About a week ago as I lazily sat on my couch sipping coffee while watching episodes of The Good Wife on Hulu, I glanced out the window only to see the gray skies, light rain, and wind blowing. I felt anything but motivated. However, I knew if I didn’t do the long run on Monday, I would have to do it Tuesday which means I would miss out on a forecast beautiful/sunny day of back-country skiing with my boyfriend. That thought alone gave me just enough motivation—also the thought of breaking in my brand new pink Brooks Ravenna’s gave me a little surge of excitement.
Even though the skies were gray, the temperature was a mild 30 degrees. Once outside with some Flo Rida blasting I felt really good as I had been cooped inside most of the weekend recovering from working the night shift on Friday. I felt really prepared for my run in that I planned to test out ProBar’s BOLT Organic Strawberry Energy Chews, I was well rested, and had a delicious breakfast of eggs, toast, and coffee. I also had a plan for practicing my pacing. For this run I wanted to maintain a steady, even pace for at least 8 miles before increasing my speed. My goal was to run between 8:15-8:45 minute miles and maintain that speed for the entire 12 miles without my energy puttering out.
What I found was that my body really wanted to run faster in the beginning. I forced myself to stay within pace. If the watch beeped “ahead of pace,” I slowed down until it said “on pace.” Sometimes it said “behind pace,” and I had to be OK with that as I can get really competitive with myself. The goal of my run was to conserve energy, to maintain. As I’ve mentioned before, my biggest problem during last year’s marathon was running too fast for the first 14 miles and then feeling like death for the second half.
I tried my BOLT energy chews throughout the run and I was pretty impressed with them. They are all natural, gluten free, and sans caffeine. I ate two chews at mile 5, mile 7, and again at mile 9. They did not give me cramps and the perk in energy was pretty instant. The only drawback was the energy kick didn’t last long enough, so next run I’ll eat more! I would even consider eating these little gummies at work, I swear they taste like gummy bears. I am not really a fan of the GU energy gels; they give me acid reflux which is not what a runner wants.
I am proud to say that I was able to run my 12 miles averaging 8:15 minutes/mile with an end time of 1:39. To qualify for Boston I need to average 8:14 minutes/mile for all 26 and I feel so much closer to my goal.
By the time my fellow readers read this I will have injured my left foot either while skiing or during another training run. Maybe I shouldn’t be skiing and hiking while marathon training, but where’s the fun in that? Anyways, I have no idea what I did—I have no recollection of hurting myself, my foot just started hurting. When I put my full weight on my left foot, pain shoots up the outer edge. There is no bruising and minimal swelling. And no, it’s not plantar fasciitis. I’ve been limping around for 3 days and since the pain hadn’t subsided yet I finally went to urgent care this past weekend. It could be a stress fracture even though that didn’t show up on the x-ray, or possibly a strained tendon. I am finding myself quite bitter, especially given that the Half Marathon Unplugged is on Saturday. This week I will be icing, and making appointments to figure out what’s going on with my foot to hopefully not deter too much of my marathon training. I’ve come to terms with the fact that I most likely will not be running this Saturday, but I don’t know how I’ll feel if I can’t run the Marathon. I know, I know…I shouldn’t be dramatic, but as many of you runners out there understand, not being able to run in something you’ve trained long and hard for is extremely disappointing. More updates next week.