Monday, March 19, 2012

Uncharted territory

Today was "the big day" for Jessica and me. Since we're both marathon virgins, anything over 13.1 miles was uncharted territory for us--and today was a scheduled 15 mile run. I was SO nervous.

After the disaster of our 13 mile run a couple of weeks ago, I was really dreading today's run ever since. I was worried about stomach cramps and messing up my feet. I think I solved both of those problems--the stomach cramps were caused from the Nuun, which I will never drink again, and I had mild tendonitis in my feet because my shoes had too many miles on them. So I started using my new shoes, and haven't had problems since.

Anyway, knowing that today was a big deal, I prepared accordingly. I had pasta for dinner last night, and had a salty snack before bed (pretzels and Goldfish). I woke up at 5 to drink a quart of water. I had oat bran with a banana, peanut butter, and milk for breakfast a couple of hours before the run. I packed two packets of Gu, and my water bottle--which I added a pinch of salt to, because the Gu doesn't have much sodium. I dressed in my most comfy running clothes and headed out to meet Jessica.

We were both nervous, and we didn't make plans to go eat lunch afterward, because we assumed we'd both have stomach cramps and just want to head home. We agreed to run a slow pace, because we're running a half-marathon race on Sunday, and we want to feel good for that.

I had plugged our race times into the McMillan pace calculator to determine our best training pace for a long run, and mine was 10:30-11:30 min/mile; Jessica's was 11:30-12:30 min/mi. So we agreed to keep our pace as close to 11:30 as possible.

When we first set out, it felt like we were going TOO slow, but I knew I didn't want to step up the pace because I didn't want to get cramps later. I didn't look at the Garmin much. We did a different route today, going through three different cities, and running past the car at mile 9. Jessica brought water to refill our water bottles if needed.

We actually saw quite a few people out walking or biking, and a couple of people running. I wanted to tell everyone, "We're running 15 MILES today!!" but I kept it to myself ;)

It was perfect weather for running--cool and overcast. I had my chocolate Gu at mile 6. Still no tummy troubles. When we hit the halfway point, I was still feeling really good, and started to think that maybe I'd make it through the run okay after all. We took a spontaneous small detour to go through a park, and then we ended up back at the car at mile 9.5 ish. Both of us were feeling really good at that point, and we each had half a bottle of water left, so we didn't even stop at the car.

We headed into the Metropark for the last 5 miles. There was fog everywhere, and it was really fun running surrounded by fog. I started to feel fatigued so I had my peanut butter Gu. My legs were starting to ache at about mile 12, but I didn't feel any real pain. At 12.25, we turned around and started making our way back to the car. We both got really excited when we hit 13.1 and kept going.

When my Garmin beeped at mile 14, I was excited with just one mile to go--and my Garmin has never seen anything above 13.1. At 14.5, I started smiling while running, because I knew we were actually going to DO IT. We never even stopped (or walked), the entire time we were running! We got back to the car and I heard the beep for mile 15. We both felt GREAT--no tummy problems, no real pain, just a little stiff and achy, but nothing unusual. We used the self-timer on my camera to get a picture of us in our sweaty glory:
15 miles, run and done.
Jessica's hard to miss with all that neon. I love her shoes!
 We were both feeling so good after the run that we decided to go to La Pita for lunch. La Pita is our favorite choice because it's not greasy or salty or any of the other qualities that restaurant food usually has. I got my usual, the chicken kabob (here's last week's pic of the same food--sorry I'm not too adventurous when it comes to La Pita):
I made sure not to eat too much this time, despite the fact that I was starving. I was wolfing down the pita bread and garlic sauce when I forced myself to slow down. And then, before I felt full, I stopped eating to avoid getting that horrible "too full" feeling. I felt very satisfied, but by no means FULL.

I just got home, and I'm actually feeling so good that I might take the kids to get ice cream tonight. There is a dairy farm not too far from here, so I think we'll go there and get the good stuff! The ice cream shop that is just a couple of miles from my house re-opened for the season, and I have made a vow not to go there at ALL this year. Last year, that is how I gained 15 pounds over the summer--stupid Reese cup flurries! If I want ice cream, I'll have to drive a lot farther to get it.

Damn, I feel good right now!

63 comments:

  1. soooo inspiring!!! i love reading your blog! :-)

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  2. CONGRATULATIONS!!! Slow and steady wins the race, right? It makes complete sense now. And when it comes to ordering at your favorite restaurant, if ain't broke, don't fix it! I do that all the time. I know what I like and I would hate to spend good money on food I might not enjoy!

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  3. Congrats! Your blog has inspired me to start upping my workout and I walked a 5k today in 40:33, a HUGE PR for me (and my husband who was with me)!

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  4. Awesome job! You should be proud!

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  5. YAY!!! So proud of you! You kicked that run's boo-tay!

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  6. Way to go - 15 miles!!! I personally can't imagine myself doing that, but I can imagine how excited you were to do it!
    Enjoy the ice cream - it's well deserved :)

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  7. Totally amazing!!! I've been watching at work to see when you would post how it went. Congrats!!!!!

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  8. Awesome job with the 15 miles! I ran 6 on Sunday and felt like the most amazing woman in the whole world; I can't imagine running 15! Good work!

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  9. Congratulations on your long run. I can't imagine running 15 miles right now.

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    1. And I seriously wish I could go to La Pita, it sounds amazing.

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  10. That is so awesome! I just found your blog last week, and you've inspired me to start up the walk/run program I have.

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  11. Great job! New distances feels great and 15 is no easy task.

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  12. Congrats, Katie and Jessica!! I'm glad it went so smoothly!!

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  13. My husband just came in the office and said "What are you all smiling about?" I was reading your post and I was just so excited! What an amazing accomplishment - and it went off without a hitch. Great work on prevention and planning. How did you find the Gu?

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  14. That is so awesome! There isn't anything you cannot do! Way to go.

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  15. I thought about your 15 miler today when I was running! I'm in week 13 of my 10K Runner program -- up to 40 min. +3 walk +10 run. By the end of next week I'll be at the 60 min. run goal. I'm really psyched. My pace is at 10:30 or 11, which for me is the fastest I've ever been. I hope to get it down to 10 and maybe a bit below, so that I can hit my goal of sub-30 min. 5K.

    I had a bad couple of weeks -- gastritis, stress from family health problems that I'm trying to help with. Ate too much and exercised too little. But last Friday I got back on track and I feel great. It's kind of a new experience, but I really didn't enjoy being off my program. That makes me feel like maybe, when I get my last 45 pounds off, I'll maybe be able to keep it off. 60 and counting so far!

    Thanks for your blogging each day. I look forward to seeing it. I read about you, and a few of my favorite people at Spark, and then I feel that maybe I really will make it, too. : )

    Joan

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  16. Congratulations!! That is a very exciting run! Today I was on the treadmill for my usual 40 minute walk and wasn't quite ready to quit so extended to 50 minutes thinking that if Katie is out there running 15 miles right now, surely I can walk 10 minutes longer. ;-)

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  17. Way to go on the 15 miler! That's amazing and you rock! I am getting so nervous about my first 5K next month. I'm not a "runner", so it should be interesting.

    Thanks for sharing your running experiences! I enjoy reading about them! :)

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  18. Congrats on your 15-miler! Sounds like it was really enjoyable today. Not only did I run today (with baby in the jogger and dog on the leash), I also signed up for the mudathlon! Im so excited about 3.1 miles with 40 obstacles!

    Thanks for sharing!

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    1. 40 obstacles sounds CRAZY! I did the Warrior Dash which is 3.1 miles with 12-15 obstacles and it took me forever! I couldn't imagine having that many more! Good luck!!

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  19. You rock!
    Going to get fitted and buy my first "official running shoes" tomorrow thanks for the inspiration.

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    1. Good luck Cathy! Buying "official running shoes" is definitely the way to go to avoid injury and have a good running experience.

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  20. My husband always says, "Stick with what you know" in terms of eating at restaurants. He doesn't want to be disappointed by trying a new dish and liking it less than an oldie but goodie.

    Ice cream is a big,big, BIG weakness of mine. You are right though. No ice cream is worth 15 pounds!

    Wow on your loooooong run! :) I loved the part about you wanting to holler at people. LOL.

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  21. Nice job on the long run! My furthest distance so far is only 2 miles, but I hope to eventually hit the double digits. :) You're incredibly inspiring. :)

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    1. You can do it Marcia! It's actually kind of surprising how quickly our bodies adapt to running consistently. Two miles can turn into double digits in no time with the right training ;)

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  22. CONGRATULATIONS!!! 15 miles!!!!!! OMG! I really want to try this La Pita thing one day, it sounds delicious! You guys are so cute, I'm running with one of my girlfriends this weekend it will be our first time training together!

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  23. Way to go!!! That is so awesome!! 15 miles is amazing! I know you are so proud of yourself. I'm up to 9.5, training for 13.1. I did a 10k race on St Patrick's Day(my first) in 1:01:50. I was pleased with it as I have only run a sub 30 5k twice. You are so inspiring and I cant wait to check your update each night!

    You rock! Deb from TN

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    1. Congrats on your 10K Deb! That's a great time. And good luck on your half-marathon... I'm sure you'll do great!

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  24. So happy for you and so jealous!! In my marathon training (the 6 weeks I lasted before getting a knee injury) I made it up to 16.5 miles as my longest run, but I always take walking breaks when needed and my pace is usually around 12:30-13:30, with some miles being even slower - which I know would feel TERRIBLY slow for you. But that's just my pace. Even for races it's not much faster, so it's hard to 'slow down' for long runs when I'm already going so slow generally. I honestly can't imagine running 15 miles non-stop. I don't think I could make it at all.

    I'm so worried about my stupid knee pain and hope it goes away, I'm going to do some strength training to get back to running, but definitely won't be doing my Full Marathon this year as planned, I'm switching to the Half instead. Next year will have to be the year for me. Unless somehow I manage to get better in time for a Fall Marathon, which is doubtful.

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    1. Stacey, I can't believe you were up to 16.5 miles on week 6!! I don't know your training schedule, but do you think that could be how you got injured? My knee pain flares up when I push myself too hard. I know it sucks being injured, so I hope you get better fast!!

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  25. Wow! Great job!

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  26. SO exciting! Congrats!

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  27. Way to go Katie! I'm curious about adding the salt to your diet before your run. Why did you do that?

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    1. When you run for a long distance like that, your body not only loses a lot of water, but electrolytes (including sodium) as well--which can be dangerous. Your body likes to maintain a delicate balance. Using sports drinks in this situation helps, because they have sodium and other electrolytes, but since I was just bringing water to drink, I needed a little sodium as well. So I like to have a salty snack the night before a long run. I also added a pinch of salt to my water and the Gu I ate had a little in it as well.

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  28. You have EVERY REASON to feel good! Amazing! That food looks wonderful and I LOVE reese's shakes with chocolate ice cream.

    Great Job!

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  29. Congratulations! I can't tell you how much your blog helps me and motivates me. Thanks! (I am almost caught up on reading your older posts.)

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  30. Wow! Congratulations!!! Thanks so much for sharing your journey with us, and keeping me personally motivated:)

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  31. Nice work Katie. I am so happy that it was a good run for you. Now you won't dread the next long run. You know you can do it.

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  32. You are freaking amazing! I just started my journey 1.5 weeks ago (down 5 lbs. what what!) and I am loving your blog. You keep me going!

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  33. Katie congrats on your 15 mile run,, sounds like you are doing awesome on your training,, !! :-)

    Tammy

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  34. CONGRATULATIONS!!!

    WAY TO GO!!!

    HOORAY!!!!!!

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  35. OMG! Congrats! I think of you every time I run. I've learned so much from this blog. My farthest distance is 5 miles and I was super excited to do that this past weekend! I need to figure out how to increase my pace because I'm just a bit slow imo. I had no idea you gained 15 lbs last summer! That made me laugh reading that. Makes you more "normal". LOL!

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  36. Your my inspiration for running! I was never a "runner" before and now that I am getting into it, I LOVE it... so I see all you have accomplished with running and you truly are an inspiration =)

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  37. FREAKIN' Awesome!! That's a great run and it sounds like you did everything right - go, go, go!

    I am so book marking this page and taking some of your preparation tips for when I start to build my long runs to those big numbers again. Fantastic Katie!

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  38. That's AMAZING and awesome! Congratulations!

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  39. Awesome job!!!
    You might want to try something called e-load...I used that when marathon training. I used water for the first half and e-load for the second half, as it has potassium and sodium. It was a very mild lemon flavour, not as sugary tasting as gatorade and is a powder that you add to your water.

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    1. (my name is Lorrie, not anonymous, but I can never figure out how to post my name successfully)

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  40. Reading this just makes me so happy for you! I hope to be a runner someday... I'm working at it!

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  41. Congratulations! That is absolutely amazing! I am so happy for you!

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  42. Congratulations - that's an awesome accomplishment. You are a great inspiration!

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  43. Congratulations! I'll also be training for a marathon this summer and am a little nervous about those high-mileage runs.

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  44. First of all, just wanted to say congratulations! I'm in awe of anyone who can run such long distances...I can't even make a quarter mile without dying! I started the year with great motivation and lost it...but I feel like I'm slowly getting it back! Who knows...maybe running will be in my future, but I have some weight I need to get off first before I do that. Secondly, I don't think I ever said thank you for the adorable tea caddy you sent me for winning the contest. I apologize! Thanks so much for the tea caddy....I love it! Best of luck on your half marathon :)

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  45. I'm glad I'm not the only one! I felt some of the same things only on a much smaller scale. I ran 5 miles an I wanted to tell people that I saw running! Haha. During that run I ran 3 continuous miles! No walking no pausing! I had a runners high for 2 days! :)
    Im so excited to read eerything went well! I am training for a marathon in sept. so it's nice to read about someone who is ahead of me!

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  46. Nice job on the 15 miles! It feels so good to push yourself harder and farther then you ever have before! Pretty soon you will be saying "only 15 miles for this weeks long run"! Keep it up!

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  47. Man you got me all teary reading this one!! I LOVE a good success story and this one is definitely that :) So proud of you and inspired by you! I completed C25K W6D2 yesterday so from here on out in my training the walking intervals are no more and I'm a little (LOT) nervous about that but I find a lot of inspiration reading your experiences and I KNOW I can do it!

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  48. Way to go Katie!! So happy for you!

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  49. Wow!!! That's awesome Katie!!! What an accomplishment!!!

    www.eatingawayernie.blogspot.com

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  50. I am a day late in replying--and am totally impressed with all the replies--you are a very popular blogger Katie!! I am also impressed with what great SHAPE you are in. That is amazing--to run that far and still feel like eating. I probably would have been tempted to just BINGE after such an accomplishment and burning so many calories--you were wise to take it slow.

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I'd love to hear from you! I read all of my comments, and if you have a question, I do my best to respond; sometimes, however, I get busy and forget to go back to reply, so if it's important, just email me! :)