Monday, August 8, 2011

10 Lessons Learned

I'm about 24 hours removed from my 12 mile run yesterday & I've been reflecting on the experience. I was a miserable human being yesterday; that certainly shows up in my Breakdown for the week. I was a mess physically & mentally. Now that I've got a modicum more distance from the run, it's a bit easier to look at the whole experience with the right perspective. Here are my lessons learned, with much less negativity than I was throwing down yesterday.

1. Nutrition, Nutrition, Nutrition. I did not eat well on Saturday. I'm not sure I had enough fuel in my tank when I started out Sunday. I don't think I ate enough during the run. The only thing I couldn't really control was my water consumption; I just ran out. When I head out for my 14 miler on 21 August, I'll make sure I don't make these mistakes again.

2. Long Runs + New Gear = Miserable. I've always known this about running sneakers, so what on earth made me think my Camelbak would be any different? I should've been running my base runs with it to get used to the weight... which I will be doing from now on. My plan is to run with it on my Wednesday run, which is about to turn into my recovery run. Fridays, my new pace run day, will be sans Camelbak. I'm hoping this plan will help me adjust to the weight of a full Camelbak bladder.

3. Wear the right socks. I'm not sure how to solve this problem, but my clothes were so sweaty that they were actually dripping during the last 1/3 of the run. My socks/shoes were even making that squishy waterlogged sound. I have no idea how to fix this problem, except maybe to wake up super early... though that won't solve humidity issues. But maybe the problem is in the socks; I'm going to start looking for socks that can withstand my sweat to help keep the blister action down. As it stands, I have a slight, but deep, blister on my right foot. No really big deal, but I'm all about avoiding annoyances when possible.

4. Stay Mobile. When I got home, I took a cold bath/hot shower, had breakfast, then immediately passed out for 2 hours. And then stayed on the couch for the rest of the day. It might have been better for me to stay mobile, just by walking around the house or stretching every hour. Will try this method next time.

5. Yoga must be done. I used to love going to Yoga. I'm not a "namaste" kind of girl, but there is serious value in yoga & the types of stretches offered. I stopped going because the classes I can take are too strenuous (vinyasa-style is real cardio). However, I have DVDs at home geared toward flexibility & yoga-for-runners. I need to start doing those to help my achy body. Even done once a week, I know I'll feel the benefits.

6. When in doubt, take Motrin. I should have done yesterday, but I got in this whole "I can't move a muscle" mentality. I should've taken some Motrin with breakfast; it could've helped me the rest of the day.

7. Have a cuppa. As I learned Monday morning, sometimes one cup of coffee is all it takes to pep you up & put you in a good mood. I should have imbibed Sunday for added perkiness & relaxation.

8. Start early/Run slow. I slept in & started too late. When I started my run, I started off at what felt like a normal pace. Big mistake, especially in the humidity at 0700 & the added weight of the Camelbak holding me back... so I kept trying to get my legs to move faster than they reasonably could under such conditions.

9. Adjust the Virtual Partner. I love the Virtual Partner on my Garmin 405. It helps keep me in line on base runs. But when you forget to adjust it for the long run, you try to maintain the wrong speed for 12 miles. Then you just give up speed at all because you've got nothing left to run on & end up walking just as much as you're running. I'm a Run/Walk girl, but I think I was walking way too much, even for me. I think it's because I ran too fast at the beginning. Next time, I'll make sure to reset the VP to a reasonable speed I can maintain over time for real results.

10. Music might be okay. As I've stated before, I don't listen to music on road runs. That's because I end up running to the beat of the music & not my own natural rhythm. But on a long run, maybe some music wouldn't be all that bad. Or even a podcast... just to have something to listen to & refocus my mind away from the run. I'm not sure about this one yet, but I might try it again this Sunday (8 mile recovery?). I'll have to make a determination later in the week.

So those are my lessons learned from all the mistakes I made this week. I'm not saying I could've taken the "suck" out the aftermath, but there were things I could've done differently to affect the outcome. I will be working on these areas; hopefully the 14-miler on 21 August will not be so mentally debilitating. I expect to still be physically exhausted, but hopefully I won't have to sleep for 12 hours straight to recover.  ;D

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