Saturday, September 3, 2011

Halfway Through the Most Challenging Weekend

The first half of my hardest training weekend went well. The training calls for a 5 hour run on Saturday followed with a 4 hour run on Sunday. Today I completed 31.3 miles in 5 hours. The goal is not about how fast I can run; instead it’s about time on my feet. If you recall, I have trouble holding back.
I was up at 3:00 am so I could be out the door by 4:00. I like to start early when it is cooler and so the run does not cut into family time too much.
My day began by eating a banana and bread pudding, chased with a cup of coffee. For any other training I would begin fueling 2 hours before, but I am not getting up at 1:00 am. Now onto the training mat for my daily back stretches, crunches, and leg raises. I’m fanatical about...

certain stretches because of my prior hamstring and iliotibial band (a strip of tissue on the outside hip) injuries, and bad back.

Out the door at 4:00. This morning the temperature was 10 degrees cooler than last Saturday prior to Hurricane Irene, but I was still concerned about not carrying enough water. Because I ran out of water during my 5 hour jaunt last week, I over filled the 64 ounce bladder so I probably had about 68 ounces with me along with enough GU Chomps, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and Nature Valley bars to sustain me. The plan is to eat every 45 minutes.
Oh no! I forgot something and I remembered 3 miles into the run. Another lesson learned during last long run: Chafing cannot happen. If anything stops a runner in his/her tracks, it’s blisters and/or chafing. It’s strange how superficial skin breaks cause so much pain and cripple us. This is something to prepare for. So I ran back home to get my tube of Alba Un-petroleum Jelly, praying that I could find it after our recent move. I had an idea where it was. I dashed into the room where I thought it was. Viola! Yes, I found it. After a quick rub, I was out the door taking the tube with me. My plan was to reapply at the 2 ½ hour mark.
I use the Alba brand only because it was recommended. You can use Body Glide or Runner’s Lube, as well; it’s a personal preference.
It was interesting to see the storm damage during my run. Some massive trees was snapped like matchsticks and the road I run on along the Connecticut River was passable, however, I could see how high the water level was. It was up to my chest at one point.

For some strange reason, halfway into the run, my sense of smell was heightened and it made my stomach churn. There is nothing worse than gastrointestinal distress while running. The smells included recently sealed driveways, rancid road kill, burning wood, and the putrid smell of rotting cut grass. I know these smells are enough to curl the hairs in any nose on a good day, but even if I got a whiff of a home cooked breakfast, I don’t believe I would have wanted an invite to dig in.
5 hours is a long time to run by myself. It can be lonesome and emotional challenge even for someone who doesn’t mind their own company, like myself. Yeah, I can keep myself entertained and I survived without calling a therapist. Being on alert for crazy drivers, such as the law breaking newspaper carriers, keeps my mind from wandering too much.
In case you are wondering, the 68 ounces of water was just enough. I ran out walking back to the house. And, the un-petroleum jelly worked like a charm.
It’s wait-and-see if my weakness of holding back creates suffering.
Until tomorrow….

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