I first started running my senior year of college. I wouldn’t exactly call it running though. I wanted to train for a 5K. I trained. I ran. I conquered.
And then I didn’t run for about 3 more years.
It wasn’t until after my son Christian was born (2008). To work off the baby fat I returned to running, trained for a 5K, and ran a pink ribbon run. I trained. I ran. I conquered.
And then I didn’t run for about 6 more years.
Which brings us to the end of last year, 2014 where I started running again. I’m starting to see a very weak and lazy pattern. Oops. Okay, truth is I’m pretty active in cycling, kayaking, golfing, hiking and so many other things that running just never really interested me. My past attempts let me know it’s mind grueling work. I kept telling myself that I hate running, and I really did! Hello snooze fest! But, something snapped in my brain when I turned 35, and I realized if I’m ever going to cross a marathon off my bucket list this is the year to do it.
A few weeks ago I crossed the 8 mile mark for distance, and there was something very different about 8 miles. It required more planning as far as pre, during and post hydration + food. I accomplished an 8 mile run a week before, but my time was terrible, the recovery was hard and I was seriously questioning if my body was built for distance. I did a little research, and some encouraging words from a running friend put my head in the right place and I went back to the pavement.
My second 8 mile attempt was magical. I did everything right, and my body was so happy I felt like doing cartwheels and backflips afterward. Can you see my post-run glow here in these pictures? I was so happy I was practically beaming!
Er, that might be the sweat.
Nah, total runners glow, obviously!
Here’s how my 8 miles went:
First thing in the am : 10oz water, ½ banana, ½ Blueberry RxBar, protein bar, stretches
Mile 1: 10:24 min/mi
Mile 2: 10:52 min/mi – incline
Mile 3: 9:42 min/mi – slight decline
Mile 4: 10:16 min/mi – 10 oz water, ½ Blueberry RxBar, protein bar, ½ tsp salt
Mile 5: 10:32 min/mi
Mile 6: 10:42 min/mi – incline
Mile 7: 10:33 min/mi – decline
Mile 8: 10:09
Post run: ½ banana, 16 oz water, 5 minutes of stretching, 3 eggs + vegetables (find that breakfast HERE), then more stretching.
My recovery was, well, unnoticeable. My body just bounced right back as if nothing happened. I didn’t have any lingering pains or dehydration. When I first started running back in November I had some knee aches, but I was able to solve that with new ASICS shoes and some stretches. Maybe I’ll have to do a post about stretches here in the future.
So the take home:
– Pre, during and post run fuel is essential. Not only to power your run but for good post recovery.
– Hydration is everything, and when you hit 8+ miles you need to start taking water with you.
– Stretching makes all the difference and can help your body heal from current aches, pains, soreness and even joint clicking.
How have you conquered those long runs and what do you do for food and hydration?
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