Long Run Report - December 19, 2015

This week was a cutback week, with only twelve miles on the schedule ("only" twelve miles, haha).  I don't have any cute photos, so I'll make do with some food pictures and this elevation profile:

The first two miles are a monster called "Key Circle Hill" and they felt great!

You can read last week's long run report by clicking HERE.

Strava Link
Distance: 12.1 miles
Weather: 30 degrees, cloudy, 55% humidity, 5 mph winds
Clothing: Full length photo print tights, medium weight half zip shirt, buff, wool cap, gloves
Pace: 8:39
Splits: 9:12, 9:19, 8:20, 8:12, 8:22, 8:14, 8:47, 8:34, 8:45, 8:46, 8:46, 8:30
Terrain: A lot of climbing in the first three miles, and on gravel trails from miles 8-10
Heart Rate: 149 average*
Suffer Score: 134*
Stops:  Four planned and one unplanned.  I stopped for water at mile 3, to wait for my pace group at mile 5, for water/Gatorade at mile 8, and quickly for water at mile 10.  Around mile 9, a woman running in front of us fell pretty hard on the trail, and my pace group stopped to check on her.
Day Prior: A little two-mile shakeout and an hour-long vinyasa yoga class
Fuel: Dinner of vegetable pizza and a beer.  Pre-run meal of a peanut butter and jam sandwich, followed by a caffeinated gel.  Two candy pumpkins (60 calories of carbs) at mile 5 and some Gatorade at mile 8.

* My heart rate monitor was malfunctioning for a huge part of the second half of the run.  I think it was the result of the below-freezing temperatures, and the extra clothing I had around my wrist.  It seems like the watch band can't form a good seal without sweat.  My heart rate was likely much higher than recorded, for huge portions of this run.

Am I the only one who plays Rorschach with run maps?  

Ratings (59/80)

Muscular Strength: 8
Cardiovascular Fitness: 8
Fueling: 8
Wellness: 7
Freshness: 5
Endurance: 7
Mental Toughness: 8
Pacing: 8

Finally!  A run that felt strong and fast.  I'm not sure what happened, but I have a lot of theories.  It could be 1) the effects of running with a group, 2) the forty-five-degree drop in temperature, 3) the shorter distance, 4) the fact that I'm four weeks out (ie. fully recovered) from the Magnolia Half Marathon, 5) the fact that my sinus infection has finally (!) cleared up, 6) better fueling, or 7) all of the above. 

But like I said, I think my heart rate monitor was having some problems during the second half of the run. When we stopped for fuel at mile 8, it said my heart rate was 72 or something ridiculous like that.  Not possible. 

My past two long runs have been weird...one at the beach and one by myself on a Sunday.   Neither one was very enjoyable.  This run felt easy and fun, and it was a huge confidence booster.

I have been having some nights where I feel extremely hungry all evening and even when I go to bed, despite eating another meal after dinner.  I know I need more calories in the front half of the day, especially on days when I run more mileage.  I woke up a bit early and made myself a peanut butter and raspberry jam sandwich, then chased it with a caffeinated gel and a quart of water.  I threw a protein bar and five candy pumpkins in my bag and figured that would give me about 700 calories if I managed to eat it all before noon.

I drove to Trak Shak and hid inside out of the cold while I waited for my friends to arrive, listened to announcements, etc.  I was NOT looking forward to running in the cold, especially since I am not acclimated to it yet this year.  I was so happy to see my friend Myrna, her boyfriend, and a few other folks I trained with for Chattanooga.  They are ever so slightly faster than me, and I felt up for a nice hard run.  (They also all speak Spanish, and participating in their conversation is just challenging enough to keep me distracted).

We set off and made it up the first big hill before the sun came over the horizon.  I love it when we run Key Circle Hill with people who are new to town.  The climb up gets everyone asking "what is EVEN happening right now?!" and then the view from the top is breathtaking...a panorama of the whole city from the top of a dramatic cliff.  I can even spot my building and see whether the windows of our apartment are illuminated yet.

We ran a strong, hard descent to Crestline Valley.  A guy in our group set the pace, while I ran beside him and navigated from printed directions.  I didn't even notice the effort until we reached the trails at mile eight.  A few people left us behind for a fast finish, and we navigated our way back to the shop.

I felt great after the run, just very happy and energized.  I chatted with one of my friends who just became a RRCA certified coach, then got some coffee and drove home.  All evening, my hamstrings were very sore and tight, particularly on the left (my "bad side").  It's to be expected when I run so many hills, especially hard downhills.  I took some Advil and spent about an hour on the foam roller.  I'm happy to report that I feel normal today (the day after), and I've been able to run some recovery miles with no pain.

With all that said, I will now share photos of what I eat on a day like this Saturday.  It's definitely more than on a "normal" day, but you will probably think it's a lot of food.  Again this week I have seen a few "what an elite runner eats" articles and click-baity lists circulating on the internet.  You know the type...Spartan recollections of meager meals full of powdered things, tomato flavored "food bars," sponsored almond butter, and not a bit of gluten anywhere.  I'll also note that aside from the things pictured here, I also cracked a can of light beer in the afternoon while I finished wrapping Christmas presents, I ate some stewed figs out of the jar because I saw them in the fridge, and I stole some animal crackers from my son.  I probably also drank milk out of the carton (don't tell my husband).  Okay, here you go:

Glamorous back-of-the-toilet breakfast at 4:30.  I didn't end up eating the protein bar or all the pumpkins. 

Following a Trader Joe's and Starbucks run with my family.  Does beet juice really help recovery?  I don't know!  I still love this lemony weirdness, and so does my son.  I seriously have to hide it from him.  The beverage is a whole milk cappuccino.  I probably drink too much coffee.  

A bagel with cheese, a few steamed eggs, and probably more than my fair share of the salsa.  This is not new juice, it's just the same juice that I couldn't finish because my son was screaming for it.  Do you guys steam eggs in the microwave?  I do, and it's a game changer.

A roast dinner I made in the slow cooker, because I am laaaaaaazy.  This is venison tritip roast that we got from my cousin.  Yes, although my husband is 99% vegan and I'm 99% vegetarian, we eat the venison my cousins give us.  We have reasons for this, but they are boring haha.

Work and television-watching snacks. 

Okay, the end.  Next week's long run is going to have to happen on the day after Christmas, and it looks like I'll be on my own again.  Probably on a 2.6-mile jogging track.  I guess that will be about seven laps?  KILL ME NOW. 


Dolly said…
Beet juice is an acquired taste... My daughter loves her veggies too, she always will steal the zucchini or mushrooms off of my plate.

I probably ate way more processed food last year, as opposed to this year's marathon training cycle. But, I'd like to think that cleaning up my diet helped with my recovery.

Why the protein bars? You seem to eat a lot of clean foods, is there a reason that you include these? Since I've switched to a more plant based diet, it seems like I can really taste the chemicals in bars now.