Nov 18, 2007

long run experiment #1

test one of on-the-run fueling. today was the longest run since the marathon. last week & the week before i did 10 milers and brought my own water bottle - the kind that straps on to your hand. it was a pain in the ass. today, however, i got to try out my new birthday present from coach. and while i felt like a total dork with it on, i thought if it saves me from a sidewalk collapse, i'll wear anything. now, that said this was another kind of pain in the ass. the cold, leaky water in 35 degree weather kind. it is a weensy bit hard to get the bottles out and i hadn't quite closed the top each time i had water. i'm sure it will get better with practice. lets just say when i got home, i realized why my ass - specifically, my right cheek - was freezing.

i did love the fact that i could drink on the run whenever i wanted. and the thought of having little bottles from which to drink during a marathon and not having to mess with - literally - the water in water stops and just pray that some of it gets in my mouth and not on my shirt is very appealing. i will learn to close the tops and get the bottles out easily. the fuel belt is a good thing.

so, in addition to my new program of no refined sugar, increased calories and more greens in the days going into this run, i had some nutrition suggestions to follow/try out during the run. GU could not be an option. i had to try real food. a banana halfway through the run. and while i got the okay on HEED in one water bottle, i was meant to go for the water first and listen to my body to determine if the HEED was really needed.

i had my double breakfasts on friday and saturday. i had a small bowl of oatmeal (real, slow cooker kind) one hour before i left. and i set off in the pre-dawn darkness. and i almost never listen to tunes at this hour - mostly because i want to be able to hear the van that all serial killers drive pull up behind me before i get dumped in it - i had some rockin' tunes on and was way happy. way. i turned off the main drag and headed into the park. the pitch black park. and i suddenly remembered that i never map my runs through the park at this hour. and i'm freaked out by the canbarelyseemyhandsinfrontofmyface blackness and convinced that there's quite likely a serial killer waiting in the woods for some unsuspecting runner with a fuel belt to come by. so i turn the tunes off and think i'll just move swiftly and silently through the park and mr. serial killer won't even hear me. wtf is that noise? swish, swish, swish. jesus! the water. in my fuel belt. is loud.

four miles later, i'm coming up to my friends' driveway where i stashed a banana on the hood of their car last night. and i'm just hoping a small animal didn't beat me to it or it's not frozen solid. lo and behold, it is still there. and so 7 miles in to run. i eat. real food. while running. and i am happy. and i get to another park to wait for a friend who is going to run the last half with me. and i have my first sip of HEED - but in looking back, i'm not sure why i took it. i was feeling great. crazy great. i had just run a big dog run by myself. a little over 7 miles in an hour. i think i just took the HEED as insurance. to make sure the great stuck around. we set off for the second half of my run. which was even better. even faster. i took HEED one more time around 10.5, and i wonder why i took it here too. i'm not sure there was ever a moment where i was feeling lightheaded, or having trouble with the pace. again, i think maybe i just took it as insurance. i did definitely feel thirsty and maybe just needed water. i never had that hungry, hollow feeling like my stomach was digesting itself, which, um - would happen on long runs sometimes. and i never worried that i needed to run to the bathroom. i could just run. everything was in a happy place.

i had been waiting for this long run for 8 days. i couldn't wait to see how all my food changes affected the running. suffice it to say i had the best long run i have had in a long time. i was bummed the run was over. i could have kept going. long run experiment #1 was a success. can't wait to find out what happens on runs over 13.9.

all hail the sugar purge.


RunToTheFinish said...

Glad I'm not the only one who has slightly deliusionaly ideas about a serial killer in the bushes...seriously too many CSI shows.

I've never been a fan of GU on runs, but I know it's easier for a lot of folks. Glad you are finding things that work even better!

Nancy said...

WOW. CONGRATS on a great experiment. The stomach digesting itself would be a sign. So would lightheadedness. I'm glad you never got to either. Don't second guess yourself on the hits of HEED. Remember that you did them early even when you didn't think you needed them, and the results were fabulous. :D

Anonymous said...

i like the plan b theme song. will probably have it in my head the rest of the day.

have a great day, suzanne!

Anonymous said...

You're doing so well!

Had a bad run on my 14 miler yesterday. I know bad runs are bound to happen sometimes, but I'm also trying to make adjustments to my hydration/fueling! It's times like these that I am SO glad I'm just running a half! :)

Anonymous said...

happy birthday, super runner girl!!!


Gotta Run..... said...

I think you were smart to take the HEED "before" you really needed it. If you wait until you need it sometimes it is to late. What a GREAT gift from coach!!!

The fact that you are more than a week ahead of me with the Sugarless stuff gives me hope!!

Happy Birthday.

zanne said...

thanks for all the birthday wishes everyone! robin - i promise you, there is a silver lining. and it is fast, strong and doesn't have to stop to poop. so far so good! can't wait to get up in the bigger miles.

Jamie said...

I'm with you and Amanda - I totally have delusions about serial killers in bushes.

Sounds like the experiment is starting off right. I'm glad to hear it's going well so far.

Anonymous said...

hey-happy birthday and happy good run!! Too bad you can't use the yummy GU flavor but it sounds like you got it all worked out!

Vickie said...

My belief (and hope) is that all serial killers, dopers, etc. are usually passed out by 5 am, so I feel a little safer. However, when I hear someone is on the loose, then I do worry! As for the food/nutrition issues: all I can say is I am SO glad you are figuring this out. I had almost posted once about the fact that I rarely, if ever any more, take in anything but water and maybe one gu/gel on a long, long race, hardly ever or never on training runs. I often wondered if that was why I was so slow, but I'm starting to see that's not it. But on the other hand, I would rather be a little slower and not bonk than feel like I can't live without the sugar buzz. I tend to take something solid, but low glycemic if possible, and that has worked best for me. I have been known to have one boiled egg and a piece of toast for breakfast and then do a 4 plus hour workout with no hunger issues. Keep experimenting. It sounds like things are starting to fall into place!

Vickie said...


Laurel said...

That is so awesome!!! Congratulations on a great run! You totally deserve it!

I have that same fuel belt. I had to overcome the whole looking like a dork thing so that I could survive Miami long runs in the summer. Anyway, that one is a good one, we had a different brand, but this one is better.

And you'll get used to the noise...eventually ;)