Monday, September 17, 2007

What I Learned From Running 18 Miles

That's right, Internet! I rocked out 18 miles yesterday. Woo hoo!

I am looking to these long runs to not only prepare me physically, but also mentally for the big 26.2 coming up in just 4 weeks. (Holy Yoda, only 4 weeks?!?) Here's what I'm learning:

1. The iPod doesn't have to be playing music for me to run well. For this run, instead of listening to music, I listened to a couple episodes of This American Life. Not having the beats of the music did not affect my pace at all. The iPod serves mainly as a distraction, a way for me to not get bored during those hours of running.

2. 10 miles is too long to go without Gu. At mile 8, I was starting to drag a bit. I had the Gu in my pocket, but I wanted to wait until my water break at mile 10, since it's better to have them with water. Those two miles were rough. I will plan better next time.

3. During these long runs, I somehow manage to get a blister on toe #3 of my right foot. I'll have to figure out a new way to prevent this.

4. A short break can really energize me. I walked up the hill at about 8-1/2 miles, then stopped for water and Gu at mile 10, then a Gu/pee/water break at mile 14. Every time I did, I felt totally refreshed. And it really didn't hurt my time at all. I finished at a totally respectable pace that I was proud of. If I need to take a little rest, I should do it.

5. I need to figure out a way to actually EAT towards the end of these runs. On my two longest runs to date - 16 and 18 miles, I found myself feeling really, really hungry in the last couple of miles. I might have to experiment with carrying some kind of Power Bar with me.

6. Long runs make me HUNGRY. I devoured everything in sight yesterday, and may do the same today.

7. Ice baths? Crazy, but they work. I don't feel sore at all.

8. I am in really good shape and truly seem to have trained myself to be able to tackle these long distances. That added confidence is definitely the most important thing. I truly believe I can do this.


Amy said...

What a great list! You sound so upbeat and happy - I can tell it was a good run and for 18! miles. I love #6 the best - I think it is the best benefit of long runs.

Non-Runner Nancy said...

Wow, you are in a really great spot. I am SO envious. GOOD FOR YOU. I think I could be there with you if I could get my feet (mainly arches) to cooperate.

I tried more breaks today too. Worked great! Good luck with the rest of the training.

Non-Runner Nancy said...

Just realized you are from Moline. I am from Des Moines. Used to come over there for work once in a while. I have a friend from there too.

Happy training!!

cherylann said...

You amaze me. Seriously... I don't think I could ever run 18 miles... then feel happy about it. Rock on!

Ovens2Betsy said...

Way to go!

Speaking of blisters, I too have been plagued with them (on the side of the pad just under my big toe). I've heard good things about the Injinji Performance toe socks and I'm thinking I'll give them a try.

Oh, and being ravenous after a run? That's my favorite part! In fact, we often plan our long runs around where we'll end up for burgers & beer afterwards!

The Dog Dish said...

Betsy, I LOVE your blog! This post had me cracking up! Your writing style just pulls me in! I am blown away at how far you are running, I have a REALLY hard time getting into it. You make it sound so fun, maybe I should try again! I bet you look and feel fantastic!


Amanda said...

Congrats on finishing that long run! Good luck on finding a way to beat those blisters, too.

Anonymous said...

to prevent blisters apply vaseline around toes before the run.