Only 7 full days remain between now and my race - yay! Which means only 5 until we leave. My "to-do" list is one thing shorter after my long run this morning, which was FANTASTIC! I felt really strong and it was such a sunny and beautiful morning. We had one of those mornings where the sky is bright blue, and the clouds are all puffy and cute. This was a nice change after a couple days of constant rain!
My experience with the Clif Shots was uneventful. Perhaps they deserve credit for how great I felt during the run today? This is the first time I've actually used any sort of nutrition on long runs (or any run for that matter). I keep reading that you should use some sort of food, or liquid, nutrition during long runs - but haven't ever "gone there." I think I've been nervous about bumping into something that doesn't work and sends me sprinting for bushes (or a porto-potty if I'm lucky!) with tummy troubles. I've done all of my long runs up to this point without any sort of hydration or nutrition. Maybe this is why some of them are harder than I'd expect them to be? I'll keep experimenting now that I've "gone there," and will keep you posted. I bought two Clif Shots at REI yesterday, and had one of them 15 minutes before I left, and one at about 2.75 miles into my 6 mile run. I was concerned that 6 miles wasn't nearly "long" enough - in terms of "long runs" - for me to see how my body would respond, so I guessed that having one before I left and then having a second one might exaggerate their impact enough to help me see if they'd betray me and send me running for bushes. :) The great news is, I was just fine. Aside from getting my fingers all chocolatey while trying to open the pouches while maintaining my pace, it was seamless. Oh, and then there is deciding what to do with the litter after you empty the pouch. I opted for licking it clean and folding it neatly to put in my pocket. Yep, I'm one of those people. Thank goodness I had pockets to put it in. I actually don't mind licking chocolate off my hands when I'm running, it was a nice little highlight. Though I didn't appreciate still feeling a little "sticky" afterwards, which is inevitable when you get chocolate hands... now I'll have to decide if I'm going to carry wet naps, or if I'll just get over it and run with sticky hands. Will my embarrassment over carrying wet-naps overcome my OCD avoidance of sticky-hands? If I'm carrying gels, a cell phone, keys, and maybe even water at some point - I'm not too far away from needing some sort of fanny-pack or belt. I'm just not sure I feel ready for a fanny pack. The jury is still out.
Did I mention yet that I got to borrow my friend Jenn's Garmin? Because... I got to borrow my friend Jenn's Garmin! She has the Garmin Forerunner 310XT, which she uses for runs, biking and swimming - as she's training for her first triathlon. She was even nice enough to come over and explain how it works (I'm tech-illiterate), set it up for me, and even let me borrow her heart rate monitor.
My final verdict - I. LOVE. this. thing.
It kept track of how fast I was going, my distance, my time AND my heart rate ALL at one time. At the end of each mile it buzzed at me and displayed my split time for that mile. It even stored that information for me so I could see my data for each mile. For those who are interested (and because I am excited to write it all down somewhere) - here are the details;
Avg HR: 152bpm
Avg HR: 160bpm
Mile 3: - The Mile with the HUGE hill...
Avg HR: 161bpm
Avg HR: 175bpm
Mile 5: Headed to the Imagination Station!
Avg HR: 174bpm
Mile 6: In some neighborhoods around the High School
Avg HR: 179
"Mile 7" - AKA... the .01 mile it took me to figure how to shut it off...
Time: 04.69 seconds
Avg HR: 173 bpm
Calories = 0 (ha!)
Distance: 6.01 miles
Average Speed: 4.8mph
Average HR: 166bpm
Max Speed: 7.3mph
Max HR: 189bpm
Calories burned: 1057
My husband brought our son to the Imagination Station - a little park by the high school where I ended my run - and we all got to enjoy the sunshine and the park for a little while. I'm hoping that doing long runs and ending at the park for a family picnic might become a family tradition during the summer.