A new personal distance record: 15 miles. I feel like this
I hope you’re not sick of me saying “This is the farthest I’ve ever run” because you’re going to be seeing it a few more times this season.
The simple little run involved more planning than I expected. With my previous long runs, I’d go to a long bike trail and just do an out-and-back. Now that they are reeeally long, it’s not practical. The bike trails have no bathroom or water stops, plus we only have one car and I don’t want to be stranded if anything were ever to happen. As annoying as it is to run in the city, it just makes more sense now.
Sunday morning, I dragged myself out of bed at 6am. Breakfast was chia seeds in almond milk, and a homemade muffin. I waited for the sun to come out and off I went. I planned out a 5-mile loop from my house and set up my own aid station at my back steps with extra water, gatorade, and food. Meanwhile, my husband was running a 5k downtown that started at 11:00. I tried to time things so that I could finish my run and wait for him to finish. Luckily, my office building is also downtown so I was able to use that as a water/bathroom stop if I needed to. I packed a backpack with our warm clothes plus emergency fuel and dropped it off at my office during the first loop. At the end of the first loop I finally warmed up so I dropped the jacket & gloves at home and took a swig of gatorade.
I ran without any music or voice feedback from my tracking app. Even with no distractions, the first miles flew by. While my long runs are a treat to see new sights, be close to trees, and breathe fresher air, it was a nice change of pace to spend time in the city when it was totally quiet and empty. I took this quick snap during my first loop:
Finally I pulled out my phone to see my progress. I couldn’t believe when I looked at my phone and saw that it said 7 miles. That’s like 40% done! Of course, the second half is when my body started to fall apart a little bit. At about mile 8, my left ankle started to hurt. This was completely new. In all of the miles I have run, I have never had an ankle problem. I knew that it was because of my shoes. I was wearing the Nike Lunarglide. They work fine for me during short runs when I want a light shoe, but this was the longest I had ever run in them. I could tell that my inner ankle was hurting because my foot was pronating too much. At mile 10, I ran into the house and changed into my clunky, pronation control, stability shoes.
I felt a bit better after changing shoes and soldiered on. At mile 13, the home stretch, I began to struggle. The pain from my ankle traveled up to my knee. Meanwhile, on the right side of my body I was feeling dull pain in my right lower back. This was also a totally new pain. Aside from these pains though, I felt like I was on my game. My energy was fine, my heart and lungs weren’t struggling, and I was doing great mentally – I never doubted that I would finish. I slowed down a bit, put my earbuds in, and finally finished my miles just in time to see the 5k race begin.
I can’t believe I passed up the chance to run in costume. So many great costumes! I paused long enough to see my honey go by. Then I dashed into the office to put on my warm clothes and take off the goofy water belt. While I did this, I called a restaurant and ordered a chorizo, potato, & egg breakfast burrito. Ten minutes later, I was sitting on the curb, $4 burrito in hand, watching the first finishers come into the chute.
I stopped chewing long enough to wave at Brian and get his picture, with his form looking all tidy. Grrr.
After the race, we walked a mile home. So actually, it was 16 miles today! The other notable thing about this run is that I fueled only with a homemade energy alternative: balls of rice, oatmeal, chocolate, and sea salt. No energy gels or gummies – au naturale. They were a big success and I’ll write more about that later.
Later, lunch #2 was a soy chai with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I can’t remember the last time I ate a PB&J and I’m pretty sure I have never paid for one at a store. I saw it on the menu and just knew it would hit the spot.
For dinner I made fried (brown) rice with ginger, garlic, bacon, cilantro, cauliflower, and kale. It was delicious but fried brown rice is not as tasty as white rice. And yes, this time I actually ate the fried rice instead of making my own “cauliflower rice”.
After dinner I spent over an hour chopping and cooking to prep my breakfast and lunches for the rest of the week. It was exhausting but at least I don’t have to worry for the next few days. My feet are tiiiired. I am certain that I spent 75% of my waking hours on my feet.
How do I feel now? My ankle and knee are hurting a lot, and it feels as if I haven’t slept in days. But I’m so excited about having run 15 miles! For me, the mental part is usually just as hard as the physical part but somehow this time it was different. I knew I could do it. I just ran based on my feelings and my time was exactly where it should be. As much as I am in pain now, I can’t wait to go 17 miles.