A Week in Review: They Can’t All Be Good Runs

As I stated in this post, I missed my workouts Monday and Tuesday, and had to limit my workout to lifting weights on Wednesday.  On Thursday, I had an unexpected daytime opportunity to run 7k.  On Friday, I ran 200m intervals.  I had another 7k run scheduled for Saturday, but my legs were toast after my intervals Friday, so I settled for walking to, from, and around the Regina Ex with my family (probably a total of 3.5k).

Today was a 14k long run.  My legs felt tired from the start.  My GI tract was giving me some trouble, so I decide to go out and back twice, just in case I needed to use my washroom mid-run.  Luckily, the washroom access was largely unnecessary, but even though I made it through my run without “the trots,” I struggled somewhat with fueling and ended up with some GI discomfort later in my run.   Too much GU, Powerade, and water for my stomach to handle, I think.  Usually I use a combo of Gu, Gatorade, and water, but because the race I’m running will have Powerade, I’ve been testing that out.  It seems more concentrated or something and did not sit well today.  My stomach felt heavy and sort of crampy after I took in some Gu and water around the 11.5k mark and I had a heck of a time running through it.  To top it off, my knee started to ache a little around the 12k mark, so I walked the last 1.5k or so.  Ah well, guess all workouts can’t be good.

I’m working around my husband’s schedule again this week, so here’s what my week looks like:

  • Monday – 8k
  • Tuesday – speed/intervals
  • Wednesday – strength
  • Thursday – off
  • Friday – hills + strength
  • Saturday – 8k
  • Sunday – 16k
I’m seeing my physio again this week and have been foam rolling, so here’s hoping my IT band issue stays under control.
What’s your week look like?

Bike Ride Musings, and Tomorrow’s Long Run

I went for a 45 minute bike ride this morning – fairly easy pace with a few 5 minute intervals mixed in.  It was really smoky here, which was strange.  Apparently the smoke is from forest fires in British Columbia, which is a whole 2 provinces away!  My throat was a little bit raw afterward, but my asthma didn’t act up, so I was happy.

I often head down to the river to bike, but today I headed out on the highway near our house.  It happens to be the highway that leads to my hometown, which is about 175 km away.  As I pedalled up a hill, it suddenly occurred to me that the bike leg of an Ironman is 180 km long – about the distance from where I live to my hometown.  Hmm, that put my 45 minute bike ride into perspective!

Tomorrow morning I’ll be doing a 15k run.  Looking forward to the shorter distance (yeah, I know that it’s still a pretty long run).  I’m also trying Hammer Gel instead of the Gu I’ve been using.  I’ve read in a couple of different places (sorry – don’t have links) that people find it a little easier on the stomach than Gu, so I guess we’ll see!  In addition to that, I’m going to try a water/Gatorade mix instead of just water, since I had a few problems with cramping at the end of my long run last week.

I’m also going to change my pre-run breakfast, since I’ve been having some tummy troubles about an hour into my run.  My dietitian suggested cutting back on fibre beforehand, so I’ll be trying graham wafers, yogurt, and Gatorade for breakfast instead of the toast I’ve had the past couple of weeks.  We’ll if it helps!

What do you think about when biking/running/swimming/doing other cardio?

Food Journal for Friday

I usually like to journal the day of, but yesterday was pretty busy.  Kids had swimming in the morning, I did my long run in the afternoon while they were in skating camp, and then I had them on my own Friday night.  We watched a movie (Friday night is Family Movie Night around here), I quickly posted on my long run, and then it was bedtime – for everyone!  21k is tiring 😉

Since I ran in the afternoon instead of the morning, my eating schedule was off.  As a result, I didn’t eat what I normally do.

Breakfast: 1/3 c oatmeal, 1/4 c pumpkin, 2 tbsp raisins, 1 c skim milk

Snack (10:30am): 1/4 c dried apricots, Quaker Chewy granola bar

Pre-Run Snack (12pm): 2 pieces of dry whole wheat toast, banana

Pre-Run Drink (1pm): 1 3/4 c Gatorade

During the Run: 2 Mint Chocolate Gu’s, 1 Chocolate Powergel (definitely prefer the taste of Gu to Powergel)

Post-Run (4:30pm): 3/4 c Gatorade

Supper (5:30pm): 2 eggs, 2 slices whole wheat bread with 3 tsp margarine, 1/2 c chopped tomatoes, 1 c skim milk

Snack (7pm): 6 c buttery light microwave popcorn, 1 small box of Junior Mints

I was definitely short on veggies and meat/protein.  I had some tummy troubles during and after my run, so neither food group was very appealing last night.

I’m still trying to figure out what to eat beforehand to minimize the gastrointestinal issues.  Maybe crackers instead of toast next time?  I read this article by Nancy Clark, and I’m doing this for the most part.  But maybe oatmeal and whole wheat toast are too much fibre for my GI tract?

Anyone have suggestions on starches to eat before a run?  What else do you eat?

Long Run Today

My post-run treat.

Kind of a strange day here weather wise.  Unlike the rest of North America, we’ve had a rather cool and wet summer.  We’ve recently had some sun and heat, but today we had a high of 20 degrees Celcius (68 degrees Fahrenheit) with rain and a couple of thundershowers.

After some barnacle busting (see here for an explanation of this term, provided by Katherine, a reader of the Run Like a Mother blog – very funny read), I managed to get my kids onto the ice at their skating camp.  Then I hauled butt to get home and out onto the road, because I had to be back at the rink to pick them up in a few hours.

I normally do my long runs on Saturday morning, but my husband is otherwise occupied this weekend (golfing ALL weekend), so I had to fit it in when I had childcare for the kids.  This made for some weird eating for me.  I had breakfast at 8:30am (oatmeal, fruit, milk), a snack (granola bar and dried apricots) at 10:30am, some toast and a banana at 12pm, and then some Gatorade right before my run.  Plus lots of water all morning.

I’m not sure I was entirely successful in what I ate today, as I ended up with some tummy troubles during and after my run, not to mention not getting in my servings of veggies today!  Oh well, I’ll do better tomorrow.  I’ll probably post later today or tomorrow on what I ate today.

The Long Run:

Today was supposed to be 22k, but due to a shortage of time (tummy troubles and the barnacle busting), I got in 21k.  I was happy with my pace (more consistent than last week, and somewhat faster), but am still having trouble with achiness around the 15k mark.  Instead of taking breaks every fifteen minutes like last week, I told myself I’d take a break every 2k.  This actually worked out pretty well, because I think I ran faster so that I could get to those walk breaks!  Had some cramping at the 20.5k mark: my right half and the big toe on my right foot.  Have never had this happen to me before while running.  It was a pretty weird feeling not to be able to control my toe and calf!  I’ve had side stitches before, but this felt entirely different.  Not sure if it was just muscle fatigue or hydration issues (maybe related to the tummy troubles?), but I’m considering adding a little Gatorade in with my water.  I had Gatorade and water before my run, 1.75 L of water during, plus 3 Gu’s.  This seems adequate to me, but maybe I’m wrong here?

Luckily, the first 9k of my run were dry, then I had a little sprinkle of rain for the next few km.  It stopped raining around the 14k mark, and the heavy rain stayed away until about 3 minutes after I got back to my house.  As my 6 year-old son would say, “SWEET!”  I’m hoping for some clouds when I run my race on September 12th…


After the run, I raced to the rink to pick up my kids, managing to be only two minutes late.  I guzzled some Gatorade on the way there, and then once I got home I had some chocolate milk, a couple of eggs, toast, and chopped tomatoes for supper.  I was really tempted to order some pizza, but I didn’t.  That was some willpower there!  After supper, we watched a movie (Shark Tale) and had some light buttery microwave popcorn.  I also had a box of Junior Mints.  Yum!  After all, if you can’t indulge a little after a long run, then when can you?

On top of post-run re-fueling, I also iced my left knee (new pain), right knee (no pain, but recently had bursitis/ITB syndrome there), and right hip (recent achiness); did some stretching; and foam rolled, particularly my IT bands.

After this run, I start tapering.  So excited about that.  And it also works out nicely in terms of my schedule, because my school year starts up August 23rd.

Done and Done: One More Long Run in the Books

Did my 20k long run this morning.  Got out a little bit later than usual at around 8am.  Luckily there was a nice breeze and it was slightly overcast, so it was tolerable.

Part of why I was late getting out this morning was because I was tweaking my long run playlist.  I noticed during last week’s run that there was a lull when the music just wasn’t getting my feet moving.  So this week I added in a few songs with a beat to up my cadence, including:

  • The Look – Roxette
  • Notion – Kings of Leon
  • Bang Bang – by K’naan
  • Won’t Back Down – Eminem
  • California Love – 2Pac, Roger Troutman, and Dr. Dre

I have to say that it actually made a big difference to have these in my playlist.  Got my feet moving and helped carry me through.

As for how the run went, the first 8k were great.  No walking at all.  This worked WAY better for me than the 10 and 1 approach I used on my last couple of runs. At 8k I stopped to refill my water bottle and grab another Gu.  Ran the next 2k and then switched to 15 and 2’s.  Around 13 1/2 k, started to get achy in my right hip flexor region.  Around 15k, both hips were achy and the backs of my legs (glutes, hamstrings, calves) were SO tired. After 16k, it was a struggle and there was a LOT of walking – WAY more than planned.  Around 18k, the outside of my right hip was a little sore, but I only noticed when I was walking.  At 19k, I was having a few GI issues and needed to get home to the washroom!

I was a little disappointed with how the last half of the run went, because I was on pace for the first 8k and felt pretty good.  However, I am happy that the heavy-duty achiness didn’t set in until 15k or so, because last week it started at about 12k.  So my body is adapting – yay!

Long Run Nutrition:

This morning I had a couple of pieces of whole wheat toast with jam and 1/2 c of yogurt.  It seemed to sit pretty well in my stomach, at least until the 19k mark. However, I’m thinking maybe it’s a little too much fibre, so next week I’m going to try a nice, ripe banana or some apple sauce and yogurt instead and see how that goes.

Pretty tasty! I liked it better than the Vanilla Bean.

Tried the Vanilla Bean, Jet Blackberry, and Triple Berry Gu today.  I prefer the two berry flavours to the vanilla, but my fave is still mint chocolate.

Polished off about 600mL of water before my run, 600mL in the first 8k, 600mL in the next 4k, and 600mL in the last 8k.  My run lasted about 2 1/2 hours, so I averaged 720mL per hour.  That seems to be within the guidelines that I’ve seen in various articles, including this one.

Next week I’ve got a 22k to do and then it’ll be time to start tapering, while I work on increasing my speed a little.  This works out nicely, as I head back to dental school on August 23rd and things will start to get busy!

New Gear this Week:

As I mentioned last week, I had a few problems with my sport bra chafing.  Yesterday I headed to my local running store, Brainsport, and picked up my favourite bra in a smaller size (the Moving Comfort Fiona bra, if you wanted to know).  I also picked up a pair of CW-X Pro Shorts.  Last week I wore I new pair of Nike capri length running tights and they were good, but when it’s hot out, shorts are better.  It’s really hard to find long shorts, though, isn’t it?  And I need long shorts otherwise I have chafing problems.

The bra worked great – no chafing!  And the shorts were pretty comfy.  There was just one tiny spot on the front of my left hip where I got some chafing, but I’m pretty happy with how they worked for me.  Not sure they helped my performance or anything, but they felt supportive.

Well, I’m off to bed!  Time to let my body recover and rebuild.