Running Sucks!

10:18 AM

I feel like I'm on a roller coaster...

 
#truth
The highs and lows of running, truly are the mental (and at times physical) game of running!

Just shy of two weeks ago, I was nervous and excited to participate in the Nike Women's Half Marathon. A distance I've ran before, so no biggie - but a race I've never participated in, kind of a biggie for me. Apparently my training is working, I was able to PR in the hills of SF. Oh and I got a pretty sweet necklace ;)

So, I definitely was on a runner's high from that race. Then it was back to the daily grind:

Monday: Lift and play an entire indoor soccer game (no subs, thanks ladies).
Tuesday: Strength & Conditioning Class and 4 miles easy.
Wednesday: 6 hill repeats w/ training group.
Thursday: Strength & Conditioning Class - 10 100m sprints
Friday: 4 miles easy
Saturday: Race a 5K, help Momma & Papa bear finish 5k (additional mileage), and quick lift at gym.
Sunday: 17 miler - easy. 

Needless to say, I really did over do it last week...AND...my 17 miler taught me this. I was on such a runner high, I thought I could do it all. But by the end of the week, my body was exhausted. A busy Saturday, ending with a wedding in some gorgeous, but too high heels...really cemented the issues for what was to come on Sunday!
 
Friends who meet on the soccer field last a lifetime!
 
The Gangl's!
 
Cute, Pinterest inspired wedding!
Although it was my longest run to date (14.50 miles during a trail half marathon was my longest run ever), I wasn't as nervous for it as I usually get. It was probably because I was exhausted from week, so my mind went easily into slumber land.

I had made the decision to stick with a running friend I've made in my group, Cathy. I generally pass by her at some point in our trainings, but this time I wanted to stay with her. She's a strong runner and we have decent convos, so I thought I'd try the buddy system this run. I found her, and her other new friend, Trina. I told them I was planning on running with them, so the trio set out to run our farthest distance to date! This was my best decision to date. The run was going well, it started off really cold, but eventually it warmed up. All three of us had some issue that day, but being a little group helped out.

We knew we wanted to take it easy on the run, but still run strong. At about mile 13 my body was starting to feel it, then went my mind. I was running behind them most of the time, because it is a two person running path. The run was an out and back, 8.5 miles each way. On our run back, the biker ration jumped up exponentially. So, with angry bikers heading our way we kept it to one running in the dirt, one on the road, and one behind those two. It worked out great and our conversation was still easily had.

I literally was exhausted at mile 13. I knew I only had 4 more miles to go. So as I hit each new mile I made it a little celebration, knowing these were mini milestones in my running career. I finally let the girls know I was struggling and they were really supportive. However, at this point we were still running 9:12 pace, which I'm glad they pushed me, but my body was struggling. It didn't help that Trina's Garmin was off, both Cathy and I were reading 9:12 min/mile, but hers was reading 9:40 min/mile. So she thought we were running much slower than we actually were. Great for her, bad for me. We slowed down slightly, but not by much. Like a little, slower sister, I was struggling behind these two girls. It just wasn't my running day. I got down on myself, but I know this can't happen. I tried to remain positive and think about the fun I'd be having right after the run - going to the Stick to see the Women's National team ball it up vs New Zealand!
 
 Friendly - US vs NZL
When it was done, I was elated, but couldn't show it. Once I stopped running, I was walking like a duck...for the rest of the day in fact. The last mile was really rough, a slight uphill to to exit the park and then a little stroll back to the parking lot. I dropped back behind the girls slightly, but they both made sure to say bye to me at the end and have encouraging words! I appreciated their verbal help and support through the run, it really helped me finish those last 4 miles strong.
 
Training ain't easy...
After attempting to analyze why I was so gassed, I think hydration and my fueling were also a key factor. Prior week workouts aside, I didn't hydrate until mile 6 because it was so cold and I also only brought enough nutrition as I would for a half marathon distance. I did try a new gu, on the recommendation of Justin (coach), Hammer. It was delicious and I'll be buying that again. I had one gu and three shot bloks for 17 miles. This is not enough, for my next run (20 miles this Sunday), I will eat a gu every 6 miles. I really need to hone in on "training my gut" so I can run and finish strong. Also, I think I need to purchase the 16oz water bottle and make it a priority to drink it more often, even if it's cold. There was supposed to be a fueling station at the turn around, but the volunteers didn't show up, so I was SOL for refueling my water bottle. However, on the route back we saw our 2nd fueling station and I was able to fill my water bottle. I think it was a little too late at his point, but I still filled up. They had a plethora of types of nutrition, but I didn't take any because I know how sensitive my stomach tends to be.

Running can suck, but I just need to RUN ON!

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