Monday, December 27, 2010

Things I now know for certain

Training is going well and it's only two weeks until my first half-marathon.  In keeping with my training, I ran 6 miles on Thursday.  We went over to the local high school in Tuscaloosa and figured out a good 1 mile loop.  I enjoyed having our oldest son run the first two miles with me.  Scott, who had miniscus surgery about a month ago, was able to walk a full mile.  He worked with our youngest son and my nephew on running sprints and just getting active after lots of time on their Nintendo DS. 

We were scheduled to head back home to Pace the morning after Christmas.  I was set to run 9 miles and it was a non-negotiable as I am so close to the official run.  Due to the beautiful snow that much of Alabama saw on Christmas day, there was a little uncertainty as to the condition of the roads.  It was still snowing in Tuscaloosa and the wind was blowing like crazy.  There were actually white caps on the lake behind the house. 

Since Blake was sleeping in after so much activity and late nights with his cousins, I made the decision to face the DREADMILL. It would prove to be a LONG 9 miles due to several factors:

*70 degree temperatures, I have learned that the best temperatures to run in for me are between 40-55 degrees.  I had to jump off the treadmill to open the windows and let the 30 degree air flow in.
*Fueling-I am not experienced yet at knowing how to refuel my body during long runs.  I know that I will have to use something to keep my electrolytes up during my half-marathon.  From everything I have read and people I have spoken to, GU brand gels are the way to go.  I can tell you this for certain, this girl will NEVER try a GU Strawberry Banana gel again.  I just couldn't make it go down.  I tried three tiny tastes, but it was so overpowering and just felt "icky" in my mouth.  Due to this breakdown in fueling, I drank extra water and also a Propel.  Now, I do like like Propel in Strawberry Kiwi or Peach flavor.  Only problem, this does not provide all of the necessary ingredients I need to keep going strong.  (Not that I know what those are, but I know that I have got to find a better solution).  I will be trying some CLIF Shot Bloks on my 10 mile run next weekend.
*The DREADMILL is not my friend.  My in-laws actually have a Nordic Track treadmill, which is much nicer than our old one that we have at home.  While I can manage just fine for a shorter run of 3 or so miles, there was a new realization that hit me around mile 4.  I suppose I have a fear of flying off the back of the treadmill.  I figured out that I run right on the front of the treadmill, which makes me take a zillion extra strides.  It wore me down quickly and I tried to adjust, but wound up having to adjust my pace.  I usually run a 10 minute mile, but finished the 9 miles at a pace of 11 minutes. 

I much prefer the open road and my Garmin watch, which has to be so much more accurate than the treadmill.  I'm not disappointed though because the most important thing is that I completed the run.  Although I was tired, I could have kept going.  I feel confident that I am going to finish the half-marathon.  I just wish I had a little more training time to work out the kinks of refueling.  The half-marathon in Mobile will be much smaller than the one I will run in February in New Orleans.  The NOLA run is projected to have 15,000 runners.  I need this one in January to figure out what it is that I will need to adjust.

Really, that's what every run is about, learning what you can do better or differently the next time to have more success.  From the girl who could run for probably less than two minutes at a time this time last year, I'm ready to take on the 2 plus hours in 13 days! 

Scott is working on setting up our new laptop computer that Santa brought us for Christmas, so I will soon load my Garmin software and be able to post more accurate information. 

Until next time,



  1. so very very proud of you leah!! What a wonderful way to update all those you miss you... keep up the great work!!

  2. Blog looks GREAT Leah! And I feel so honored to be mentioned on here!!! So glad running brought us together! I can't wait to run with you in New Orleans...or at least see you lol! You are way faster than me girl!