Sunday, December 21, 2014

Winter running in Central New York

I should update my post title to winter running while marathon training. Because, you know 5 or 6 or even 10 miles isn't terrible in the winter in CNY. It's when you are out there for 4 or 5 hours in the cold when things start to suck. Or I should say freeze.

Yep, I ran 21 miles yesterday. 21 miles outside in 25 degree weather. I know I shouldn't complain. It could have been a lot worse. It could have been snowing and I wouldn't have even attempted to run outside. Running in the snow is not fun. Or it could have been even colder. So with the 25 degree forecast for the morning I got all my stuff ready to go and laid out.

I woke up way before sunrise and suited up with long johns, long pants, long sleeve shirt, fleece ear muffs, and gloves. I will admit that going out to run 45 minutes before daylight was not smart. I had my headlamp and brought a flash light to look for ice. This big part of me wanted to go to a fundraiser in Rochester so I had to finish by a certain time for that to happen. I didn't end up going due to how I felt and I knew driving an hour and a half after run so long wasn't smart.

In any event, here's some things I learned on my run:

1. When you leave your water bottle at the end of your driveway for an extended period of time - oh like an hour and a half - it will become a solid block of ice. I brought it inside and had to go into the house for water breaks after that.
2. See above about the freezing weather, your uncrustable will not thaw and you will be forced to eat a frozen pb&j sandwich which was really gross but I didn't want to give up the fuel.
3. The water in the bottles on your hydration belt will start to freeze too causing the squeeze bottle part to malfunction forcing you to take the top off for each drink. Side note - Cocogo slushies are quite tasty!
4. Make sure you bring your sunglasses because when the sun does finally come up you will be blinded by the reflection off the snow.
5. The long johns were a really smart idea. I was never super cold on my run until after when I went inside. Then it was really awful how cold I was and I couldn't warm up until my shower. I don't know how smart that was, I did eat first, but I just wanted to be warm.
6. Watch out for black ice. Thankfully I didn't fall. I did catch myself a couple times. Those times I slipped and caught myself I saw my marathon hopes flash before my eyes. Really any time I almost slip and fall that happens to me. We're so close!!! It's 3 weeks away!!!!!!
7. Totally unrelated to the winter, but apparently the iphone 5 only lasts for about 4.5 hours while listening to music before the battery dies. Oh and I ran out of music about a half mile before the end of my run anyway.
8. Again not winter related, but I should have had the salted caramel gu sooner. Miles 15-16 were awful, I was so tired and wanted to stop. At mile 17 or so I had the gu and it really boosted my energy for the last few miles.
9. Remember to take Let It Go off your running playlist during the winter. The cold sure did bother me and she was making me mad singing about how it wasn't bothering her!
10. Taper time is a wonderful time of the year.

Are you in taper mode too?

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

WDW Marathon Update

I know. I know. It's been forever and a day since I last wrote. I am sorry, life gets in the way a lot. And this whole training for a marathon thing, that too. Where did we leave off? Last I talked about marathon training, I had done 17 miles and it didn't go so well. I am happy to report that since then I have done 18 and 20 mile runs and they have gone much better.

18 miles went great. It was so much better than 17. I think I fueled better. I ate a honey stinger chew every mile when I stopped for my walk break. I also ate an uncrustable at mile 6 and let me tell you, it was heavenly. They sell those at Disney World in the kids meals right? My plan is to buy one there and totally stick it in my sparkle skirt pocket. I had a banana at mile 11 to simulate when I would eat one at the marathon since I have never actually eaten one during a race, only before and after. I might have also had a Gu toward the end. For hydration, I carried a belt with two 9 oz water bottles filled with Cocogo. I alternated that with the water I leave at the end of my driveway (yep still doing a 2 mile loop around my house). When I finished 18 miles, I cried tears of joy. Just a little bit. I was just so proud of myself. And I was feeling good so I knew I had more in me.

For 20 miles, I followed basically the same fueling strategy. Again, it went well. I will say it wasn't as great as the 18 miles. The last two miles my legs were tired. It was hard and at the end I was left thinking "goodness, there's still 6.2 miles after this!" But it wasn't that I didn't think I had 6.2 miles more left in me.

This weekend I think I am going to run 22 miles. I am doing a modified Galloway plan. I find it crazy that he wants you to run 26 miles without getting a damn medal for it!

Thoughts on the upcoming race....I'm actually kind of excited about it. I know lots of other people are nervous and scared. I know the nerves will come for me on race day, they always do. But for now, I am looking forward to it. There's this huge goal I set for myself and I am really close to accomplishing it. And I seriously CANNOT wait to see my friends and hang out with them. It's going to be an epic weekend.

Will I see you Marathon weekend?