I might be able to call myself a runner again….

Whew.  I did 8 miles today.  this is a long distance for me.   The longest I've done sans treadmill in years, as far as I can tell.  (looking at the logs I have etc). 

I was so nervous about doing this run that I convinced myself I had a cold.  I knew I was going to have to do it, but I took a nap after walking the dog.  I was having chills and I was certain I had a fever.

Luckily, I was just scared, I think. I couldn't bear to go to the gym tomorro and tell the trainer I had not run the long, so, I decided to piddle around the house for a bit, packing and such….but.

Eventually I realized that I was unable to focus properly on anything with the big 8 hanging over my head. So I dressed, and went over to the gym.

I took my trainers advice which was to just go slow and to try to run negative splits through the long run.  I did not make the Negative splits. I pretty much stayed at the same pace give or take 4-5 seconds for each mile.

I was able to use my resurected water bottle from Nathan…

This helped a lot with the problems I experienced on my 7 miler.  My only wish was that I had filled it a little fuller.  Even though it's been chilly in the mornings,by the time I conquered my fear of 8, it was about 62 degrees, so I was sweating and needing my water by about mile 3, by mile 7 it was gone.

I also tried for the first time Cliff Shot blocks.  Much much easier to deal with than a gel, I say!  The shot blocks are these sort of chewy squares of the same stuff that the sports gels are made of.  They are less sticky than Gummy Bears, but taste about the same.  This was a relief after my long term experience with Tangerine flavored Powershots. Bleeech.  i still have a ton of the tangerine left from the box, so I imagine I'll still be using it.


The shot blocks though were a lot easier to use.  I do  like them.  I do wish thought that 100 calories was in one bloc, but well, whatever.

I finally ran straight around the lake, and then because I learned that straight around the lake is only about 5 miles, I had to do 3 more.  So I ended up with a round the lake plus 3 miles of out and back.

During this run, I focused on my Psychobabble.  The first to miles, I simply wanted to quit.  There's a section of this run that is at about 1.8-2.10 miles that for some reason gets me discouraged, so I talked myself through it gently. I then went on to discuss with myself that I needed less walking breaks if I was going to own this run.  So I ran.  At 5 miles, I walked for 0.09 miles to consume a shot block, and organize myself a little.  I then took off and finished.  I was suprised at how well I did on the run.  It wasn't super fast, but it got done. I was able to talk myself out of a lot of negative thinking and successfully continue to motivate myself around the lake. I didn't throw up, or even consider it! 

Post run I went into the pool for about 15 minutes or less. I swam ten laps.

Then I had the unpleasant experience of discovering I had gotten windburnt out during the run.  My face is ON FIRE!  Next time I need to be sure to run with vaseline or something on my face. 

This was my first long run with the Pearl Izumi's. No blisters.  I did get some cramping sensations in my feet, but I doubt they were shoe related.  The shoes have a great Energy return, at least in my opinion, in comparison to the Mizunos.  They are very comfortable and held up nicely throughout the run.  They do seem to be somewhat heavy and at the beggining of my run when I was having a lot of the mental problems of getting out there, the shoes seemed incredibly heavy.

So, after all this, why is it that I have decided I might be able to consider myself a runner again?

Looking down at my feet before I got into the pool, I noticed a very small bit of blood round my right third toenail.  I had a bloody toe-nail.  So, clearly this is something to celebrate (uh yes??)

on that note, I am going to try to continue packing.  My legs now feel a little bit like wood.

Canyonlands, I am coming!  Slowly but surely.


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14 thoughts on “I might be able to call myself a runner again….

  1. Congratulations on your long run!!! Quite a challenge you accomplished there. I'll have to look into those shot blocks. I always seem to crash at the 18 mile mark in my marathon, and I'm sure it's because I don't replenish sugar enough.

  2. This is terrific news! Congratulations! the Cliff Shots are the best and come highly recommended; also conquering your fears is a big part of your goals and accomplishments in becoming successful! Make sure you drink plenty of fluids and always carry a sweet with you on those long runs. Always remember: the basic simple skill in life is to "learn how to learn."

  3. Great! That's wonderful that you talked yourself out of the down patch, we all have them no matter what the distance. The key is perserverance. I have a pack of Clif Shot blocks that I was given in a goodie bag at one of my races…reading your post make me want to try them next long run. I have tried all kinds of gels, energy bars, sports drinks etc. Right now I use mostly Hammer gel because I can buy it in bulk and it is cheaper ( I go through gallons of the stuff). I put it into a 6 oz refillable flask which is much easier than fooling around with those messy disposable individual serving packs. Best wishes on your training and the Canyonlands!

  4. It amazes
    me what we can talk ourselves out of or in too, it’s a shame you tried to talk
    yourself out of the run because you never know if you can do something unless
    you try, too often do people convince themselves that they are not ready to accomplish
    something that there body already knows it can do. You just have to bring that
    head along for the trip the body will tell you whenever its time to quit. Congratulations
    and keep up on this surprising yourself , you can do anything you want to try
    you just got to remember to try it before saying I can’t do this.

  5. That's really good. Once I get going I'm usually okay – it's the talking myself into doing a run in the first place that I struggle with.
    When racing I've found that it's a lot easier, not physically, but mentally. Mainly because there's all these other people around you, and there's kind of a mutual wishing each other on.
    My first race, I was shot by 11 miles, and was practically walking, and there were a couple of girls who came up behind me and were urging me to keep going. I really needed that, and in my next two races I returned the favour.
    I also find that I try and fix on someone who looks like they'll be doing the same time as me, and try and at least keep them in my eyesight – it doesn't always work, but can keep you going when you feel yourself flagging.
    Like I said – on my first half, the most I'd ever done before it was 8 miles on the treadmill, and I still managed the full 13.
    I am so in awe of your management of the process of training though – I hardly run outside, unless it's just 6 miles (I get through 1ltr of water for every 6 miles I run), and I never really keep track of my times per mile.
    You'll do it – and you'll surprise yourself how well you'll do it!
    I kind of like that leaden feeling in my legs post run, because it reminds you how well you did. I miss it, actually – I might try and go to the gym tomorrow night and do a good long run.

  6. Congratulations! I like the Shot blocks too. I am eager to try the new Luna Moons, but I don't see them being sold anywhere local to me. They are basically the female version of Shot blocks.

  7. I really want to do well, but we'll see. I am moving to NM in about 2 weeks, and apparently the altitude is going to be difficult to contend with for a few weeks, so I am hoping I don't get discouraged, or have to cut some of the longer runs and lose base. Currently I feel pretty good about the whole thing. But usually a move upsets the rhythm of things, plus theres the holidays with family thrown in there, so…. we'll see. There's n o question I will finish the thing, but it's the time I am curious about.

  8. You will be just fine; you have a wonderful group of bloggers supporting you; your own personal cheering squad — a fan club more or less, the world . . . we have all been there and then some; think positive thoughts and you will accomplish the unexpected. All my best.

  9. My trainer thinks I get funny in that one spot because it's just when I get warmed up…so something changes and being of the midset that I am of, with any change, I want to stop….
    I like the idea of gel in a flask…the packets are really messy. Care for some evil tasting tangerine gu? I'll gladly mail it to ya.
    Oh Will be curious if you do try the shot blocks, what you think of them…I think I like them because they have the consistency of candy….

  10. Congrats on the long run! I can't wait to get there again. Glad to hear you like those blocks – I find they're much easier than gels but also take some effort to chew them.

  11. Thank you! It's been a long time in coming. I've got Nine coming up this week for Christmas…
    I love the blocs, a lot, they taste so much better!
    How is your leg doing? Seems to be more than a tweak?
    Happy Holidays to you and Amanda!

  12. Good job on the run. BTW – I believe anyone who goes out and just runs around the block is a runner. Doing 8 miles, I'd call you more than "Just" a runner.
    As for higher altitude, drink LOTS of water and go easy on the first few runs. When I go back to Colorado, my first run or two really seem difficult. I usually go a minute/mile slower just to acclimate. This last time I walked the first day rather than run. Get your body moving when you get out there and you'll be fine.

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