Posted by: jawsome | March 13, 2010

Oh Holy (insert divinity of your choice)!

16 miles.

It was very pretty

Today’s run was both awesome and sucky. Awesome in the sense that (a) hey guess what? I ran 16 miles! and (b) the run itself was beautiful, the weather was perfect, and the course was great. Sucky in the sense that I couldn’t go as fast as I wanted or really develop a rhythm because I kept getting gut-wrenching cramps. Ugh! The last few runs I’ve done I’ve been getting this searing cramping pain up under the right side of my rib cage. It seizes up so badly I can’t run through it and I end up gasping on the side of the road until it passes. What sucks even more is when I start up again, the cramps start too. A couple of times I was able to hold my breath long enough to where I could force the muscle to relax and then I could run for a while, but after about mile 13 I was too tired to really be able to do that.

I know the research on cramping is kind of a mixed bag, but do any of you have any experience with this? I’m thinking maybe I need to take more electrolytes or something. For this run I had a banana right before, and a gu at mile 6 and 12. Should I have taken more? What’s your nutrition strategy for long runs?

I guess the good news is I ran 16 miles in 2:58 (11.5 min./mi.)and my legs and lungs could have run it faster (stupid cramps). My splits look like this:

Miles 1-5 avg 9:40 pace

Miles 5-7 avg 12:00 pace (ouch cramps lots of walking)

Mile 7-9 avg 9:40 pace (I subdued the cramps! Whee!)

Mile 9-13 avg 10:20 pace (some cramping that I am holding at bay through force of will)

Mile 13-16 avg 13:00 pace (oh holy god I can barely make it .25 miles without hunching over like an old lady)

So, I think if I can just get the cramps under control I should be fine. 🙂



  1. Oh no, that does NOT sound fun. I’d try more electrolytes… and how much fluid are you taking in? Could you try an electrolyte replacement drink mix?

    Great job getting it done!

  2. Congrats on 16 and pushing through! I’m with marlene on maybe so more electrolytes. I had some pretty severe pain just under my ribs about a year ago – I even went to the doctor. They thought that I was getting bubbles of air stuck inside me, and if I made a few sharp, drastic movements side to side (rotate torso) it moved the air into a better spot and the pain went away. Always worth a shot!

  3. I would go with electrolytes/water also. And if you drink carbonated beverages, stop. I had to entirely give up diet Dr.P last year cause for whatever reason it killed me on the long runs with cramps.

    As for your nutrution, I usually have a bowl of oatmeal w/cut up green apple chunks @ 45min-1 hr before a long run, and then a banana right before. Then 1-2 Gu + water during the run, depending on how I feel and how warm it is. That seems to hold me well.

  4. hrm… I’ve found that a banana for me before a run is bad mojo. while training, before a run I’d eat just a piece of toast w/peanut butter (and sometimes some jelly too). then around mile 3 or 4 start eating bites of a choc chip cliff bar every 1/2 mile-mile or so. ah yes, for really long runs I’d have a couple life savers with me for some quick energy. green ones are best, lol.

    everyone is different though, just gotta play around with it to find what works best for you.

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