Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Miles of earthworms

Thanks so much for all the nice comments on yesterday's entry about my running anniversary! A few people asked what program I use to keep track of my runs. I use RunningAHEAD--a free website that you can use with or without a Garmin. Whenever I post screen shots about my runs, it's from RunningAHEAD as well.

I love that site! I've been using it since the day I started running (although you can backlog too, if have previous runs you want to put in there). Whenever you run, you can either upload info from the Garmin or input the information yourself (time and distance, and it will calculate your pace). You can also keep track of the miles on your running shoes, other sports--swimming, biking, and weight lifting, weather during your runs, quality of your runs, etc. You can also map out routes that you plan on running or view routes that you've already run.

It keeps track of total and you can run different reports, which is what I did to find that info and show you the graph of my running over the past 2 years. I'm a "numbers person" and I love to see all that data!

It was raining pretty hard yesterday morning, so Jessica and I decided to postpone our long run to today. Today it was supposed to be a high of 65 degrees! We chose to go to La Pita for lunch afterward instead of Whole Foods--we figured we could do must less damage calorically at La Pita than the bakery of Whole Foods ;)

We left for the Metropark at about 8:15. This is a step-back week (meaning the mileage of the long run drops a little before picking up next week) so we only had 10 miles scheduled. I brought along one Gu packet and a bottle of water. We were running a new route today, so I was kind of excited to check it out.

It turned out to be a really nice route! A combination of the quiet natural setting of the woods in the Metropark, and then we went along some busier roads (we were on a bike path). We even crossed an overpass over the expressway.

The one thing we noticed were that were hundreds (probably thousands) of earthworms littered all along the path from the rain yesterday. It was still a little wet this morning, and the worms were all over the place. We were literally dodging worms for miles.

I was feeling really worn out and sluggish for the first half of the run. Nothing was hurting, but I felt fatigued. Jessica said she felt it too. I think I was feeling that way because normally I take 2 rest days before my long runs, and my last rest day was on Saturday (I had the race on Sunday and yesterday I ran 4 miles on the indoor track).

We did an out-and-back route, and at mile 6, we decided to eat our Gu. Normally, we stop running and take a water break, but today we decided to walk and eat and drink at the same time, while the Garmin clock was ticking, just like we will do during the marathon. (We plan on walking through the aid stations at the marathon).

I thought I brought the Peanut Butter Gu, but when I pulled it out, I saw it was the Chocolate Outrage flavor. I was a little nervous to try it, because when I bought it, I didn't realize it had caffeine in it, and caffeine makes me extremely jittery.

But I was feeling so run down that I tried it anyway, and HOLY COW--it is SO good! One of you told me that it tastes like chocolate frosting, and you were right on. That's exactly what it tastes like. I think I like it even better than the peanut butter one. Jessica happened to bring the same flavor with her, and she agreed--chocolate frosting.

After that, and maybe this was just mental, I felt a little pep in my step and I felt much better for the remaining 4 miles. It was pretty warm out, though (about 60) and I wished it was cooler. I like the 40's for running weather.

Thankfully, my stomach behaved and I felt great after the run. I'm convinced it was that stupid Nuun that made my stomach revolt during our last long run. I'm sticking with Gu and water!

After our run, we freshened up the best we could (I had baby wipes and a comb--but I still smelled like I ran 10 miles!) then we headed to La Pita. Every time I eat at La Pita, I seriously moan with every bite. It is just.that.good.

I got my usual there, the chicken kabob (this is the LUNCH portion, and it's huge):
Not pictured: the 4 warm pita breads I dipped in my hummus and garlic sauce
Last time we ate there, I ate the entire thing, but today, I probably only ate about half of it. I was trying not to get that feel-like-I'm-going-to-puke-I'm-so-full feeling. I definitely could have eaten more, but I was pretty full. So I brought the rest home with me.

Like I said, MUCH less damage than the Whole Foods bakery! That turtle brownie alone probably had more calories than this entire lunch. And Middle Eastern food is pretty healthy. I never feel sick and gross when I leave La Pita because the food isn't covered in grease and salt.

Today's long run was definitely a success. I'm going to rest tomorrow, then run 7 on Thursday. Our next long run is on Monday, and it's *gulp* 15 miles! I've never run more than 13.1, so I'm super nervous about the 15. We said we're going to play it by ear whether we go eat after the run, because we both may not feel so hot after that one...


  1. What's on the menu for dessert??? And how the heck does that work? 13 miles one week, 10 the next, then 15??? What happened to 14?!?

  2. 15 miles?!? Holy crap, man! I am so impressed. I can't wait to get to that stage! I HATE running after hard rains, because I know the earthworms will be out in force. It's disconcerting to run while trying to avoid stepping on and smushing the creatures! Good job on your run!

  3. It was awesome to see all your stats yesterday. You are def a numbers gal! and Congrats on your race! The chocoalate Gu is the only one Ive tried..love it; cant seem to find the peanut butter.
    I'm curently training for my first half and am up to 9 miles. I cant even comprehend 15! You go girl! -Deb from TN

  4. I'm excited to hear how your 15 miles goes! That will be an awesome accomplishment to have under your belt! Keep up the amazing work!

  5. Thanks for the running website, I am definitely going to use that.

    I cannot wait until the day I can say "we only had 10 miles scheduled." 10 miles scares the crap out of me and look at you! You're awesome! Good luck on your 15 miles!

  6. It rained pretty good here in Ohio yesterday as well. I took my dog for a run during the break in the weather and we couldnt help but step on way too many slimy worms. But I love running in a light rain!

  7. That does look really good...and you've talked about La Pita in several posts! I wonder how far it is from me...I might just have to make a trip there and try it out for myself. : )


  8. I am slightly embarrassed to say I ate that exact same lunch last week...twice! Working just about across the street is going to be very dangerous!

  9. Yum, that food looks great!
    And I am not a runner...yet. Maybe in the future, but I'm only about 9 pounds in to a 100+ needed weight loss, so...
    Anyway, I heard a story on the radio today that a guy in Des Moines, IA (I live in Iowa, though not Des Moines) celebrated his 40th birthday by running 40 miles! My first thought was "Holy crap!" My 2nd thought was of you. :) You are such an inspiration, Katie!

  10. Ewww wormies! La Pita sounds amazing. In Oregon and Washington we have Pita Pit, a sorta fast foody place where you order Subway style- just tell them what meat, veggies and sauces to tuck into your pita. It's so good I want some right now! :D Good luck on your 15 mile run! When I add to my runs I will add really small increments, like 2 extra laps at the park, or 2 extra minutes. You'll be great!

  11. Katie how do you carry this stuff with you on the run? Especially a whole bottle of water. I'm not nearly running as much as you are, but as it gets more hot here (it was 80 today) I think I'm going to need a drink mid-run.

  12. Just think Katie.....in some ways your first run ever was probably harder than 15 miles now. :) You've come a long way.

  13. I had the same issue with earthworms today! I even stepped on one, yuck!

    Great job on the run!

  14. All this talk about peanut butter and chocolate GU is making me want to schedule a long run just to try it.

  15. LOVE Middle Eastern/Greek food on my long run days! (Hell, I love it all days!!) That platter looks delicious! Good luck on your next long run! Take plenty of Gu and water, I found that beer helped the upset stomach afterwards. :-p

  16. I can totally visualize you guys running while dodging all the earth worms. What a workout! That food looks delish!!!

    I am SO a numbers person! I'm just getting started on my weight loss journey and made the comment to my mom that I wanted a Garmin. She said, "that's not necessary, you can do the same thing without it." "true I said but I'm such a numbers person". She quickly agreed that I needed one after I made that point. Thanks for the website!

    Can't wait to read about all your upcoming runs!

  17. Just found your blog and spent several hours (don't tell my boss!) reading. Very inspiring. :) I've just started my own weight loss journey to lose 60 lbs (I'm 5'10", so losing 100 isn't really realistic for me) and am a third of the way there.

    I ran two marathons about 10 years ago, and have done several half marathons since (including one a week and a half ago) and hopefully losing more weight will help me get faster.

    I don't think I'll ever be able to stomach Gu, though. :D

  18. You are going to do great on the 15 mile run!!!! I love the different flavors of GU packs, I used to do sports beans but I find the gus are easier. I use one every 40-45 mins of running and 1 15 mins before the run. Have you got yourself a fuel belt yet?

    ps i need some worms for the compost bin i want to make for my tiny 4x4 square foot garden i started!!!

  19. I'm a big fan of Running Ahead too - I discovered it several months ago and it really appeals to the numbers junkie in me :)

    Great job on the run, but ewwwwwwwwww earthworms!!

  20. I just bought the mint chocolate gu and it is AMAZING. Also, no added caffeine!

  21. I tried the Mandarin Orange GU with caffeine for my last 15k, and I felt the same way :) Usually caffeine makes me jittery too, but this was really helpful. I also tried the mint chocolate one today that did not have the added caffeine and I didn't quite feel the extra pep in my step. lol


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