18 Miles and The Search Is Over

And the winner is. . .  Honey Stinger Chews! I finished all 18 miles, feeling great and continued to feel fine all day!Honey Stinger

I started off my morning with a packet of instant oatmeal (thank you Deanne for the suggestion), drank a glass of water and then headed out. I followed my normal route for the most part but instead of going down Wellington to the lake I headed down Addison. I went South down the lake front path and took small sips of water as I passed each fountain. At 5 miles I tried my first chew — making sure to swish the water in my mouth to get the taste out after. I continued to run and stopped every 2 miles or so for water and every 5 miles for a couple more chews. As I ran past mile 13 and realized I still felt great, I started to think about everyone who has helped me along the way. Yes, I am doing the actual running part myself, but I wouldn’t have been able to do it without the help and support of so many different people. So. . . . .

Thank you to Ken and all of Team LUNGevity for training, supporting each other and raising money and awareness for lung cancer.

Thank you to Gregg at Fleet Feet who recommended Honey Stinger chews and spent an hour discussing the pros and cons of each energy gel with me.

Thank you to my friends and roommates (Katie and Kelly) who are probably sick of hearing about running and put up with me going to bed at 9pm on Friday nights.

Thank you to Mr. Daar who has been telling us to take small sips of water for years. . . I finally listened Saturday. . turns out he was right.

Thank you to my Aunt Karen and Uncle Tom for doing this with me and for motivating me in the virtual (Nike) world and in the real one.

Thank you to Samantha for listening to me recount every mile of every run, for hosting yoga where I get my only stretching in and for giving me tips and talking about food while we run together.

Thank you to my Aunt Kim who is always positive and genuinely excited to hear about my running.

Thank you to my coworkers who put up with my workout attire and Barb who keeps us fed.

Thank you Steve, who patiently listens to me complain that I’m starving and then subsequently complain that I’m full.

Thank you to my family who is always supportive and my grandparents who have cheered me on at every sporting, school and life event (no matter how long and boring).

Most of all my dad, who taught me how to work hard even when things get tough and has told me I can accomplish anything I put my mind to — except sing.

Post Run Meal:

Chocolate milk Whole wheat bagel

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The Quest Begins!

I stocked up on gels, gu and chews in search to find something that agrees with my stomach during my long runs. My plan is to try something new on each of my Thursday runs (8 miles) and then on my Saturday long runs.

Check out this article I found online about energy gels. I love the first line about how runners used to fuel up with cola!

The quest begins!

First Up: Honey Stinger Organic Honey Waffle

I ate the Organic Honey Waffle before my 5 mile run Tuesday to see if it would hurt my stomach or not (after this I will stick to trying them on longer runs only). I loved the taste of it and aside from a small cramp around .5 miles into my run, I felt great! The downside though is that Honey Stinger Honey Waffle August 20 5 mileit’s bigger and is harder to carry and wasn’t much of an energy boost. I think that while it is a great pre-run snack, it probably isn’t the best fuel for longer runs.

Wednesday – Short Run

Wednesday was a short day so no taste testing going on. BUT as I write this I can’t help but think back to when 5 miles was something that I trained for (for weeks) and not something that was considered an easy day. Typically on Wednesdays we meet for rooftop yoga at Samantha’s but last night we had a last minute change so I decided to do something I haven’t done in a long time: run for fun! I like marathon training, but sometimes scheduling runs and trying to fit them in is like a full time job. So last night, I suddenly had extra time on my hands. I turned off my Nike App and my music and unplugged during my 5 mile run. I didn’t check my pace or worry about the time, I just ran and checked out the scenery –it was great!

Thursday – 8 Miles After Work

Thursday before heading out for my 8 mile run I tried a taste of the Cherry Lime Roctane Gu and then subsequently threw the rest right into the garbage. Most of the time I’m fine with the initial taste of food or energy gels/drinks but then when I start running, the nausea willCherry Lime Roctane Gu August 22 hit. This time though, the taste was too gross to bare even without any physical activity. So instead I brushed my teeth, ate a frozen whole wheat waffle, drank some water and hit the road. Eight miles was pretty easy and while I varied my route only slightly, heading down Southport and Addison to the lake, the change was nice.

… Stay Tuned!

17 Miles

The 17 mile run on Saturday was my longest and toughest so far. I woke up about an hour before I wanted to leave to try to eat something (still struggling to find something that agrees with my stomach).PB and Sandwich thin I decided on trying a toasted wheat sandwich thin with a little bit of peanut butter. I had a glass of water and ate about 6 bites of the toast. Being too nervous to finish it, I drank another glass of water and headed out.

Typically, I do my longer runs early in the morning but having slept in until 8:30 and then giving myself an hour to eat and digest, I didn’t head out until 9:30 or so. . mistake! This weekend was the air and water show and while it was a nice distraction to people watch, it was also very crowded on the lake front path. On my way out, I didn’t have much trouble and was able to navigate through the path, but as I turned around for the second half of my run it started to go down hill. Around mile 11, I started to feel hungry so I ate a few grapes that I brought with. I know now that this isn’t enough to fuel a long run but at the time I was just trying to find a ‘food’ that didn’t have a strong taste. I continued on but got caught up in the crowd 17 milesof the show. There were strollers and kids running around and from North Avenue to Fullerton the path was pretty much packed. I was able to get through but weaving in between people and the constant stop and go for that mile wore me down. The last 2.5 miles of my run I felt light headed and nauseous. Once I got home, I felt like crap for the next hour or so –still light headed and nauseous. Thankfully though, in the few hours after my run I started to feel better, showered and ate. By 5pm i was as good as new!

What I learned for next weeks 18 miler:

1. Leave earlier!
2. No matter how bad it tastes, I need to bring a Gu or something!
3. Have food ready for when I get back!

Smoqued

Post run dinner at Smoque BBQ

13.1 Miles — The View From Both Sides

LUNGevity volunteered last weekend for the Zooma Chicago Half Marathon & 10K. A few of our staff helped out at packet pickup on Friday and then 2 of us volunteered at the water station (located at mile 3 &10) Saturday morning during the race. We got there at 6:15am and Deanne (fellow LUNGevityWater station staffer and marathon runner) and I began setting up the table. Deanne mixed the Cytomax (not as easy as the directions make it sound) and we began filling hundreds of cups with the energy drink and water. Before we knew it runners were coming at us! For any of you who have not volunteered at a water station before — IT IS HARD! At first, both Deanne and I stood in front of the table to hand out cups but we were quickly running out so I stepped behind to fill as she continued passing them out. Thankfully a few minutes later 3 more volunteers joined us. We poured, passed, cheered, instructed and fielded questions from runners, spectators and people passing by. The whole experience was a whirlwind! Several runners thanked us for the water and for volunteering our time but there were also many that were not so nice. By the time the last runner had passed through our water station the second time (mile 10) I was muddy, tired and out of breath (and I have blisters on my left hand from opening the water bottles)!

After volunteering, I had my own 13.1 miles to complete for marathon training. I headed back to my apartment to change and grabbed a bagel and coffee on my way home. I ate, changed and headed out the door an hour later and hit the road. This run was a little different from the rest of my long runs so far. Typically I go as soon as I wake up and avoid eating at all until after I finish. The first couple of miles my body felt heavy and my stomached cramped a little from eating but around mile 3 it started to get easier. I usually run to the lake front 13.1 milespath and then head south towards Fullerton but having just volunteered around an area that was new to me, I decided that I would try a different route. I ran the mile and a half down Wellington to the lake front and then instead went North. The new scenery was nice and kept my mind off the sun beating down on me (I’m usually done with my run by the time I even started this week). I ran past Foster Beach and then turned around and headed back south.

WARNING! I’m about to make a bold statement: Volunteering for 3.5 hours at the half marathon water station was JUST AS, IF NOT MORE DIFFICULT as my 13.1 marathon training run! This experience has definitely made me appreciate the volunteers at all races so much more. From now on, I will make sure to thank every single person who pours or hands me a cup of water (that I desperately need) at every race I run. Without them I would have to wear one of those water fanny packs (not going to happen) or be parched!