01 August 2009

6.2 And Some Goo

I have a new fear and it's been realized. This morning's run started on a hill. Immediately my body tensed. I felt it in my neck, in my shoulders, and in my chest. When all of those things are tight, the legs don't really matter. I mean I typically start at a slower pace anyway, but this morning it was impossible for me to keep up with anyone. I'd like to blame the cold, or the fact that we hadn't stretched, or the extra weight of my keys, shot blocks, and goo. But the reality is I just couldn't do it.

We were back in Sausalito this morning. Once we ran *up, we ran *down for probably a mile. It gave me a great view of the bay, and an opportunity to wonder how I was going to get back to the top. There were no immediate answers, so I kept running.

I get passed a lot going downhill. I make it a point to keep my pace. It helps me remember I have to be prepared for the road ahead. Maintaining a slower pace downhill also helps me (or so I'm convinced) regulate my breathing. By the time I hit flat ground, I'm ready to pick it up. A little.

Today I started slowing down after about 2.75 miles. I wasn't feeling weak, or sore. I was just tired. And just as I wished for some energy, I remembered my goo. It was actually a green apple flavored gel, infused with sodium and caffeine - the things a runner needs while running. I got it as a sample last week and was excited to try it. I pulled back the top.

I slurped.

I gagged.

I can't tell you what I was expecting. I don't think I gave it any thought as I opened it. I wanted what it promised and I didn't question the means. The gagging messed up my breathing, which quickly translated to leaden legs. Of course it's for one use only, so after realizing I didn't want the gel, I had no way of closing it. Also - nowhere to toss it and no water with which to dilute it. So I finished it. It sat in my throat like meringue. Only not delicious. And the packet made my hand ridiculously sticky. I put it back in my pocket (which was then stuck shut) and tried to get back on track. I was also trying to conjure saliva. In the end, I had to walk a little. I needed composure.

The gel did deliver and I barely noticed the following mile. I think the only thing that brought me to reality was a sneaky, curving incline that told me I was a giant hill away from the finish. I made it, but it wasn't pretty. There was a time I thought I could walk faster than I could run. That was not true. Walking just made the legs feel heavier and the time tick slower. So I jogged along.

I learned a lot of lessons today.

1) It's important to train with treats. I would have felt a lot worse - and gone a lot slower - without the gel and the shot block I had before the hill. Also, they add weight. I noticed that today and would not want to be surprised with that on race day. I'm going to get a utility belt. There wasn't any water today and I really could have used some. Whatever I need on race day, I'll bring.

2) I have shin splints. It turns out they can be on the *side of the leg, as well as in the front. I had started to worry about the all important IT band, but when I showed the coach my sore spot, he confirmed it was the shin. That was welcomed news, as shins can be strengthened.

3) I can use the sweat from my face to wash my hands. Gross? Yes. But necessary after the gel incident.

Next week we "re commit," meaning we promise to raise our funds, or pay them. To me, it also means we're ready for the 2nd half of our training. We're about to go further and do more (hills) than before. Thanks to the support I've received, I'm ready to do both. I'm less than $1,000 from my fund raising goal, and less that $500 from my agreed minimum. I am totally going to do this! Thanks.

Please support me as I raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (and train for a half marathon) by donating here: http://tr.im/n6F7

~ Danie D.
Courtesy of my Verizon PinkBerry