Not Everyday is a good running day

There are many days you wake up and go “ugghhh, is it really 5am already???, do I really have to run? can i just skip it today and do it later?”…yesterday was one of those days for me…I had 2 late nights of concerts, saw Stevie Nicks Saturday & Journey Sunday night…Waking up for my sunday long run was a challenge, I knew it would be so I set 2 alarms and told my cats to also bug me as much as possible to get me out of bed and going.

Zoey can be really annoying in the morning

So my alarm went off, I pushed snooze, then it went off again…again I pushed snooze & grumbled “do i really have to get up? maybe i can run 18 miles by myself later…” then my 2nd alarm in my hallway went off “ok,  I really need to get up! I know I won’t get more than 7-10 miles by myself..this is a nice training run, it’s part of the race course for next weekend…” I stumbled out of bed, tripped over the cats that were coming in to get me up, pet them then went to the dark bathroom and put on my running clothes I layed out the night before.  I put my glide on my feet then put my socks on & then my Newtons. Grabbed my running bag, turned on the radio for the cats and sleepily made my way out my door to my car.
It was muggy, I mean really humid…ugh.. I took my inhaler and plugged in my ipod, I really needed some peppy songs to wake me up. I got to our meeting point and realized I had forgotten to put gum in my bag, so I asked around until I found someone with some gum I could use on my run. I chew gum when I run because my inhaler dries out my throat, unfortunately I had finished a pack and didn’t replace it yet. The worst part about this course we were running was we don’t hit a bathroom until 3 miles in because we meet at the metro and run to the start of Rockcreek Trail….and I really had to pee :-/ 
My bladder is my worst enemy at times, I’ve claimed a bush by the Lincoln memorial (shh don’t tell park services!)-that’s my bush for all races I do near there from now on! And no you can’t borrow it 🙂 The first 3 miles were good and I made it to the bathroom in good shape, from then on we had water about every 2-3 miles and bathrooms starting at 6 miles in and then every ~2miles from there.  ( i know this b/c having said small bladder i keep track of any and all restroom facilities along any trail I frequent so I know when I need to befriend a tree or bush) At about mile 10 my stomach started to bother me and I just figured i’d be able to run it off.
 I got home late the night before and I ate something really light at midnight knowing i’d be up in 5 hours but I didn’t think it’d make my stomach turn like that-I really felt like I could throw up..I can’t eat before I run or I’ll throw up, I learned this the hard way a few years ago where I basically threw up within the first 2 miles of our training runs while I was trying out foods to see what I could eat. I’ve learned I can only consume powerade before a run and then I can’t take a Gu or some kind of food until about 6-8 miles in or I’ll just get sick to my stomach…maybe it was the Gu chomp I ate at mile 4, I probably should have waited another 2 miles to eat that…my stomach needs to jiggle/slosh around a bit before I introduce something else to it or else pay the price and negate any caloric intake i was trying to get.  
So by mile 15 my stomach was really bothering me and I was barely keeping up with my pace group because of that and a nagging pain in my left butt cheek :-/ and calf muscle.  I knew what it was but knew I really couldn’t stretch it until I got home.  About the time I left my pace group I jogged upon my friend who was walking because he’d had the flu during the week. We walked together for the next 2 miles and then started to jog, he stopped when he saw his wife and I continued until our intended stopping point. 
 Even with the walking I managed to run my 18 miles in around 3.5 hours with some water stops my group took…but i still felt awful and some points when I was dragging behind my pace group I started to cry & I never did find the pace group behind us, they must have taken very long water breaks. Not everyday is a good running day, I knew Sunday wasn’t but I didn’t want to kill myself over my run because I have a half marathon race this next weekend and our second 20miler is in 2 wks so I want to stay injury free for those and my goal marathon on October 30th.  You have to know your body’s limits, but sadly in order to figure out those limits you can tend to get injured a lot, get sick a lot and can get discouraged but it’s all a learning experience. 
 When I started running longer distances I kept a running journal where i’d put down my workout, what the weather was like, where i ran, what I ate that day before/after/during, what hurt etc. I kept this journal to look for patterns and see “ok I got sick when I ate these things after a workout, my body can’t handle that type of food, let’s avoid that.” or I’d notice what was hurting me, oh that trail was banked so that my one leg was always higher than the other..etc. 
 I highly suggest starting a running journal so you can have a better recollection of the ordeals of training and sort out why you might have gotten a certain injury or why you threw up during your run, or why you “bonked” A running journal is very beneficial when you start out, even if it’s just on your computer as a word document or excel sheet, no need to be fancy & spend a lot of money…i’m all about being thrifty, save your $$ to buy a good pair of running socks or hydration pack 🙂 
Hope everyone had a good labor day weekend!
 Happy Running,
Coach Gwynne

me with my friends in Disney marathon weekend Jan'11


September 6, 2011. Random Musings.

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