As most of you know, I started the official training plan this week for the Sugarloaf Marathon in May. Today was suppose to be my long run of 13 miles and it was an epic fail. I should have known that a week full of victories-research grants awarded, scholarships awarded, awesome interval and tempo runs, and a fabulous day of powder-that my body would eventually say, “no, I can’t do this right now-sorry.”My left IT band was tight and achy, my legs were heavy and achy, the bottom of my shoes kept getting caked in snow and I would run uneven, and I could not pick up the pace for the life of me.
After Friday’s day of extreme physical proportions, I felt pretty run down yesterday and could not bring myself to do a thing. I figured a day off of the feet would do me well, but apparently my body was craving more rest than that. I made it 9 out of the 13 miles and they were a ssllloowww 9 miles at that. But, I have been hitting between 10 and 12 for the last four weeks in a row, so I’m ok with skipping the 13 today. Sometimes it is better to cut a run short than to push and injure your body. Of course, now I do have doubts if I can hit the 15 that are on the schedule for next week.
When I ran my first marathon 4 years ago, I had never run more than a 5k in my life, so getting in the miles was important to me because I had to know that I could do it. Now, I know that I can and I have learned that listening to your body is important. Save your energy for a day when you know you can bang out some solid miles and feel good about it.
On another note, I now have to carry my own water and nutrition on long runs. Ridiculous, I know. First world problems for sure. Usually on long runs I have someone around who wants to ride a bike 15-20 miles while I run. But, living in a new town has left me running solo a lot. I have been looking around for water carriers and decided it was time to bite the bullet and try one-any one. I had tried a camelback hip pack at some point and didn’t like it.
Enter, the Nathan hand held water bottle.
When I first started out running, I was skeptical. I thought that it would get heavy and annoying and I also had tightened the hand strap all the way and it felt somewhat loose. But, to be honest by mile 5, I felt pretty ok. No shoulder tightness from running with something in my hand and it was really nice to have water at my disposal. I could let go of my grip and it would still be secure on my hand. It also has this little pouch to keep your GUs in, although I ended up not needing mine today since I didn’t go as far as expected.
It was worth the $20 and hemming and hawing over to have the piece of mind of being my own sherpa when I run. This long run was not entirely a failure because I was able to test out a new piece of equipment.