A week late in the recap, so I apologize, but it did have some significance!
The previous week was my 8th week of half marathon training. Wow...I've been at it for two months, it's freaky to think that. Anyway. My training looked like this:
Tuesday: 30 minute run/walk
Thursday: 30 minute run/walk
Saturday: 7 mile long run (aack! My longest distance yet!)
So this week of training happened to fall on the same week as Thanksgiving. Awesome, I could still train and feel good about indulging in my Thanksgiving faves! Um, yeah...about that. That didn't happen. My runs on Tuesday and Thursday, didn't happen at. all.
Tuesday I was covering for another person at work at the same time of doing my insane amount of work, so I couldn't get out for a lunch time run and it was way too dark to run after work. I refuse to run in the dark by myself, too many lady bloggers have posted some scary situations they've been involved in or their friend had been involved in. Now that it's dark earlier, I run at lunch or if I don't have a group to run with after work, I don't run. Period. Safety is way too important and more important than my training.
Thursday I had the day off with the hubs and instead of going for a short run, we decided to take my parents dog for a 5 mile walk to help get her yeh-yeh's out before all the company came over. We took the walk at a nice pace and came back nice and sweaty...and hungry! Oh and for the dog, yeah, didn't work. She was still a bucket of energy, even immediately after coming back from the walk, she was running laps in the house! Crazy!
Saturday I was determined to not let the past week deter me from hitting a new mileage distance and getting closer to that 13.1 miles. Saturday's distance was 7 miles. I had never run 7 miles and running a new distance is always a daunting feeling, there are always doubts. Regardless, I geared up, strapped on my hydration belt with water in one bottle and Nuun Tri-berry in the other and brought a new fuel (to me) to try during the run, Watermelon flavored Sports Beans. (I'm experimenting with different fuels to see which works the best for me during the longer runs.)
The sun actually came out so I was wearing a short sleeved shirt, my Brooks vest, capris and Adreneline shoes, and also rocking these lovely compression socks from Pro Compression.
The argyle is just so fun!!! LOVE IT!
So I set out for 7 miles nearby my place. Now I kinda stacked the deck against myself because my area is pretty hilly, but I wanted to be in an area that had lots of traffic and I knew fairly well. So I trucked along and ran into issues the first half of the way. My shins were SUPER STIFF! Oh goodness. I had to stop a few times during my first two miles to stretch them out. Because of this, I was trying a new change to my stride and lifting my knees a bit more so I can land more mid-foot. It felt pretty good actually! It really worked my quads (more on that later) and the mid-foot strike was much easier. I also found that my gait got a bit longer and I was running faster without much more effort. I know that because when I started running like that and looked down at my Garmin, it was clocking me at 9:30/mile!!! Holy cow! I've NEVER been that fast, so I reigned it in and slowed it down. I never would have been able to run that fast for 7 miles, I know that much about me.
So I got half way through my run and took my fuel. The beans were alright, a bit tough to chew and didn't really get the surge I was hoping for from them. Maybe a different flavor pack will yield different results? By this time I sent a pic to Twitter and Facebook about how I was feeling good more than half way through my run!
I even managed a smile!
So I trucked along jamming to music and finishing up my run. I'm not going to lie, that last mile and a half was brutal. I was ready to be done and I couldn't wait to get home. My quads were BURNING at this point from the new stride adjustment, my hips were stiffer than a plank of oak and my knees/calves/shins were protesting HARDCORE! But I pushed on, I didn't stop and here's the proof.
I did it! 7 miles! WOOHOO!! I can't believe I did it and other than the soreness I was feeling, I felt good about it! But I knew I needed to do something when I got home that I was NOT looking forward to, but would help me recover much more effectively.
ICE BATH!! Brrr....it was freaking COLD! But I submerged my legs and hips to help out with the stiffness and hopefully reduce the inflammation. And it did! The ice bath along with another pair of compression socks for recovery, I felt good the rest of the day! Until I committed the rookie mistake of higher mileage long runs. I didn't fuel properly afterward.
During my ice bath I was drinking a protein shake with Bluebonnet protein powder, milk and a banana blended in my blender. It was SO tasty and I felt like it was a good way to get high quality protein into my body immediately. Then I had an appointment right after I got home, so I showered, got ready, grabbed a carb heavy snack and headed to my appointment. Well after that I ran some errands and one thing after another, I realized I was extremely sluggish, light headed and SUPER grumpy. At that moment I'd realized that all I'd had to eat all day was my pre-run bagel, the post-run protein shake and a hand full of peanut butter filled pretzels and no water...and it was almost 5 in the evening. ::hitting hand on forehead:: At this point I was at Costco and got myself a big water and a slice of pizza. I sat in my car and inhaled that thing. A minute or two after I was done I felt infinitely better and my mood was lighter.
Lesson learned! You need to eat something substantial not too long after a long high mileage run. Especially if your body has never run that distance before because it is using up energy stores that you have never used before. This creates a huge deficit that needs to be filled with good quality carbs and protein. I'm now more cognizant of making sure I eat and drink water routinely through the day after these longer runs.
So a disappointing and invigorating week all together! I'm glad that I got my long run in and that it was a success, well completion of the run is a success in my book!