August 22, 2014

Twelve mile mental workout

Over the past four weeks, I attempted to do a long run at least six times. I would set out with full intentions of running 8+ miles, but I just didn't have the drive. That's one of the downsides of intuitive eating, I guess--since I don't earn any extra points or calories for running long, it's been hard to make myself JUST DO IT.

This week, I really decided enough was enough, and I was going to do two 4-mile runs, a semi-fast 3-mile run, and a long run of 12 miles. No excuses.

I did the 4-milers, and yesterday, I ran a semi-fast 3-miler. Today was going to be the day for the 12-miler, no matter what. Rain, shine, treadmill, outside, feeling good or not, I was going to get it done. Jerry said he'd run the first five miles with me (the kids were at my mom's), which was helpful, so I got up this morning and got ready to run right when it was light enough outside.

We were going to do a 5-mile loop of the neighborhoods around here, and then I'd head out for a solo out-and-back for the other 7 miles. I didn't want to be influenced or discouraged at all by my pace, so I changed the face of my Garmin to show just the distance, and nothing else. I don't know why, but I checked the weather before heading out--and saw that the humidity was at 100%! That's the WORST to run in--worse than a hot sunny day is a very humid day.

When we were ready to go, we went outside and even though I was expecting the humidity, I still gasped and said, "No way!" I immediately started thinking of reasons not to do it, and that I'd do it tomorrow, or on the treadmill. But this was my last chance to do it before vacation, so I was going to put in some serious effort.

We started running at a very comfortable pace, because I knew I was going to need my energy later. We chatted the whole time, and even though we were sweating like crazy from the humidity, it was fun to run together. At around mile three, Jerry said his knee was feeling really tight. I tried to convince him to walk home from there, but he said it wasn't hurting, just tight, so he wanted to keep going. Just before mile four, I could tell it was bothering him, and he agreed to walk home at the four mile mark.

He took a shortcut home, so when I got there, he was outside with my handheld water bottle, another bottle of water to drink right then, and a Clif gel. I sucked down a bunch of water, then ate the Clif gel, and then grabbed my handheld to bring along with me. I assumed that the handheld would be enough water for seven miles (I later realized I assumed wrong...)

I actually felt pretty good from miles 5-7.5. Then I took a route that I rarely run, and discovered that they are redoing the road, so it was all loose gravel today. I never realized how much harder it is on your legs to run on loose gravel. I did that for a mile and half, and I was really exhausted. I was already more than halfway through my water bottle, and I knew I wasn't going to be able to make it home. There aren't really any options other than knocking on doors and begging for water, but before resorting to that, I called my mom to see if she could bring me some. (Jerry was sleeping)

I kept running, and just before mile 10, my mom (and my kids) drove up to give me a couple bottles of water. It was heavenly! I refilled my handheld, and gulped down half a bottle. I poured some on my head, neck, and arms, and then kept running. I only had two miles left, but it seemed like I was SO FAR from home. I was tempted to get a ride back with my mom, but being "just" two miles from home, I knew I could push myself to finish. I also knew that I needed this 12-miler as a mental boost, even more so than physically.

I can't even describe how I made it home. It was one of the hardest runs I've ever done! For the last mile, it took so much effort not to stop. I turned down my street, and was thrilled when I heard the beep of my Garmin signaling 12 miles. I collapsed onto the porch, and gulped down the ice water Jerry had left out for me. I was SO glad that I did it! I really needed that run to give me a mental boost before vacation.

That's a butt print on my porch--my clothes were completely soaked

I was definitely disappointed to see my pace, but I honestly wasn't surprised that it was in the 11's. The humidity makes my lungs feel like I'm racing even when I'm running at an easy pace. I actually burned 1,232 calories--MORE than 100 calories per mile! My Garmin's suggested recovery time was 68 hours, haha. Usually, it's about 24 hours.

I intended to do a bunch of housework after my run, but I was really stiff and achey afterward. Instead, I worked on a project that we'd started yesterday--organizing the kids' Legos. I have no idea what possessed us to do this, but we decided to organize them by color. Most of the Legos we have were the ones that I played with as a kid, and even my older brother and sister played with. They're about 30 years old! And of course, there are newer ones, too. We have two huge tupperware bins full.

This isn't even half of the Legos, but it took us about four hours to sort!
The kids always want me to play Legos with them, but it's frustrating to find the pieces we're looking for, so I thought it would be nice to keep it organized. We have several sets of instructions for different projects, so now we can actually build them without searching for pieces all night. I actually really like building things with Legos, if there are instructions to follow.

Tonight, the kids have a birthday party to go to, which is about an hour away. I think my mom is going to come with me, so we can go shopping or to dinner or something while the kids are at the party. Tomorrow, we are going to clean, clean, clean the house so our house/catsitter can actually find things! I always like coming home to a clean house after vacation, too. Only a couple of days until we leave--I'm so excited!


  1. Congratulations on pushing through -- Your butt print looks different now than at 253 doesn't it? LO>

  2. You did it!!! Sorry I couldn't run with you...but I'm so glad you finally got your long run in. And you really earned it!!!

  3. Running in 100% humidity? You are a machine!

  4. Way to go! Great job! Thanks for talking about how your lungs felt, always wondered about that, still feel like a running newbie at times. :)
    Enjoy your vacation and have an awesome time!

  5. I am a new reader and I love your blog! You are such an inspiration. Thank you!! I have lost 23 pounds in the past 2.5 months and getting into running has been a huge part of that. Your blog helps keep me motivated ;)

    I live near Bethlehem, PA and am so excited to see you will be here for the Runners World event. I was hoping to run the half this year, but will be on vacation :( Good luck!

    I have a question for you... I just finished Couch to 10K. I loved it- I went from not being able to run a mile to running 6 in just over 2 months. Now that I am finished with the program, I am nervous that I will fall off track. I like your 3, 4, 12 (yikes though!) week. Do you have any other tips for planning runs and way to keep them interesting? Especially for new runner. Thanks so much!

  6. That run sounds hard, but I am glad you finished! I struggle with running in the summer because the humidity here is really bad most of the time in spring, summer, and early fall. Most of the time when I run in summer it's over 90% humidity and a lot of time it is 100%, which sucks! I never realized how much I hated humidity until I started running! I am only doing short runs at this point. My body can't handle much else, but I just want to get back to enjoying it. I had to do my last long training run for the half marathon last year in high humidity and it was terrible. My son has so many legos and I've tried to help him organize them, but it never stays that way. He's got like 10 huge things he's built that just sit in his room. Legos drive me nuts. lol

  7. Oh Wow... good for you. I don't run anymore and the reason for that was because I am a total wimp. I hate running outside in the winter and I hate running in the humidity of the summer and I don't own a treadmill or a gym membership! lol... Good for you though. That is impressive...and inspiring.

  8. Impressive how you stayed determined throughout your run. I couldn't do it. The humid air feels so heavy to me--I don't even walk in it! I have read with great interest your blogs about intuitive eating and have come to the conclusion, I just don't have the discipline necessary to do it. I kind of did it for those 6 months between Thanksgiving and early summer, and ended up gaining 32 pounds--so even without calling it intuitive eating, I just lost my mojo, and wanted to snack snack snack endlessly. It was like in my old morbid obesity days, when I constantly wanted to be munching. Now I go for hours without putting anything in my mouth, and it's getting easier. I'm also down 18 of those 32 pounds so that is a good thing. Your vacation sounds wonderful--ENJOY!!!!


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