I told you I would do 18 miles, and I did. They were fairly slow miles, but they are now behind me. I am ready to take on Eugene!
Where luckily they will have water and stuff. I slept in LATE on Sunday. Like, noon late. So I started my run just as the day's temperature was really started to warm up. It was around 75 degrees the whole time. I am sunburned in odd spots, where I didn't think to put sunscreen. It took me nearly five hours to complete 18 miles. As I was heading home, I thought about my day: Sleep in late, do 18 miles. Is this the life, or hell? It was a hard call.
I was glad to find out that my leg muscles were finally working properly again. The chiropractor on Friday confirmed that yes, my pelvis was all torqued up. My right leg was a full inch shorter than my left, it was so off-kilter. I had some hip pain at the beginning of the run that worked itself out pretty quickly, and then didn't appear again until nearer the end of the run, when my hips always get tired and sore.
I did a few things differently for this run, and I am glad I did although I did so many different things it's tough to narrow down what worked and what worked really really well.
On the water issue, my fuel belt holds two ten ounce bottles, and I as I mentioned on my last long run that just wasn't enough. This time I carried along a 33 ounce water bottle as well, and with the warmth of the day I am so glad I did. It was one of those long, skinny bottles and very annoying to carry, but I ended up being so thirsty I drank most of it by the four mile mark and then stashed it away on the side of the trail with about 8 ounces left in it to pick up on the way back.
That still left me drinking a lot of water during the run. Close to the nine mile turnaround point, it turns out there is a trailhead station with water. Yay! I drank 20 or so ounces there and refilled both my bottles. Sooooo happy there will be water stops about every two miles on the marathon course. I chugged another 20 ounces as soon as I finished my run.
After the half marathon left me all screwed up electrolyte-wise, I bought a small thing of Endurolyte capsules to try for this run. They worked out fabulous. The packet had about six or eight capsules. I took two capsules shortly after starting my run, then about one capsule every hour or so thereafter. I had no problems with leg cramps during the run, and only the typical soreness after the run and today. Usually I am so stiff I can barely walk when I get home, but I really only had a "you've gone 18 miles" feeling and that was it. So I am definitely getting more of those for Eugene.
I tried Hammer Gels for the first time on this run. The taste was fine and my stomach was okay with them. I wish the package was smaller, though, so I may or may not use these at Eugene.
Usually pre-run I have only a granola bar or maybe two. This time I had a piece of whole wheat toast with peanut butter, and a glass of V8 Splash (for the potassium and sodium). It sat well on my stomach, but didn't necessarily combat the mid-run hunger any better than anything else. So mid-run I had decided to have a mini-Lara bar, one of the ones I got at the Roses finish line. It also sat well on my stomach and more importantly satisfied my mid-race hunger.
I did not have any caffeine before my run, and I really should have. I had a caffeine headache by the end. I was very happy I had a cold diet soda in the car waiting for me.
I took three Advil mid-run and that helped keep the hip fatigue manageable. I had a bit of a blisterish feeling on one of my toes, and other than the usual "I've been on my feet a damn long time" soreness that was the only nagging issue.
I had picked up a package of Endurox recovery drink at some race a while back, and never tried it. I decided this run would be perfect to test that out. I chugged it as soon as I got back to the car, and I think it helped too as usually I don't have anything but water or soda for up to an hour after I run (this time I took a small ice chest with me). The taste was interesting. Have you ever had one of those punches made out of fruit punch, 7-up and sherbet? This tasted like that after the sherbet has melted. The slight carbonation helped to cut the sweetness of the drink. I'd definitely use it in the future.
On the whole, I think it was a good run. My time came in in the 15 minute miles, but that may be overstated. There are a lot of crossings on this trail, and while most you can just slow down a bit for there are a few where you have to stop and wait for the traffic lights. Plus at that trailhead station at the turnaround point I was so focused on getting something out of my fuel belt that I forgot I still had my iPod running -- until Chip said something like "period of inactivity is too long, shutting down." So I was standing absolutely still for at least three minutes, if not closer to five (I lose all manual dexterity when I'm running). Overall, I'd say my time was more in the 14s, but this still has me finishing the marathon before the course closes which is my goal!
I did wear my "Dances with Cows" hat and it worked out well. Much less stinky than my other hat. As I ran, I kept saying "I am Runs with Cows" but alas, I never saw a single cow on my run. I saw sheep, horses, a bunny (it gave me much disapproval), cats (including one walking down a country dirt road with a mouse in its mouth), dogs, and birds (including a red-winged blackbird, I love those), but no cows. I guess they were all out running too.