Just as I am starting to think I know what I am doing with exercise and nutrition, I learn – the hard way – that I really don’t know as much as I think I know. My wife reminds me all the time that I don’t know as much as I think I know. But what does she know, right?
After Saturday’s run of 11.3 miles I decided to go on an early morning Sunday run with our friend Yolie Kernes and the OK Land Runners. Kay and my daughter Emily normally goes with us on these runs but they were both skiing in Colorado, so I figured I would just meet Yolie and one of Emily’s friends there and do the run with them. It is a training run for the OKC Marathon. People who are doing the half marathon were going to run 7 miles, and people doing the full marathon were going to run 14 miles. I wasn’t sure how my body was going to feel after Saturday’s 11 mile run, so I was going to play it by ear, see how my body reacted, and then hopefully do the full 14 miles. Yesterday’s 11 mile run was just plain fun and enjoyable – at least the first 10 miles were until I ran out of “fuel”.
Today’s run below:
This time I was going to eat a little extra “fuel” before the run so I would have plenty for the full 14 miles. A little bit of fuel – aka food – worked great the day before, so a little more would work better today, right? Right? With me here? This is the part where I am thinking I know more than I really know.
I decided to eat a bowl of granola about an hour before the run. Not a wise move I discovered. I also downed a banana on the way to the run about 10 minutes prior to the start, thinking this would also help. I usually eat a banana before a run, so granola AND a banana would be good. Right?
Wrong. About 4 miles into the run my stomach was none too happy. The acid from the granola was working its way to the top. At the 5 mile mark it was coming up my throat and I had to stop and let some of it spew onto the side of the trail. Feed the squirrels and birds. Yea, just like a momma bird feeding her babies. That was me.
Ugh. I decided I better turn around and head back to my truck at the OKC Riversports park where had started the run. I didn’t feel like talking the 7 mile turnaround spot and would instead just make this a 10 mile run. After my stomach settled a bit I tried eating those gummy bear energy squares, but my stomach was having nothing of that. I didn’t puke those out but my stomach was not happy so I just ran without food the rest of the way. And paid for it. My legs were like chunks of firewood at about 7 miles and I was really wondering how I was going to get back to my truck. I finally decided to walk for a bit. This helped a bit, but I also started cooling off and the sweat under my jacket got cold quickly in the 18 degree temps. Brr. I had a choice to make – either walk and freeze or run, work up a sweat, and tough it out with my leaden legs and sick stomach. I ended up running in 10 minute stretches, walking a minute, then running again. This was hard because my legs would get stiff when I quit running and would take a few minutes to get warmed up again once I started running.
One more thing I forgot to mention. I had something rubbing inside my shoe right on the inside arch of my right foot. I am not sure what it was, and even stopped once at 5 miles to adjust my socks. When I got home I had a HUGE blood blister on my instep. Humm, I wasn’t expecting that. Luckily it wasn’t in a load bearing area so hasn’t caused me a lot of trouble.
I FINALLY made it back to my truck. My legs were shot, my stomach was not happy, and I was just completely out of energy. I was NOT having fun, unlike the day before, when I actually had a longer run and a lot more fun.
So the lessons I learned?
- Don’t eat complex carbs before a run. Stick with easily digestible food like bananas. A friend suggested peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Might try those.
- Stick with natural food as much as possible. I like the taste of the gummy bear energy squares, but they seem to be made of pure sugar and tend to upset my stomach. I can take them in small doses but really need to focus on real food. Cliff bars and fig bars worked well for me in the past. I am going to stick with those for now.
- Stick with socks that I have run with in the past. I ran with new warmer socks on Saturday and Sunday and I think these may have been the reason for my blood blister. Need to try wool socks when it is cold.
I like the idea of stringing two long days together. I want to try and do more of that. I ended up getting 21 miles running done in 2 days – over 30 for the week.
Below is my Saturday 11.3 mile run.