Much Better!

Last Saturday’s 12-mile run was unbelievably awful. Today’s 14-miler was wonderful. The difference? Sunshine, proper fuel and companionship.

Sunshine: last week Mother Nature threw all she had at me. The sky was gray. It drizzled, snowed and sleeted while I was on the course. Oh, and wind gusts were as high as 17 miles per hour. I’m not kidding. Today it was so bright and sunny I happily needed sunglasses. The temperature was in the high 30s and seemed warmer because of the sun. Love!

Proper fuel: Last week I consumed a whopping 450 calories between my pre-run breakfast and the two Gu’s I had on the course. I burned more than 1,400 calories while on course. Today I added an additional 1/2 tablespoon (gasp!) of all-natural peanut butter to my oatmeal/protein powder/pb breakfast. While on the course I had three Gu’s, one banana and 1/2 apple. I burned 2,200 calories while on course, but by proper fueling I felt great pretty ok.

Companionship: last week I ran alone, which is typically my preference. But I’ve noticed when I run more than 10-miles, I like a little company out there. Today my friend and coach Lynn agreed to meet me. She was scheduled for an eight-miler. We agreed I would run a 6-mile loop and she would meet me in the YMCA parking lot where we would begin an eight mile trek. Lynn arrived early and drove the course until she found me. I was at the three-mile point. By then the jacket I was wearing was one layer too much. She took it off my hands, driving the loop one more time to make sure I didn’t regret giving her the jacket. I didn’t. It was great having a support vehicle!

Once I’d completed the six mile loop Lynn and I took off. She took me on a route I was unfamiliar with and the change of scenery did me a world of good. Lynn’s a lot faster than I am but today she stayed at my pace and kept me company for the entire eight miles. For much of it she was walking as I slowly jogged. Lynn believes the long run can’t be too slow, so she didn’t mind the fact that I was shuffling along. It was great to have company for more than half the run.The World is better off too because as Lynn and I chatted we solved all of its problems.

When my Garmin gps watch finally flashed 14 miles, Lynn and I stopped, screamed, and hugged. After making a scene we walked the rest of the way to our cars. Lynn gave me props for covering such a distance. This was only my second time EVER to run 14 miles. I felt really accomplished.

When I started out this morning, last week’s debacle was still in my head. I looked at my watch after finishing my first mile and thought, “Great, I still have to run a #@$ half marathon.” But by the time my support vehicle found me at mile three, I was feeling good. At the completion of mile six I didn’t mind that I still had eight to go. And the eight miles with Lynn went by before I knew what had hit me. (Note: if you don’t have a “Lynn” in your life, find one!)

Last week I hoarded calories because I thought I would need them post run when I would be starving. Today I fueled properly and according to my Weight Watcher’s formula I “earned” a boat-load of activity points which, as all Weight Watchers know, can be converted into food points. In other words, I won’t go hungry today.

I now know last Saturday’s run was simply a training error. It happens. I’d rather learn a lesson during training than during a race.

I know there will be more bad training days in my future. But there will be good ones as well.

I’m grateful today was a good one.


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