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Thursday, August 19, 2010

Best twenty miler ever!

I'm relaxing after my weekly long run, my sweaty self plunked on a towel chomping toast. I can't believe I just finished twenty miles and I feel this good! I'm having my post-run "not about to barf" snack: whole wheat toast and club soda.
Have I discussed my adoration of club soda*? It is amazing after a run. I crave it while I'm running. The carbonation settles my stomach (for one thing, it neutralizes acid; for another, bubbles stimulate the gut to normal motility to head of cramps), and if you read the bottle most club soda contains potassium and sodium salts. Just what I need after a run! I often drink an entire liter post-run.
My run today was awesome for two reasons:
1. It was fast, 2:51:27. That is my fastest twenty-mile to date.
2. I felt amazing the whole time. I could have done another 6.2 no sweat!
The difference has to do a little with the course: I planned a course in areas I was familiar with, and it included four loops in Audubon park to make sure I was always near a water fountain. There was also way less traffic and stops on this route!
Another difference was the weather: not running in saturated shoes through ankle deep water and mud was so much nicer. And even though it hit the low-90's, I felt like the weather was ok this morning. My educated guess was humidity about 92% early on, then more like 85% later. Not bad at all!
The biggest difference, however, was fuel.
To avoid last week's hypoglycemic drama, I ate two pieces of toast with butter and honey late last night. Then I woke up early and had a cup of coffee and a tiny bowl of oatmeal with leftover cherry-brandy sauce from my book club (brandy at 6 am!). Then I brought with me my new favorite fuel mix: Frozen Vitamin Water Revive with potassium, half a GU from last week, and a small ziploc bag with a few tablespoons of cooked oatmeal! I heavily salted the oatmeal because the Vitamin Water has no sodium. Just lots of potassium.

During the run, I ate the half GU at 45 minutes in, then swallowed some oatmeal every half hour thereafter. I LOVED IT. The reason I brought the salty oatmeal was to make up for the lack of sodium in my beverage, and because I'm getting to the point where I can't stomach sweet stuff while running. It's ok with water, but when I'm drinking a sweet drink it completely grosses me out. The oatmeal was much easier to handle in both taste and effect on tummy, although I did get the sense it was swelling a little in my stomach as I drank! The only drawback is that it's hard to eat. You have to open up the baggie and squeeze some into your mouth, which is way harder than it is with a gel. In order to not make a mess I walked as I ate the oatmeal and washed it down. It gave me a running break and really didn't affect my time much - maybe added 30 seconds for each break. No biggie.

A photo of my heroes!
The only drawback to today's run was that I chose a cotton T-shirt. It was a sticky wet mess in minutes and stuck to my stomach the whole time. Oh,that and the guy who asked for directions right as I left the house, then stepped up close and murmured, "Thank you. You are kind and beautiful," to which I saucily replied, "Yeah, and you're drunk and creepy" before dashing off. Running shoes give me unwarranted bravery!
I guess it's time to go scrape the salt of my face in the shower. I really feel like if I sold the salt I produce running I'd cause the world salt market to plummet, thus leading to third world chaos.
So has anyone had those just wonderful runs that stand out in awesomeness? Do you still remember them, or has one or two rally crappy marathons totally sponged them from your consciousness? Care to share? :)
* Not to be confused with tonic water, which contains quinine and sugars. However, if you have leg cramps, may I recommend tonic water before bed? Diet tonic water if you're a diabetic? That was free from your friendly pharmacist.


  1. I wish I liked club soda... Sounds like a great post-run thing to drink... But I just can't stomach the stuff... :(

    I am glad you had a great 20 miler! How many more do you plan on doing?

    I haven't had a really fantastic long training run yet this time around... I am just so over the heat and humidity. I know it's not as bad as what you experience in NOLA, but it's bad for MN...

    The last time I ran a marathon, I remember my 20 miler going really well. I felt fantastic afterwards and was not worried about tacking another 6.2 onto the run. I hope i have the same experience this time around because I need somethign to build me up a bit... The last cuople of long runs have been not so great... to the point where I sort of want to curl up in a ball....

  2. completely awesome.

    I loved just clicking on the post - I could just feel your excitement!

    YAY for you!!!

  3. awesome, chica! i love hearing this!!

    -- i drink club soda every night. it settles my tummy from all the jalapenos and spicy food i eat. ;-)

  4. Happy to hear you had a great 20 miler. I'm still totally intimidated by the distance, so as long as I don't die...

  5. Awesome! So glad this one went well for you! Sounds like the perfect mix of everything today. I can only imagine what kind of mess I would have made trying to eat the oatmeal...oh, and loved your response to the creepy man.

  6. AWESOME!!! Congratulations!!! I am totally in awe!!!
    I love club soda, and tonic water and I drink both plus if you add club soda to white wine it's super refreshing but doesn't really overly affect the flavor of the wine...
    If you add tonic water it will sometimes affect the wine but not in a bad way, just a side note.
    The creepy guy, that story made me laugh, and cringe.
    Last night I wore the wicking stuff and my shirt and shorts were still beyond drenched. I have more cotton shirts then anything so I know exactly what you're talking about!!
    You ROCK :)

  7. I hope my first 20-miler goes well! You are SO speedy!!

    I have an 18-miler this weekend, I really need it to go well to restore my running confidence!

  8. what a great run. i have a 16 miler on Saturday and I feel totally inspired!

  9. Nice job! Glad you feel fantastic! What you eat the night before is so important. I know that it's a bad idea to eat creamed spinach nachos on the night before a 16 miler, for example. It was awful! Anyway, I have had a few great ones too :)