I have been asked by many people what I do (and what I eat) before, during, and after my long runs. To answer those questions I decided to document my entire day from start to finish to show what my days look like when I run long. This was an especially important long run, because it was the peak of our training for the Air Force Marathon. We had 20 miles on the schedule, which was a big deal! I knew that after this long run was over we would begin tapering (cutting back) for our big race. I wanted to have a good final long run to build our confidence.
However, I was worried about this run because of the hurricane that was on its way to our area. Also, this was our third attempt at running 20 in this training period. I purposefully built three 20 milers into our schedule because I knew it would build our confidence more and I wanted to have options in case one or two of them didn’t go successfully. Attempt #1 was great, attempt #2 – not so much. I tried to mentally prepare myself all week to run such a great distance, and last night Kevin and I ate dinner early and were in bed by 9 p.m. I was hoping for the best!
The rest of this post will be very picture-heavy. The pictures tell the story of my day better than words 🙂
4:30 AM ~ The alarm went off and I took my medicine (Synthroid for my hypothyroidism). I have to get up so early because I need to wait 30 minutes to eat after taking my pill. If I got up any later my pre-run food wouldn’t have time to digest before I started running!
4:30 – 5:00 ~ I got dressed (I had the clothes laid out and ready to go), put on the oh-so important Body Glide, made and drank coffee.
5:00 – 6:00 ~ I ate my Honey Stinger Energy Bar (so good!) and then woke up Kevin and gave him his bar.
I also checked the weather to see the status of Hurricane Irene. I was anxious to get started. I wanted to outrun the storm!
We filled up our Camelbacks and we got our fuel ready and packed it all inside our packs. We packed 4 Gus (for Kevin), 3 packs of Honey Stinger Energy Gels (for me), and 2 Nuun hydration tablets.
After doing that we each took a bathroom break (no photos of that, lol), took a quick picture together and headed out!
6:00 – 9:30 ~ Running! So, this run didn’t start out very good for Kevin. He has had lingering knee issues since we trained for the Nashville marathon last spring. He has been resting more and trying to stretch, foam roll and ice it. Some days are better than others, but today was not good for him. Three miles in he was limping in pain so we made the decision that he should turn around and not risk injuring himself more. The plan was that he would go home then get the car and find me along the route we had planned. I was worried about being alone and so far out if it started storming, so it made me feel better knowing he was coming out to make sure I was okay.
So from mile 3 – 12 I was on my own on a VERY hilly route. It was extremely humid because of the storm that was coming. I was drenched in sweat and struggling to put one foot in front of the other at some points. I wanted to walk, but I kept telling myself to just push out one more mile. At mile 12 Kevin had found me and I stopped to walk for the first time. He had brought me a water bottle full of Nuun and it felt amazing to replace some electrolytes. He also brought the camera and decided to play paparazzi for the rest of the run 🙂
He went to visit with his family and then came out to find me when I was around mile 16. He drove up next to me and honked and I didn’t realize it was him at first, so I gave him the sneaky side glance! People always honk at me when I’m running. I don’t know why they do that!
He drove ahead a little bit and I kept running. By mile 17 I was feeling okay but my body was really starting to ache. I just kept telling myself to keep going, and I was visualizing myself running with an actual hurricane behind me that I was trying to outrun. It sounds silly but it actually worked!
Kevin tried to get all artistic with his photography.
These pictures are making me see exactly how I run. It seems like I land on my outer heel and then my foot rolls inwards as I push off the ground. Looks kinda weird. I think I need to work on that.
Adjusting my Camelbak. I think because it’s 2 and a half years old the straps have gotten looser and I occasionally have to pull it tight again.
Mile 19.5! I’m almost finished!
I even was able to sprint the last half mile, finishing it in 8:59!
Final time was 3:15:27, 9:46 average pace.
I was super happy because I planned my nutrition and hydration perfectly and had no stomach issues whatsoever. I ate my energy chews 5 at a time which equals 80 calories, at 0:55, 1:20, 1:45, 2:10, 2:35, and 3:00. I also drank my Nuun drink at mile 12 and that helped keep my energy levels stable. I am planning to stick to this same plan at my race in September.
9:30 – 10:30 ~ As soon as I got in the door I drank a coconut water.
I changed out of my soaking wet clothes and stretched for a little while (in a towel). When I get back from a long run I always feel the need to change out my clothes immediately!
And Kevin made me oatmeal while I was stretching 🙂 It was made the normal way, with a banana, blueberries, and almond butter and I relaxed on the couch while eating it.
10:30 – 11:30 ~ I took a long shower, changed into my recovery socks, did some laundry and drank more water.
11:30 – 2:00 ~ A wonderful, amazing NAP!
2:00 – 3:00 ~ I woke up starving! We hadn’t gone to the grocery store yet so I ate a yogurt then made a panini with random leftover veggies and roasted red pepper sauce that I made last week. It was really good!
3:00 – 5:00 ~ I relaxed on the couch watching episodes of Teen Mom (why is that show so addicting?). I got a little headache so I took some Tylenol and then got ready to go out to dinner with my man.
5:00 – 7:00 ~ Kevin and I braved the rain and went to dinner at Red Robin. I told Kevin I would take him out to eat anywhere he wanted tonight and that’s where he wanted to go! I got a delicious Southwestern salad with avocado, black beans, veggies, fried jalapenos (!), and other delicious things.
And of course the bottomless fries. Oooohh they were good!
Kevin was a happy guy!
I ate one too many bottomless fries, but running 20 miles makes me feel like a bottomless pit sometimes.
After dinner it was really starting to get bad outside, so we made a quick trip to Target to get some essentials before heading home.
We got bananas, coffee, frozen yogurt and an avocado. Clearly all important items!
7:00 – now! ~ When we got home I poured a glass of wine (only drank about 1/3 of it though – wasn’t feeling it).
And ate some of my frozen yogurt 🙂
Now I am listening to the storm outside and hoping not to lose power. I’m going to stretch some more in a little bit. I feel really tight in my hips and hamstrings. But overall I am SO happy with how today went. I can’t wait to race in Ohio next month and see what I can do!