Marathon Mondays: Pregaming a 10K with a 7.7K

in Running

Just Run for a Just Cause 10K

That was the view moments before the start of my first real 10k! I was standing in that church parking lot, trying to will a little divine intervention out of the sky to help me figure out how the heck I was going to run 6.2 more miles – because I’d already run a too-fast 4.8 to get there. It was hot. I was tired. And sweet Jesus, was it humid.

The whistle blew. Or maybe it was a gun, I don’t remember – I was already on empty and praying to both real and Gu gods. And then we were off, heading for a double-loop of the 5K course. Man, was it so tempting to just duck into the finish line at the end of the first 5K. There was Chick-fil-A. And bananas. And recovery smoothies.

But I didn’t. My friend Erica would have thrown a water bottle at me. And I would have been super disappointed in myself afterward. Everything hurt. I tried to walk, but things hurt more when I walked than when I did that tortoise-slow jog-shuffle thing. So tortoise-slow jog-shuffle thing it was for the last 2 miles.

And then there were people standing at the end of their driveways with bottled water and bowls of ice. And it was the best tasting water and the ice-coldest ice I’d ever rubbed on my face. GLORIOUS. And then it was over. Finished. 10 seconds faster than my targeted training pace!

And even though I’d run 42.26 miles this month, I couldn’t wait to get back out there again.

A few things I’ve learned the last few weeks:

1) Training outside is insanely important. I’ve been hitting the treadmill to train for most of the summer because the easiest time to run is in the middle of the day, while Landry is at school. And since it happens to be nearly (and sometimes over) 100F by that time of day, it seemed like a no-brainer. But then I ran 11 miles on a Saturday and still hurt on Tuesday. There’s just no substitute for feet-on-pavement. The physical impact on your body, the elements – everything is different. And at I realize now ththose everythings really matter.

2) Nutrition and fuel are insanely important. Getting enough good carbs for energy, access to mid-run carbs for energy, and getting enough protein for repair and recovery… it’s not at all complicated. My go-to resource for nutrition has been Matt Fitzgerald’s New Rules.

New Rules for Marathon and Half Marathon Trianing

My go-to resource for mid-run carbs has been Gu. Specifically Chocolate Outrage or Plain. I ended up ordering a big box from Amazon – cheaper ($1.13 vs $1.61) and I wasn’t in a panicked rush at 8:57pm on the night before my first 10K, trying to get to a store for 2 packs before it closed. (Why can’t I ever buy more than I need?!)

Gu Energy Gel Chocolate Outrage

Pre-run nutrition I’m still trying to figure out. I want to be able to eat something before big runs but even a slice of 15-grain bread with peanut butter doesn’t sit well. But that’s usually around 5:30am and I can’t imagine anything will sit well until I get used to getting up early. So far, empty-stomach-running has been the best.

Post-run nutrition – I’ve got that taken care of for a while, thanks to the BOGO sale on Fage Total at Sprouts this week 🙂

3) Safety is insanely important. I have been leaving the house before dark so I picked up a little clip-on LED that says “Hey, neither of us really want to be up before the sun on Saturday so please don’t take it out on me,” to motorists.

I’ve tweaked my training plan a bit, and rather than doing the standard 3-mile runs on “short” weekends, I have been aiming to do half of the next week’s long run. Last Saturday I ran 6.5 miles because this Saturday I somehow have to crank out 13. A half marathon. Without the adrenaline of being in a race.

Disney World, here we come!

(I hope.)

10 comments… add one
  • Mellybrown

    Seriously. You rock! Way to stick with it!

  • I LOVE IT. You are rocking this!

    I’ve often done part of my long runs as an organized race because it helps rev you up even if you’re not so into it at the time.

    With regards to pre-run fuel, you might want to consider making a smoothie or something drinkable, especially when you start hitting mileage that’s over 13! Your body will REALLY need it. I usually have peanut butter with an english muffin, but even a banana with a smear of peanut butter or a larabar with a smear of peanut butter will work!

    • I ate a plum this morning and my stomach didn’t get angry. I’m trying to find a nearby race this weekend to supplement the 13 miles. Otherwise, Jason and Landry are going to be following me with the bike & trailer as my mobile support station 🙂

  • Carol

    I have a hard time with pre-run fuel as well. I found that there are only a few things that I can tolerate. Bananas seem to be the easiest on my stomach. I have also been known to just eat a slice of bread or two with nothing on it (peanut butter is hard for me eat pre-run too)

  • Wilma

    Gu made me hurl. I just couldn’t do it. Have you tried Shot Bloks?

  • I’m not a distance runner- five miles at most for me- and I can’t eat anything before a run. And that I’m-going-to-kill-you sound your gut makes when you’re halfway into the run and you made the mistake of eating an apple before the run? Totally not worth it for me.

    In other news: GO, YOU!

    • jill

      this has nothing whatsoever to do with this post, but as a fellow margarita lover, i have to say i love that your drink section is split into margarita and non margarita. 🙂

  • Yes. The Dreadmill is no substitute for the Road/Trail. It IS a world of difference.

    I’m glad you finished the 10k. It’s important lead up to Disney!

    Keep on Crushing it!

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