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Monday, January 26, 2015

Long Run 1/25

I try to get in a long run at least once a week.  Long can be anything from 6-14 miles, just depends on how much time I have and how my body is feeling. I look forward to my long runs because I get a ton of thinking done, ya know figure out some things for the next week, have crucial conversations in my head, figure out the worlds problems, nothing big.

I also get to listen to my jams. I am pretty stuck on the 90s iTunes radio channel. This morning's playlist was a walk down memory lane. "All thats she wants another baby" "Been around the world and I yi yi I can't find my baby" "Come on ride the train" " I don't know what you been told, it ain't the butterfly its the tootsie roll" "I saw the sign"....ahh, high school flashbacks. Awkward.

Anyways, here is a look at a normal long run day.

Well let me start with the prep the night before. I fill a water bottle, add a scoop of spark and put it in the fridge. I lay out everything I am going to wear, including band aids for my pinky toes (I get bad blood blisters and things turn ugly quick without a band aid) and my knee brace. I don't rely on my 4:45 am self to remember all of the details.

Today

4:45-my alarm goes off

5:00 I get to the gym (long runs are always on a padded floor or treadmill, my knees can't handle 2 hours of pounding pavement. Stretch, set up my water and phone. Eat 3 energy shots. I LOVE Clif Shot Bloks. I can't pick a favorite flavor. They are gummy like and 1/2 package is 100 cals. I have found that these are the only things that don't make me nauseous in my run but also satisfy my hunger pains. If I have a small dinner the night before a big run I will eat these before I run. If I am pretty full from the previous night's dinner then I will eat them throughout the run.

I also drank about 6 ounces of water with Advocare Spark (strawberry mango) on the way to the gym.

5:09/5:10 I turn on my music, note my time started and get my run on.

"A little bit of monica in my life, a little bit of erika by my side".

Now depending on how my body feels and how long I have to run I set a base pace. Today I knew that I was in it for the long haul, unless my body said otherwise, so I started out at my base pace, which is what I can comfortably do the whole time. For me that is about an 8.8 or 9 minute mile.
There are tons of apps that can help you figure out your base pace. I use RunKeeper and/or just the timer on my phone to figure things out.
My Goober always comes with me on long runs so he can practice bball and ripstick in the middle of the gym. He snapped this without me knowing. Look at that form :/

6:00ish I stop and drink the rest of my water, another 6 ounces, check my time and change pace. My right thigh is starting to cramp so I straighten up. I tend to hunch over and push my body into the run but changing positions allows me to look ahead the whole time and keep my spine straighter. This instantly puts more pressure on my calves, taking some off of my thighs.

"I'm blue, da ba dee"

6:52 I ask Goober to check the time and note that I have 17 more minutes to go and regardless of what my legs are saying I am going to push through. During the last mile my left calf started throbbing so I again changed pace and went into a longer stride which put the weight on my hips, taking it off my calves. Sometimes I even find that changing the direction in which I run helps my legs last longer.

7:00 I stop for water one last time and head outside as the sun rises to finish up my last mile. I tell Goober to watch the clock and let me know when its 7:09. I can feel my legs burning as he yells 7:09 and I run over and high five him.


7:09 I immediately begin to jump, this is what I have found to really help me stretch out my calves. I jump as high as I can in the air and point my toes. Then I press my heels into the ground to stretch out my knees. Then I sit and do some stretching and toe pointing, all while noticing just how stinkin sweaty I am. I never ever notice my sweat until I stop and then it seems to pour out in bucketfuls. Attractive right?

After stretching I tally up my miles. I NEVER look at my mileage until after a run. I more or less aim for time and then push myself to see how much I can accomplish in that time. I was thrilled to discover that in 2 hours I had run 13.6 miles. A little more than a 1/2 marathon. It was not a PR for pace but I'll take it, considering that only 4 months ago I was elated that I could run 2 miles without dying. I also remember my first 5 mile run in early August and how I napped for 2 solid hours afterwards :).

After a run the first thing I do is shower. I get the water as HOT as possible and let it beat on my legs for a nice chunk of time, or at least until one of my kiddos notices I am home and begins asking me questions through the door. You know, those questions that their dad can answer but they bypass him on the couch and come to me instead. "Yes, you can have cheerios, no you can't have a dessert, Yes you can have yogurt, Stop stealing your brothers monkey blanket". WHERE IS YOUR FATHER??
Adam says they come to me because they know that his answer is always No. That man is pure genius.

BREAKFAST-I think breakfast is THE most IMPORTANT meal for someone who works out first thing in the morning. It sets the pace for the whole day, replenishes your fuel and gets your metabolism going. On days that I weight train I normally eat a protein bar and fruit or egg whites for breakfast. On long run days I normally eat Kashi cereal, yogurt or oatmeal. Since today is Sunday, I also knew that I would be getting lots of protein from my usual Starbucks drink before church so I went for a lighter breakfast.

1 package of Pumpkin and Chai oatmeal, mixed with 2 tbsp of PB2 (I could eat this stuff on anything) and one braeburn apple cut into chunks. HEAVENLY!!!!!!!!!!!
If Starbucks wasn't in the picture then I would have probably added in another packet of oatmeal.

Then off to get ready for church, Starbucks run (Chai Latte for Adam, Skinny Vanilla Latte for Me, Jr. Hot Chocolate for Goober (his reward for keeping my time this morning).

Church was awesome, but sitting that long after a run always makes my leg ache. I tend to stretch and move around, all without trying to distract everyone.

I eat a whole wheat bagel with 2 tbsp of cream cheese for lunch, along with LOTS of water!! Gotta replenish and stay hydrated!!

As soon as the kiddos lay down for a nap I grab my heating pad (its one of those gel pads that forms around your legs--you boil it after it has cooled off) and plop down on the couch to heat up my calves and get them ready for tomorrows workout. I have found that icing my joints (knees, ankles, shoulder) and heating my larger muscles (calves, thighs) is what restores me the quickest. I have heard others say that ice is their only go to and that heat has no effect on their soreness.

I should also mention that I wear a knee brace on my right knee for most long runs. Its a weighted one that velcros around the bottom of my knee. As I like to say, "my knee doesn't hurt, it just reminds me that its there when I run". This brace has helped me the most and normally I am fine as long as I am wearing it. I bought it at Lukes Locker for $17.

So thats it....., how I prepare, push through and recover from a long run.





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