Training for my marathon so far over the last 13 weeks has been going well. Last week was a recovery week so my long run was 18k. It worked out to be the perfect distance because I had a15k race in Merville on the Sunday and it was the seventh run in the VIRA Series. So, after the race I finished my training off with a 3k cool down run. I also had two fellow runners join me so that was nice. Overall for that race I placed first in my age group and had a personal best by over two minutes.
This morning the half marathon clinic that I am helping to lead through Frontrunners Westshore had 19k to run. They requested an out and back run on the Galloping Goose so I followed through. It is a nice route to run but it wasn’t one that I wanted to make part of my 34k training run. Why? Well one reason is because they were running on trail and I want to get my legs used to pounding the pavement for my long runs. I have never ran a marathon so I don’t know what it is like to pound pavement for 42.2k. And I say ‘pound’ because there isn’t anything light about these long feet. 🙂 The other reason is because the run is an out and back and those are my least favorite kind; they bore me. But knowing that the runs that we map out are for the group are not for me I decided to do my own run before meeting them at 8:00am.
I have lived in Langford for almost 8 years and I spend the majority of my time being active in my community. I am starting to feel a little tired of running the same places so I logged into MapMyRun to see what I could come up with for a route. I wanted to plan where I would run and then I wouldn’t have to keep checking my watch to see figure out the distance left. I left my house at 4:52am and started running in the direction of Warren’s work. I then continued on towards downtown and made my way through various streets. As I ran I could see pink starting to light up the sky and I started smiling. I love the mornings for the quietness and the beauty it holds. As I looked down some of the streets as I was passing by I could see the sun in it’s full glory and it was reflecting off the buildings all around. It was perfect.
About 17k into my run I started to make my way back towards home but not the same route that I had taken to get downtown. I ran along by the Gorge and saw the ducks playing in the water. Many people were out walking their dogs and enjoying the morning as well. I had by this time gone through one and a half of my gels that I had taken with me. I tried the Peanut Butter one made by Hammer today that I received in a StrideBox. I have to say it wasn’t one that I would buy because it didn’t really have a peanut butter taste or one that I really liked anyway. And we all know that I LOVE peanut butter. It did do the trick for my run though so I was happy for that. The chocolate raspberry GU I brought with me I have had before and like it. Something I realized today is that I could have used another gel to give me a little extra “oomph” to get me through the last 8k but that is what training is for.
About the 22-24k mark in my run I started to feel discomfort in my right hip flexor. I have tight hip flexors but this discomfort was a bit new. I was able to keep running but it is something that I will keep an eye on. I will also talk with some of my yoga instructors at Moksha Yoga Westshore to see if they can give me some hip flexor stretches or something that will open them up more.
I didn’t make my route flat because I believe hills are a good part of training and make you stronger. I was kicking myself a bit though as I approached the last 8-10k of my run and it was the hill by a pub called the Four Mile House. It is one of those hills that just keeps going and going. I was happy I did it and it was good training for the Sooke 10k I am running tomorrow. It is the last race in the VIRA series. After the run there will be awards and then there will be series awards presented to the top runners in each age category. It is a fun event and I look forward to catching up with all the runners I have missed seeing since I was doing a lot of my longs runs after races.
I arrived back at the house today around 7:50am. I quickly grabbed a banana and a Quest bar and left my house on Huli. I was off to meet the group to ride beside them and ring Huli’s bell to give encouragement. It was good way for me to flush out my legs and the new Pro Compression socks that I got in the mail felt great during my ride.
I have no expectations for tomorrow 10k race after my long run today. It will just be about one foot in front of the other and enjoying the sunny day we are supposed to have. I will let you know how things go.
What is the longest distance you have ran? How many gels do you usually run with or have when running a marathon? What is your favorite gel?
P.S. 35 days until the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon and I am so excited! Thank you to all who have been a part of my training and supporting me so far. I appreciate it!