Monday, September 12, 2011

Too Many Variables

This week’s long run was AH-mazing. This is great news for several reasons. 1. In my last training cycle I did my first double digit long run. It was terrible. I bonked, hated life, doubted myself yadda yadda. It totally sucked. So coming into this run, I was already wary. 2. I’ve been stressed to the max, running has felt more like a chore, and I’ve been sleeping like crap (ok, maybe that’s three things). 3. Every single run I had last week ranged between suck-ass and disappointing.

However, I ran for just less than 2 hours (yay!) on Sunday in pretty much a constant state of disbelief. I couldn’t believe how the miles were ticking by, I couldn’t believe how strong I felt. I couldn’t believe how effortless the pace was feeling. Total confidence booster.

So of course, after the run I tried to decide what I had done to make everything fall in place. The more I thought, the more I realized – there were a LOT of variables this time around.

  • I significantly cut back the amount of dairy I consumed last week to near 0 – less bloaty and less snotty ftw!
  • After sleeping like crap for 2 weeks I got two solid 8-9 hour nights of sleep friday and saturday night.
  • I also had some pasta with my world-famous tomato sauce, both of those nights, spreading out my carbo-load, but not over doing it.
  • I drank nuun every day last week, and I also had 16oz BEFORE I ran on sunday.
  • I had my usual pre-long run breakfast of a cliff bar (one constant).
  • I took a caffeine pill (not entirely constant, but not that unusual either).
  • I amped myself up mentally. I spent a good lot of time on Saturday visualizing my route, pep talking myself. Probably the biggest contributing factor that I could control.
  • Additionally, it was 60F, overcast, with a really comfortable breeze. Pretty much perfect running weather.
  • I also made this course 2 loops of about 5 miles each instead of my usual one giant loop. Swinging back by home to refill my handheld (which was barely necessary) and grab a bag of sport beans helped, physically and mentally.

I don’t know which of these things is to “blame” for my awesomeness on Sunday, but I will freaking take it! My high from the running persisted throughout the day and instead of doing my usual post long run entitlement-day-of-eating-crap, I made good choices – including runners rambles’ quinoa salad – OMG delicious. And today, I was not one bit sore. Last week was my highest mileage week e.v.e.r. And I am flying high and looking forward to pumping out a quick 5 miles before work tomorrow.

Now I’m really getting pumped for my half – oh! and the 10k I’m running in 2 weeks. The course was the first 10k I ever ran (just last year, crazy!) Nat and I were seriously unprepared for the hills on this route so I’m ready to kick some ass!

1 comment:

Lindsey said...

It sounds like all those things put together = an awesome run! Great job - love those confidence boosters!