Sunday, March 6, 2011

18 Mile Endurance Run a Success

Today, I walk into the gym with KT Tape on my leg and my arm tight against my stomach where there are four water bottles lined. Yes. Four. I stretch out and prepare myself mentally. 18 miler. I hear that at 18 miles a lot of people hit what they call the "brick wall." I was sure hoping that I would not experience that today! I hop on the treadmill and pump out 6 miles.

I began experimenting with my nutrition on this run. Increasing my water intake, adding Gatorade and changing the recovery supplement I take as I run. It is vital to get this down before race day. It is almost a formula. Mile one: water. Mile two: Gatorade and water. Mile three: water and chapstick. Mile four: Gatorade and water. Mile five: water. Mile six: GU and water. This repeats three times.

Like I said, I pumped out 6 miles and took some GU. A few strides later and my stomach is not feeling so great. I continue to run and make the executive decision I am going to skip the next round of GU that I had planned for. The older gentleman on the treadmill next to me strikes up a conversation that helps pass some time. I told him what I was doing and how the project was going to help students at Discovery School of Tulsa. I continue on and soon I am at 12 miles. I use the word "soon" as a relative term. Time passes slowly in that sauna like gym!

My legs begin to fill a bit heavier and I have to start paying close attention to my running posture. Often times when I get tired my form begins to suffer which in return makes my body hurt more. I come to mile 15 where I begin getting a side cramp. I tell myself to breath. Regulate my breath. I continue to run for a quarter of a mile before I allow myself to walk it out. I walk for a tenth of a mile, just enough to get the cramp gone. I increase the speed on the treadmill back to running pace. From 15 miles on it was a push. I had to conscientiously think positive thoughts and keep telling myself I was almost done. It was no longer the natural state of running.

I continued to push. Amazingly enough my form was the best it has been on any of my long runs. Maybe the horrific hills of last week helped me out. My ankles, legs and knees where not as sore as my 14 mile training run. At mile 18 I still even felt hydrated! So....2 hour 42 minutes, 18 miles, a new pair of running shoes, 4 water bottles, 2 sweat towels, 2 GU's and a lot of positive thoughts later the 18 mile endurance run was a success!

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