I'm Back with 9 on the 9th and Some New Tricks

Non-Runner Nancy hosted a virtual Olympics race (8 on the 8th) on Friday, but she agreed to accept 9 on the 9th as well. It was my long, slow distance for the week, so I'm not too disappointed in the 1:43:07 it took me. It's supposed to be slow, folks!

Finally, I was back to the running I remember from last spring, the running that I loved! I had a great run---the first time in a while that my long run has gone well AND the first time I've run 9 miles in about 4 months.

Feeling strong and confident. Back.
Finding my stride and my "zone." Back.
Not feeling like I'm dying. Back.
Finishing happily mentally and physically. Back.

This summer I have been experimenting with the Galloway 4:1 (run 4 minutes, walk 1). It never really worked for me. You are supposed to feel refreshed by your one-minute walk break, but I found that they seemed to drag the run out endlessly, leaving me struggling physically and mentally by the end. I never got into the zone. I didn't feel good about myself after those runs. And I felt just as tired (if not more so!) at the end.

So today, Kelle and I took advantage of the cooler temperatures (60's!) and went to my favorite running spot---a paved 4-mile bike path out in the woods called Rails to Trails (in the running community at least). It was once a rail bed. Now, it's a wonderful place for Weekend Warriors (like me) to cycle, run, hike, and walk the dog. The tree canopy completely covered 90% of the trail, so it was like running in a shady, leafy tunnel. I need to do that run more often.

We ran a slow, easy eight miles, out and back, then out for our last 1/2 mile and back. We stopped when we were tired (and NOT every four minutes!). We stopped for a minute or so at 2.5 miles, 4 miles to eat and drink, 6 miles, and 8 miles.


I ate breakfast 1.5 hours before the run. I stayed away from sports drinks. I think Gatorade, G2, Accelerade, etc., have been part of my tummy issues. I didn't take any Clif Bloks or gels, either.

I took a salt packet* from McDonald's, a small box of raisins, pretzels, and water on my run. At the start of the run, I had 1/2 the salt packet and some water. At the four mile point, I had 5 salted pretzels (carbs and sodium), some raisins (for energy), and the other half of my salt packet. Of course, I had water, too.
*I had recently read an article from the Running Doc on the Runner's World website called "Do the Salt."

This all worked for me. Maybe gels or blocks would have been fine, too, but it was the first run in a while where I no tummy trouble. Next time, I might re-introduce a gel and see if that works ok. Carrying raisins and pretzels is a little more trouble than just a quick gel. Or maybe I'll try G2 or Gatorade with the pretzels and raisins. I've got to experiment to see what works. (Actually, didn't I just say I know what works? I should probably just stick with that. But I'm hard-headed.)

It was so good to enjoy a long run again. My legs are tired. My knees and right shin are a little sore. But my spirit is lifted and my confidence in and enjoyment of running are restored.

Does everyone experience this polarity with running--- the highest highs and the lowest lows --- or am I the only one?


Lisa said…
I think one reason the highs are so high is because of the lows. I am glad you had a great run.

Personally, I just can't do those salt packets. They make me taste salt for miles and I seem to be thirsty forever. Pretzels certainly taste good after running for a while, though. Good luck with experimenting with your fuel!
MCM Mama said…
Sounds like a nice run. I have trouble with walking as it makes it harder to get back into a comfortable stride when I start running again, so I only walk when I'm drinking, eating or (in a particularly bad run) dying.

I definitely have the same extreme highs and lows (unfortunately more of these with the heat lately), although a fair amount of the time, my runs are just nice, not awesome, not horrible.
tamara said…
I love your thoughts today about your snacks during running. I am not up in miles enough to need them yet, but I have been trying to eat better things during the day to help improve my energy during runs. I have not tried the gels yet, but they don't sound nearly as appealing as raisins or pretzels. I am glad you are feeling more yourself these days!! Sounds like you are having fun.
Nice overachieving 9 on the 9th :D You still finished before me. hee hee.

Nice going. Thanks for joining us!
Jess said…
Just found your blog via someone else's (I think it was Nancy's??) Anyway, I LOVE IT! I have jsut started getting into running and I so appreciate the quotes and experiences you write about. I look forward to reading more!!!