And the training keeps cruising along!

My two runs this week have been interesting and lovely.  Interesting because I’ve made the conscious choice not to look at RunKeeper as I ran.  I wondered how it would feel to just run intuitively and how it might impact my pace.

Monday was a long work day followed by a late night showing of ‘Dark Knight’.  On Tuesday morning, I headed to Lake Merritt with the intention of doing 4 miles (doubling back at the end to add a mile).  As soon as I started, I knew it was going to be kind of sucky and probably not 4 miles.  My legs felt heavy and I was so tired.  The sun was also BLAZING.  Rude…

I didn’t have much sense of how fast I was running.  I knew I was uncomfortable due to the heat and the fatigue so I was pleasantly surprised to look down and see this:

Oh! Yay!

Good run and consistent with my obsessive, pace-watching times.  It wasn’t my fastest 3.18 miles but fairly close to.  Makes sense now why I looked (and felt) like this:

So pretty.

I think it’s important to have shitty runs.  I want to know what it feels like to run tired because I imagine by mile 11 of the half, I will feel tired.  As a preparer and planner, I want to have experienced discomfort and pushed through many times so I’m not panicked by it if it comes up in a race.  Mission accomplished.

Speaking of preparing, I used yesterday morning’s 4 mile run to experiment with fueling!

I fear cramping so I never run with water.  Let’s just ignore the fact that cramping is caused by dehydration.  On Sunday, my run will be….of the double digit variety…and will surely need to eat and drink something.  Figured it was wise to try that out on a training run so if something weird happened, it wouldn’t ruin a long run.

A few months ago, I made a pilgrimage to the newish Lululemon OUTLET about an hour away.  It was lame and had virtually no selection but I snagged a $9 handheld water bottle.

It is bulky and likes to watch Olympic BMX racing.

It has a handy pouch that I used for my shot blocks (cran-razz) and keys.  Between my iPhone on my arm and this bulky mother, I felt majorly weighed down.  Guess I need a Garmin!  😀

I planned to run 4 miles slowly and intuitively.  I wanted to simulate long run conditions so my tummy would know what to expect on Sunday.  During the first two miles, I took some tentative sips of water and all was well.  I took one shot block at the turnaround.  This was literally the first time I had ever eaten food and run simultaneously and it was weird!  What a strange sensation to run and chew.  I followed it with some water and felt great.  I may have been hyperaware but I think I got a burst of energy.  The next two miles were HOT.  The sun was blazing directly in my face and I just wanted it to be over.  Again, I found myself shocked by the time results:

Woah! Really?!

I guess my slowish pace is around a 10 minute mile!  Even over slightly longer distances!  Who knew?  That was a fun surprise.  The splits are kind of all over the place but not too far apart considering I wasn’t monitoring them.

Cruising without looking at pace was a really good experience.  I’m enjoying the new dimension of body awareness that comes from learning my body’s cues.  And also I’ve learned that I can drink water without my abdominal wall crumpling like a wad of discarded homework!  WIN!

What’s your favorite fuel?  Ever run without regard to time or pace?  


6 thoughts on “Cruising

  1. Anna says:

    I`m obsessed with numbers and am getting a Garmin for my birthday in September. I`m still having a hard time with the running&drinking / running&eating.
    Congratulations on your runs, though. You did a great job! I`m heading of to what will hopefully be a 5 miler today. Taking my water and some food. I will make this happen today and take you as an inspiration!

  2. The whole ‘breathing while drinking water’ is challenging enough. After soccer games, thirsty for some fluid, I sometimes ‘inhaled’ the water, choking an coughing trying to get the small bits out of my lungs. Took some time learning my body’s rhythm to drink and breathe (since breathing heavily), but I worked it out! 🙂

  3. Geraldine says:

    Hey! I love your blog. As a relatively newbie runner I’m still experimenting with a lot of what you mention. I got myself a Garmin last year and love it. I used RunKeeper for a while but I’ve realized it always says I’m running a good 1:00-1:30 MM faster than what I really am. And it doesn’t give you all of the fancy info Garmin does, which I love :). Good luck on the rest of your training!

    • Shauna says:

      Interesting point about the RunKeeper inaccuracies. I’ve heard that before but the two races I’ve run with RunKeeper have been dead on my chip time! Still want a Garmin though. 😀

  4. My favorite fuel is Clif Shot blocks in orange or fruit punch. They work well for me. I also found this belt called FlipBelt at the SF Marathon expo and it’s pretty cool – holds everything including the phone without being like other belts. Maybe check it out if you feel weighed down (granted, doesn’t help with water.)

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