted it in my system before I thought I might need it. I had an FRS chew at about 9 miles. At about 12 miles, my stomach growled – like I was hungry. I took the second Clif Shot. I had the second chew at about 14 miles. I will definitely need to eat more than just two pieces of toast on the morning of the marathon.
The run took a while – 3 hours and 48 minutes. I was truly excited as this is my longest run to date and I did not end up with a 14 minute mile pace. Things are looking up for a decent finish in October.