Sunday, November 30, 2008

Someone Pinch Me - Warm Weather in November

112.64 running miles for the month of November. That's a new record by a whole 2.02 miles from a year ago!
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I got a bit of a late start today as I didn't head out the door until 1:30, but since I hadn't planned on doing much of anything else besides my long run today that wasn't much of an issue. It was nice and sunny and 7.5°C (45°F) here. I know for some that is pretty cold, but for me, that spells capris, a short sleeve shirt layered with a long sleeve shirt on top. For around here on November 30th, that is pretty good! I've really been pushing the pace on my long runs lately and I wind up feeling like crap in the last few miles - tired legs and very tight hip flexors. Today I was going to run easy and slow and see what happened. Thanks to the McMillan running calculator I've learned that my long run pace should be anywhere between a 10:47 to 11:47/mile.

I couldn't really get enthused about running along the river so I opted to just run my entire 18.64 miles (or 30K) around my neighborhood. Luckily there all kinds of culdesacs and loops that you can run around so finding the distance wasn't too bad. I figured if I needed anything along the run I would just detour back past my house and hopefully not be enticed by my couch.

I also wanted to try something different out on the run. I trained with Gatorade throughout the summer, and if you mix it from powder the taste isn't too bad, but I have been finding it a bit sweet lately. I've just been running with plain old tap water, but that really doesn't help you with electrolyte replacement. Yesterday I had stopped by Bow Cycle for their bike expo. There was a representative from nuun there and I had a chance to chat with him about the product and have a taste. I've read that a lot of my blogging buddies like it, but I hadn't given it a shot though. In case you haven't tried nuun yet either, it is a fizzy tablet that you add to a bottle of water. It turns that bottle of water in to an electrolyte replacement drink, but without the carbs. I found the taste to be pretty mild and unobtrusive, and while I was initially worried about my stomach's reaction to the effervescent effect it went down pretty smoothly.

My run was pretty uneventful, especially in the beginning. I've been working on running a 19:1 interval, although my walk break gives me enough time to have a drink and then I start back up again. Every hour I down a Gu. Today's flavours were Orange Burst (hmm, not my favourite), Chocolate Mint (love, love, love) and Chocolate Outrage (also pretty good). After I had been running for about 13 miles the sun was starting to set, I was almost out of water and I needed to go to the bathroom. I stopped in at Starbucks and once I came out I was freezing. I didn't feel like suffering through the last hour of my run getting colder and colder so I detoured by my home to swap out my long sleeve shirt for a heavier long sleeve layer. I was so happy for this, because as I continued on I was running head on in to some cold wind. Making the change was good. My legs were still feeling strong. Even though I finished up the last few miles of my run on a route that had some good hills thrown in I felt pretty good. Apparently this starting slow thing really works, and I averaged right where I needed to be pace-wise on a long run. I finished up right outside Starbucks (how convenient) and grabbed a beverage before heading home for a quick recovery spin and some stretching.

I'm often been asked by people how you don't get bored running for hours on end. What does one think of? I'm never really sure how to answer this question, so I pondered it a bit today. Truthfully, I don't think about too much out there a lot of the time. Plodding along, recognizing the rhythm of my footfalls and breaths seems to be the norm for me. Sometimes if I think too much this is a bad thing. Right now I'm working so much that running gives my brain some much needed time off. As another example, invariably you start to think about how something hurts, or about how you still have so far left to go. Today I made a conscious effort to not think about how far I had to run. I figured that if I broke it down (wow...you are only a third of the way there..!) it would get too depressing! I thought about when I needed to take a gel in relation to minutes on the road, but otherwise I just kept plodding along. Sometimes I get a snippet of a song in my head but it rarely lasts for long. When things get tough at the end and I just want to be done I think about what I want at the end of my run. Am I looking forward to my bike? Or eating something? A lot of times I think about what beverage from Starbucks I'm going to pick up. Just chanting "venti iced non-fat latte" over and over with every step got me through a particularly tough 15 miler this summer. Today I kept thinking about the grande decaf non-fat peppermint mocha twist with whip, but mostly because it was such a mouthful I wanted to be sure I remembered all components when it came time to order! What about you, what do you think of on your long run?

17 comments:

Laurel said...

I'm like you...

I get snippets of songs in my head, or think about what I am going to eat when I get home. Sometimes if I am upset about something, I get all involved with that in my head and that's usually when I have my best runs. Or if I have my ipod, I will think of some musical scenario to whatever song is one (dork).

But most of the time I just veg out and think about nothing.

ShirleyPerly said...

Glad you had a chance to try starting out slow. If you want to push the pace on a long run, I think the best time to do is the last 1/4 or 1/3 of the run. It's a great feeling to finish a long run strong.

And I too often run to the beat of the music I play in my head (never wear headphones). Sometimes I think about blog posts I've read or ones I plan to write, videos I'd like to create, past races I've run and which ones I'd like to do, where I am in life, why I'm doing things, what I want to do when I retire ... there never seems to be a dull moment!

Miss H said...

I'm with you - I typically zone out and think about nothing. I usually just think about my breath and my feet, though I do occasionally get songs running through my head (I would never run with headphones). When I'm in the mountains I watch for birds. And when I am really suffering I conjugate verbs in Portuguese.

Run Mommy said...

I think of everything...and nothing.

Alexandra said...

No need in pinching you, it is reality and isn't it great! Good for you for doing what ever it took to get through that long one yesterday.

When I'm out on those long ones, I spend lots of time noticing the scenery around me, picking out what I might not normally have the time or chance to see. I think about what reward I might like to have when I complete a race. I think about what my blog posts should be called and the content of them. If something is on my mind that I need to work through then that is the first thing on my agenda and once it is dealt with and free my mind of it then it's time to move on to all the other things mentioned.

Could there possibly be capri weather in December! Here's hoping!

Melanie said...

I'm like you with the music, can't remember by the time my run ends which songs have played. I think of nothing, and am usually zoned out. I think this is part of my love for running.... it's a break from reality :) great job on the run and ordering your coffee! LOL

Wes said...

Ayyy! That's an awesome month :-) You rock!! Powergel makes an electrolyte drink mix I like. 10 calories, goes down pretty good. Nuthin wrong with Nuun though!!

Hart said...

nuun is the best electrolyte drink out there. it tastes good so you drink more. it's easy, just dissolve it in the bottle, put it on the bike and it's there when you get there. ready to drink. and it's got everything you need in it for electrolyte replenishment.

when i run ultras i only use nuun for my electrolyte replenishment. the stuff is great.

RunToFinish said...

was that someone punch me because I have warm weather and you don't?? :) kidding, but seriously you are farther north I should be having the better weather and not this 18 degree weather!!

I think about all kinds of things on long runs, but mostly it's almost like meditation and I rarely remember any of it later.

Girl on Top said...

I think of everything and anything. Food, friends, events, people, what I need to get done, etc.

Lily on the Road said...

Sounds like it was a really great run! Thanks for the nunn tip, I'll see if it is here in ON.

I'm just like you, I go out and brain drain, then realise that I'm listening to the sounds of the birds, water and my breathing.

Lucky for you that you looped around your home area, so you could go in and change. Smart!!

Marlene said...

Congratulations on your 30K and some awesome mileage for the month. Amazing!!!

I have a bad habit of over-analyzing the distance... what fraction or percentage I have completed, etc. Sometimes it helps, but sometimes it just makes the time drag. Mainly I count on music or company.

Marcy said...

I like the blue background! Very nice!

I think of the most jacked up stuff. I am NOT kidding. ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING goes through my head during a long run HAHA. You know what's funny is that my most productive long runs are always the ones when I'm thinking of nothing and just kinda being in tune to everything around me (that sounds kinda hippie like HAHA)

RoadBunner said...

Congrats on a month mileage PR! Hmm...I'm not sure what I think about, either! I'm sure it is all very cryptic. I usually don't get much accomplished on a run. I may set out and think, "Okay, in the next 3 hours I'm going to make a decision about X." Then I get back hours later and have thought a lot, I'm sure, but haven't solved any real thinking situations. I think I think more about what's going on around me. Like, "That's a pretty flower." "That guy has a nice bike." "I feel good!" "I feel bad!" That sort of stuff.

Steve Stenzel said...

WOW!!! Nice month!!

And yeah, I don't get board on long runs either, so I hear you!

Viv said...

ongrat Leana on hitting that huge 100+ this month. You are one tough cookie for a 30K in your hood. Mine is so small I would pull out all my hair.

I tend to zone out in my runs too. i know I think a lot but once I stop it is like on the pavement somwheres I just can't remember one thing.

The Starbucks drink at the end is always that extra motivator or me too :-)

Brooke said...

great job on a huge month! I have yet to get there myself, but sometime soon! I wonder about all sorts of things while running. I do a lot of calculations of time and distance, how fast I need to do mile x to get time y....that sort of thing. And music. Always.