Another Day, Another 10 Miles

Posted: April 9, 2012 by Roberts in Race Information, Races, Running Log
Tags: , , , , , ,

For those of you who read my last post, in the comments you may have noticed that someone offered to put together a team for the Army Ten-Miler.  Since he is in the reserves, he gets to register two weeks before the general public.  What does that mean? I can’t “forget” to register in time.  I never realized that there are so many races in Washington, DC, which is a city I love.  I believe everyone has a city, one that fits them and is a reflection of their inner self.  So why is it DC for me?  It is a very different city than most large US metropolises.  Its layout and city planning are very open.  In 1910 a law was passed to limit the height of newly constructed buildings.  What this creates is a city that is open to the sky.  Add to that the Roman architecture, and you get a sense of the culture and history.  There are places like Rock Creek Park, which is like a piece of nature cutting deep into the heart of the city.  Numerous memorials and monuments litter the city, each with their own history and story.  I could go on and on about DC.  However, I will not.  I’ll save that for another post, perhaps.  For now, let’s get back to the Army Ten-Miler (ATM).

So a reader and contributor offered to put together a team.  Now we just need runners.  I have started the process to reach out and recruit for this team.  After reading up on the race, I learned that if you don’t cross the five mile marker by 9:45 AM they end your race.  At first I thought the race started at 9 AM.  That would mean you need to run a 9’00” pace.  Not bad, faster than me, but not bad.  Then it hit me; that only works if you are in the first wave.  There is no way I could make that!  I took a deep breath.  I had agreed to do it, so it meant I would just need to train harder.  Before I let panic mode set in, I decided to look up that race start time.  Turns out that it starts at 8:00 AM.  I can do that.  I’m ready for that run.  Now with that out of the way, on to my Easter run.

I woke up this morning and the Easter Bunny had given each of my kids, my wife and me each a basket full of treats.  Ah, the Easter Bunny, you deliver to me once of my vices, the jelly bean.  Or rather, a large quantity of jelly beans.  It is only fitting that I had planned to run ten miles on Easter.  It is the best way to burn off the calories that would surely be consumed in jelly bean form.  Did I mention that I love jelly beans?

These are my Jelly Belly jelly beans, and you ...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I normally bring hydration with me for any run ten miles or longer.  I also bring with me a snack, PowerBar Energy Blasts.  Unfortunately, I am out of energy blasts.  Instead, I opened a pack of PowerBar Energy Bites.  Not quite the same thing, not even close.  They are too dry to eat while running, so they are only good for a pre-run bite.  Therefore, I have decided to sign up for a monthly delivery of Energy Blasts through to make sure this oversight doesn’t happen again.

This is also my first planned long run since my sprain.  It has been more than a few months since I needed my hydration bottles, and now they are missing.  I knew this would make for an interesting run.  On top of that, this run would be along the same path I took on the day I sprained my ankle. It sounds like a bad sequel, “Rural Run 2: This time, no hydration or snacks.”  If I had brought jelly beans as my snack, it would have seemed somehow wrong.  So off I went with nothing but the one small 6 ounce bottle of Gatorade I could find and an iPod.

When I left the house, I was already tired from two hours of walking around the zoo with the family this morning.  The first three miles of the run were rough.  Out the door I already had a headache, and my right knee, right shin, and left ankle were all screaming at me.  No matter the pain, I always give my run at least two miles to let the joints lube up and get the juices flowing.  By mile two, it still wasn’t feeling good.  I decided to give it another mile, just one more.  By mile three, no pain… only the road.  The run itself was uneventful until the run back.  On mile seven I encountered another runner – human this time.  She was ahead of me at one point.  Her pace was similar to mine.  I pushed to catch up in order to have a companion on the lonely road.  Sadly, she turned in a different direction than my intended route.  So then I was alone once again.  It had been good to see another runner.  I hadn’t felt so crazy to be out there in the middle of nowhere.

By mile eight I was approaching the place where I had sprained my ankle.  Not this time.  I watched each footfall to make sure they landed securely.  I noticed the size of the potholes in the area.  No wonder I had sprained my ankle!

As I said, the run was uneventful.  The most important part was that I completed it.  This is the longest run I have done since the sprain, with an OK pace of 11’20.”  Not the greatest, but good enough.  The true test will be tomorrow morning.  By then my ankle will tell me how good of a run it truly was.


What do you take on long runs?

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  1. trikatykid says:

    I have been struggling to get my long runs scheduled. I have been job hunting and interviewing and feel a little exhausted. Running every day has kept me positive but certainly my emotional state isn’t where it needs to be. :-/. Good job on your long run. I’m struggling with a tailor’s bunion. Ouch. Also, my favorite long run snack is peanut m&m’s. Cheap, easy, tasty, balanced. Melt in your mouth, not in your energy belt. 🙂

    • Roberts says:

      The only way I get my long runs in is by placing them on Sunday. It is a great way to end out and begin the week, at least for me.

      A tailor’s bunion does not sound like fun. At least you are getting out there daily. I tend to only get four runs in for the week. It gives me some resyt time and flexibility.

      I might try some peanut M&Ms. A couple here and there may not be bad.
      Keep on running!

      • trikatykid says:

        I think once I have full-time work again, and therefore structure, I’ll commit a day to long runs. Ideally I should be doing two long runs – back to back – a week as I am also training for a 50 MILE race. But .. right now my focus has been on finding a job. If I have to bag the race, I will, and also, if I have to race unprepared, I will .. but I can’t go much longer without work! Running every day has been my savior.

      • Roberts says:

        Good luck in your job search! It is tough out there. 50 miles? That is intense. Good luck with that too!

  2. Rob Kotaska says:

    I am an oddball as I take nothing on long runs. Living in Ithaca there are not always great places on my routes for bathroom breaks, so I decided the less water the better. My body adjusts. 13.1.1 I listened to my sister and drank too much water. As a result I had a miserable time, always feeling the need to pee…it sucked.

    13.1.2 I did it my way, no water until Mile 8…

    Maybe I should try some mid meal races, but I never liked eating much before physical activity.

    • Roberts says:

      I used to bring nothing. By mile 8 I was slowing down and hitting a wall. A friend advised I take something to drink. It is just a small bottle of G2. Since then I have not found my new wall yet. Consider though my longest distance is only 13.1. I don’t know if it is the drink or just my ability improving.

      On the FB page a reader said he puts Nuun in his water. It is an electrolyte tab that fizzes. They sound interesting, I might try them.

      • Rob Kotaska says:

        I may have to look into something.. I understand that wall all too well. The problem is that anything I have tried has made me feel more uncomfortable than the wall.

    • trikatykid says:

      Physiologically it’s very important to hydrate & fuel your body for exercise lasting more than an hour! Ithaca is awesome – I mean gorges – I ran there on my 26th birthday while I was a grad student at Syracuse University (studying exercise physiology). You’re lucky to live in such a great place!!

  3. atroutdude says:

    Good job Chris! I know it is not where you would like your time to be, but you were out there foot to pavement, heart beating the study drum beat.

    As for treats, my runs have not been long enough to really need treats, but there is always room for the before and after the run treats. Before the run I like fruit, like dried papaya, pineapple or banana’s. I have been having some problems with my legs cramping up during the run and have found that VitaCoco seems to help in that area. I drink half a box before and after the run.

  4. Amy says:

    The Easter Bunny also delivered plenty of my vices…chocolate! Hopefully I can stick to 1 piece per day.

    On long runs, I’ll take a Clif Shot. Anything over 10 miles will usually also include the hydration belt.

    • Roberts says:

      One piece a day? Yeah on that schedule I am a little ahead of schedule. Maybe until 2013.

      Cliff shots are the gooey pieces right? I tried them but it drove me nuts with their stickiness.

      Good luck rationing out the candy!

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