On My Mind, Running

aka 14 miles.

I was chatting with my friend who I miss lots, namely Katharine, and I told her my plans to run 14 miles on Saturday. Aaaaand she requested that I write about it. soooooooooo. hereitis.

First I thought I would mention why I am running 14 miles.  As much as I love running, I don’t think I would run 14 miles on a rainy, windy Saturday just for the heck of it.  I am currently training for the Utah Valley Marathon…aka my first marathon ever…aka 26.2 miles…aka what did I get myself into?

I know, I know. I’m a runner. I should be able to run a marathon no problem, right? That’s what most people tell me when I say I’m already nervous about it.  And they are right, I would not be nervous to run a marathon.  Thing is, I’m going to race a marathon…there is a biiiig difference between running and racing.  Racing hurts. 26.2 miles of pain…oh good grief.

Don’t get me wrong though, I am really excited for it.  Nate has professed for years that the marathon is going to be my best distance.  And so far, the longer the race, the better I do.  So why not see how I do at a race 2 times longer than I have ever raced before?  Hopefully Nate is correct and I walk away feeling proud.  Only one way to do that though….

Miles of Trials.
Trials of Miles.

aka training…and training a lot. aka 14 miles.

14 miles is the longest run I have done post-baby and longest run I have done in over a year and a half.  So far my marathon training has been alright.  I’ve been doing at least 8 a day, with a decent amount of 10 milers and a couple 12s and some pretty solid workouts. I was getting nervous though because I hadn’t done anything above 12 and the marathon is in 7 weeks.  At the beginning of last week Nate and I sat done and scheduled out the week and set Saturday as my first ‘real’ long run…14 miles while testing out nutrition and water. aka practice eating GUs & the such while I run so I don’t have to stop and gag on it like I did in the half-marathon I ran…

Cedar has some advantages…
The view from my awesome support crew. aka my sexy husband and sleeping baby boy

Saturday comes a long and I wake up to lots of snow/rain beating on our window.  I checked the weather on my phone and the afternoon looked like it was going to be a little better so I decided to wait until then.  A couple hours of family snuggles in bed and a few pancakes later it was 3 o’clock and I headed out the door.  We bought a few different types of ‘nutrition’ namely Power Gel, Shot Bloks, & GU.  I’ve taken GU before and really didn’t like it because of the texture.  The Power Gel was a lot more liquidy so I decided to try that and the Shot Bloks.  Nate, being Nate, had read up the night before on the best times to eat while running for maximum performance.  So we planned to eat at around 6.5 miles in and then again at 10.5 miles.

can’t really tell…but it was hailing on me at this point.

I chose to run down a frontage road from Cedar City to a little town called Kanarraville…it’s not too hilly and a pretty remote road so not too much traffic.  It was about 4 miles up hill from my house to the frontage road.  Once I was on the frontage road I instantly thought about calling Nate (who was my amazing support crew and was driving ahead of me and meeting me every couple miles or so) to tell him I needed to pick a different place to run.  There was a 20-25 mph constant head wind and I knew that I was going to get rained on at one point or another.  But as I kept running I thought about how it could be these kind of conditions on race day (it is a point to point race…so potentially could have a headwind the whole way) and decided to suck it up and take on the bad weather.  I met Nate at mile 6.5 where I put on a ear warmer and gloves and the rest of the run was muuuch better.  6.5 miles was also the first time I was going to get some calories and, true to form, Nate made me go back after I got my ear warmer and gloves on and run past him and grab the Shot Bloks while I was running haha.  I guess that’s what practice is for!

I actually felt really good on the run despite the conditions.  I made it to mile 10 feeling way good.  I was averaging around 7:20s for the first 10.  The next 4 miles were hilly, the wind picked up, and it started hailing/raining on me (luckily we had brought a rain jacket and a hat too which saved me life) so those miles were harder.  I still averaged around 7:50s for the last 4 miles which I felt good about for the conditions.  I grabbed some more calories one the run at 10.5 miles.  A Power Gel which is waaaay better than GU, but I think I like the Shot Bloks better. The last I saw Nate was at mile 12 and then he drove to the 14 mile finish.  The last 2 miles were the hilliest and hardest but I still felt pretty good!  Though I was definitely happy to see the cutest support crew member out there at the 14 mile finish line…

He woke up around mile 9 and was so pumped to get out of the car for a little. luckily it had stopped raining/hailing at this point!
straight flexing.

All-in-all it was a gooood run. As hard as it is, training for this marathon has been so good for me, in many ways.  Hopefully the next 7 weeks and the marathon itself goes well!  I’ll post updates from time to time about how things are going…just for you, Katharine 🙂