Posted by: jawsome | April 11, 2009

12 mile run – in which I regain some much needed confidence

I want to preface this post with an apology. I am TERRIBLE about taking pictures. I know blog readers get tired of text text text all the time – I must get better about this.

This is what it looked like

This is what it looked like

Anyway. This morning Matt, Bob and I headed out for one of Matt’s bike races in Los Olivos (nice to have a race so close to home!). I was practicing my 1/2 marathon race nutrition, and I must say I am very happy with the results. For breakfast (2+ hours before the run) I had two pieces of cinnamon toast (YUM!) and 1/2 cup of cottage cheese. I meant to only have 1 piece of toast and a banana – but I couldn’t resist that second peice of toast! Right before the start of my run, I choked down my first ever gu. I have to admit to a certain amount of noob trepidation about the gu’s – I have a trigger-happy gag reflex, and the texture always freaked me out. However, the Gu brand Espresso Love went down pretty well and I headed out. My first leg was somewhat truncated by the fact that I turned around at mile one and went back to the car to drop off my long sleeve and beanie (it was very cold at the start).

Surprisingly, the first 4 miles felt the worst of the whole run. I don’t know if that’s because of the soul-sucking gradual uphill route or the fact that my legs weren’t quite awake yet (I absolutely HATE gradual uphills – if you want to be a hill, be a hill and be done with it! None of this pussy-footing gradual uphill for miles and miles crap). Anyway, once I hit the climb up Foxen Canyon I was feeling better. I clicked over some loud tunes and huffed it
(seriously, I was huffing) up the hill. Upon cresting, I was thrilled to see Matt pace by on the first lap of his mtb race right as I ran by (the course ran parallel to the road for a bit). I ran down for several miles with a huge grin on my face. I love running in Los Olivos – the weather was perfect and the bucolic scenery always makes me smile. I choked down another gu at mile 7, and meandered along until I hit the HWY. Once I hit the HWY, I was met by another hill. Luckily, my second gu kicked in right at that point and I OWNED that hill. I believe I might have actually even said something similar out loud (“I OWN you, hill! Bring it!).  By mile 10 I was grinning again – only 2 miles to go! Unfortunately, fate saw that the last 1.5 miles were into a 15-20 mph headwind. Cruel! I made it though – my longest run to date!

Before a long run, I always try to psych myself up by saying I’m going to be taking it slow, and add 30 minutes to my time to make myself feel better if I really suck.  For this run, I was allowing 2 hours and 30 minutes. Instead, I came in at 2:06:17!!! Considering my 1/2 marathon goal is 2:10:00, I was really happy with this! Another thing that made me grin like an idiot was the fact that this course closely mimicks the half marathon course. It’s a soul-sucking gradual uphill to a steep uphill, followed by a gradual downhill and one last uphill at mile 11. Very similar!

So, my confidence has improved. Yaaaay, running! I think the nutrition plan is set – the gu’s were instrumental and I can’t believe I haven’t tried them before.

What am I doing the rest of the day? Absolutely NOTHING. 🙂

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Responses

  1. Way to rock the run!!! Sounds like you’re set with a great half marathon plan.

  2. Sounds like an awesome 12miles. Congrats!

  3. That sounds like a great run…and what a beautiful pic. It is always so fun to serendipitously run into someone during a run…and even cooler that it was while he was racing! I am debating trying Gu’s as I have a similar gag reflex issue–tried a Cliff gel a few weeks back on a long run and very nearly puked on the trail. I haven’t mustered the courage to try another gel yet…I stick to Sharkies (but it is vital to have water for afterward, high stick-to-your-teeth factor).

  4. You are going to OWN this half! Are you going to run it in the five fingers?

    I have decided I only like Chocolate and Espresso Gu so far, hahaha.

  5. What a cool picture. Great job on the long run! Sounds like you are ready!

  6. Chocolate GU is the ONLY way to go. Yummy like chocolate frosting… or at least that is what I tell myself.


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