Sunday, February 9, 2014

A day in the life of a long run.

6:06 a.m.:     I woke up before my alarm went off but I knew I wouldn't be able to fall back asleep so I just decided to stay awake.  I had some pre-long run anxiety (as you guys know) and I decided to just stay in bed and play on my phone.

6:40 a.m.:     My alarm was set to go off at this time so I got out of bed and started to wake up a bit and get dressed in my running gear.  I wanted to leave the house at 7:40 and initially I had the thought that I would make a new playlist for the run in the morning.

7:00 a.m.:     I ate breakfast of 1 cup of puffed brown rice cereal, 1 cup almond milk, and a sliced up banana, along with some water.  I felt really indecisive about what running accessory gear to wear so I got together a variety of hats, headbands, and clothing to bring with me.  Gathered together some Gatorade, my water bottle pack, Gu Chews, skin block, and threw a few last minute things into the bag I had packed the night before for clothes to change into after the run.  I packed a few dollars in my waist belt for the run in case my water froze and we needed to stop at a Stewart's for some water.

7:20 a.m.:     I was ready earlier than I thought so I put on the TV and watched the Olympics coverage and recap of the opening games.  Saw a pretty amazing clip of the Russian police choir (cause apparently that's a thing) singing "Get Lucky" which made me laugh.

7:35 a.m.:     Left the house and went to go get my car washed.  I know it seems like a ridiculous thing to do at 7:30 on a Saturday morning but my car had been having some vibration issues and before driving to Saratoga I wanted to clean off the dirt, salt and snow. I'd heard a car wash could help (thank you Jeff!) so I drove to 2 different car washes (to find one that was open) before getting on the highway to Saratoga.

8:20 a.m.     I arrived earlier than I thought to Saratoga and didn't want to sit in Aubrey's driving (our meeting point) for 20 minutes by myself.  I thought she would still be asleep when I got there and didn't want to wake her up.  Plus, I was feeling really tired on the drive over and wanted a little caffeine and some sugar.  I stopped at a Stewart's and ended up with a hot tea and a cherry tootsie roll pop.

8:35 a.m.     Arrive at Aubrey's but thinking she'd still be asleep, I play on my phone for a few minutes waiting for Jess to arrive at our scheduled meeting time of 8:40.

8:52 a.m.     Get a text from Jess that she is just leaving her house then, so I text Aubrey to ask if she is awake.  She is, so I go inside, bringing my clothes to change into later and dropping them off.

9:20 a.m.    Jess arrives, brings her things inside and I jump in the car with her to head back to her place.  We drive the route we are planning to run backwards so that I can see what we're about to embark on.  I start to feel pretty good because I realize Jess wasn't being too overly optimistic when she says that the route has a lot of downhill.

9:40 a.m.     Get to Jess's and head inside to finish getting ready, fill up my water bottles with a mixture of Gatorade G2 and water.  I was told Gatorade has a lower freezing point than water so it might be better to have Gatorade.  Decide to wear a headband and put a hat in my pocket.  Jess's daughter gives her a beaded necklace to wear during the run, but wants her to wear it around her arm.  It's such a super cute gesture.

10:00 a.m.  We head out the door!  It's a seriously gorgeous day out.  Bright shining sun, cold, but not too cold.  It's a great day for a run.

Mile 2.5 - I look at my watch for the first time.  Realize I am halfway through my first 5 mile run and feeling good.

Mile 5 - One five mile run down.  I eat my first Gu chew, drink some water Gatorade, and I'm feeling good.  I set my mindset to be ready to do another 5 mile run.

Mile 7 - I look at my watch again.  I realize I am only a little less than half way done and it feels a little bit overwhelming.  When it feels overwhelming I sort of slap myself mentally and remind myself that I am "just doing a 5 mile run!"  So I tell myself that I am 2 miles in to a 5 mile run.  Just 2 miles in to a 5 mile run.

Mile 7.5 - I see that I am 1/2 way through the 15 mile run.  I start to think "Oh man, I am only half way through a 15 mile run!" but then again recalibrate myself and start chanting to myself, "Half way done. Half way done. Half way done a 5 mile run.  Half way done.  Half way done.  Half way done a 5 mile run..."

Mile 8 - We get to our first big hill of the run.  Where Jess has been in front of me the whole time setting the pace, she has me move first for the hill.  I am usually slower on the hills so I appreciated Jess setting the pace.  I put my hood up, which I had been doing on and off for warmth throughout the ru.  Depending on being in the sun or the shade and whether or not there was a breeze, I enjoyed the extra warmth of having my head completely covered.  So, anyways, I put my hood up, head down, and just charged forward, again reverting to my first half marathon mantra to get me to the top, "Survive the hill.  Pace the race.  Just keep going, you're finishing this thing."

Mile 9 - Jess warns me that we are running past a gun range.  Good to know.  I tentatively ask, "They aren't shooting in our direction, right?" No, no they are not.

Mile 10 - We've finished our second 10 mile run!  I ask Jess, "Hey Jess?  Want to go for a nice, light 5 mile jog?"  She replies, "Sure, I just need to eat something first."  We slow the pace to almost walking and Jess eats a protein bar, I eat two Gu chews, and we keep powering through and I try to go as long as I can without looking at my watch.

Mile 11 - I look at my watch exactly at mile 11.  Chanting continues, "4 miles left. 4 miles left. 4 miles left in a 5 mile run.  4 miles left. 4 miles left. 4 miles left in a 5 mile run."

Mile 12.5 - Some girl says hi and it looks like she is trying to give us a pamphlet or something.  We ignore her and keep going.  Conquer a little hill and are about to enter the park in Saratoga!

Mile 12.9 - We stop at the spring in Saratoga to refill water bottles.  There are a ton of people there and Jess jumps in asking if we can cut the line.  Luckily for us, some kind people let us in, we grab some water quickly.  Jess takes one of my water bottles to fill and chug.  Somewhere a couple miles ago I had realized that the spouts on my water bottles were frozen so you needed to twist them off in order to get a drink.  I tell her we're at 13 and we keep going.

Mile 13.11 - "We are officially in new territory!" I shout to Jess.  Our half marathon time is about 2:14 or 2:15.

Mile 14 - "One mile to go. One mile to go.  One mile to go in a 5 mile run.  One mile to go.  One mile to go.  One mile to go in a 5 mile run."

Mile 14. 75 - I shout out loud to me or to Jess or to anyone or just to the world, "This is amazing!"

Mile 14.9 - I realize that I totally understand how the last 6 miles of a marathon are death.  The thought of having to go another 5 miles seems... manageable?  The thought of running another 11 miles seemed INSANE.

Mile 15 - DONE!!!!! 2:36:14 to finish 15 miles at a 10:25/pace.

12:37 p.m.:     We walk the .1 miles to finish back to Aubrey's.  I point out that this is one point for the Garmin as the distance was exactly right compared to what we saw online on Google Maps.  We're always teasing back and forth what is more accurate -- my Garmin or the Runkeeper app on the iPhone.

12:40 p.m.:     Aubrey situates us with some water, I eat a Kind bar.  I try to keep moving and pace out a bit but also shed some layers so that the sweaty cold is off of me.  Feeling pretty elated about the run.

12:41 p.m.:     Nearly die of laughter at the fact that I look like a little person after having Aubrey taking this picture.  Yup.  Pretty awesome.

1:22 p.m.:     After another MIRACULOUS shower at Aubrey's, a couple stiff walks up and down the stairs getting showered, hair dried, and whatnot, we head out the door.  I had packed with me to wear my Providence Half Marathon top and some cozy clothes. My Providence Half Marathon top is so cozy and makes me feel proud.  I think after the half marathon in September I wore it at some point every day for a week.

1:30 p.m.:     Druther's!!!!  Foooooooood!  Hard cider!  Hot tea!  Friends!  Sitting!  Laughing!  FOOD!!  Eat some hummus and carrots, a bacon cheeseburger with sauteed mushrooms and onions, no bun, and a side salad.  The food tastes so good I never want it to end.

3:30 p.m.:     Head to Healthy Living in Saratoga for a Dr. Haushka facial care session with Team BABU.  Grab a coffee and a bottle of water before it starts.

4:30 p.m.:     Resist the urge to buy lots of gluten free junk food at Healthy Living, pick up a few small items, such as an apple to eat on the way home, talk with the girls a bit more.  Congratulate Jess on the run and thank her for the help in getting me through the run.

5:45 p.m.:     Arrive back at home in Albany.  Proceed to couch.

5:50 p.m.:     Realize I'm still in such a happy mood, even though I am exhausted I still want to do something tonight to celebrate the run.  Try to text some friends to see if anyone is around.

7:00 p.m.:     Make a protein smoothie with almond milk, blueberries, banana, kale, and protein powder.  Return to couch.

7:30 p.m.:     Accept the fact that yeah, I'm not getting up off the couch tonight.

8:00 p.m.:     Change into PJs.  Couch.  Feel pretty happy that my legs are holding up well and I feel pretty good.

9:00 p.m.:     Is it bedtime yet?  This feels pathetic.  Try to stay up a little later, watch some more Olympics.

10:30 p.m.:     Goodnight!


  1. So fun to read! I am also training for my first marathon in May. I have never run more than 13.25 miles either! My 14-miler is in two weeks! I'm excited to read more about your journey!

  2. You can do it Becca!! Good luck and thanks for reading -- I just started following your blog!