Last week total distance was 76.7 km run in 7 hours and 47 minutes. My big accomplishment was running 40.87 km on Saturday, first 40k in probably 3 years. It was tough, but it got done!
Most interesting thing I did last week, took my first ice bath on Sunday after running 13k. While I will likely be making this a regular part of my training, I am definitely going to be looking in to some Wim Hof breathing techniques, because honestly, it kind of sucked. It was cold and there were ice cubes floating around me that were in no rush to melt.
I made the decision to try an ice bath because my knee started hurting the last 10K on Saturday. I probably should have jumped in after that run, but I guess it didn’t hurt enough. When the same pain came back in the last 6K on Sunday, I decided it had to be done. My kids loved helping dump little dishes of ice in to my bath and giggled outside the door when they heard me shriek getting in. It was oddly painful and satisfying at the same time and it made my legs feel heavy. But it also made my legs feel better after the fact.
I love experimenting with different ways to get better and do better, so I am sure the ice bath is only the first of many things I will try to get better and run further.
I learned a few things running 40K. First, nutrition is key to successfully completing longer distances. I could feel the difference in my body when I drink Gatorade vs. regular water. Gel’s helped as well. I wasn’t 100% prepared for this run. While I have ordered better fuel sources, they had not yet arrived. For this one I had to make due with what I had. This included Gatorade, Gu gel’s and a Cliff bars. These definitely helped, but my ratios of water, sugar and salt were less than optimal, and it was noticeable. I am excited to receive my Infinite Run powder this week to use for my 50K and 42.2K this coming weekend. I will let you know how it goes.
Second, shorter loops are good when you are trying to run new distances by yourself. I did 4 x 10K loops. This allowed me to top up nutrition each time I passed the house, use the bathroom when needed, and adjust my clothing with the changing weather. I started out in cold minus degrees and finished in pluses, so it was good to be able to switch things up. Also, in the event I couldn’t finish, no one had to come find me in the middle of nowhere.
I really enjoy long runs. Not necessarily at the beginning, when my body is warming up and it takes time to get my breathing in check, but further along once it becomes comfortable. There is something strangely calming about the auto pilot that kicks in when you reach a point where you are no longer thinking about the running, you’re just doing it. We’ll see if I feel this way on lap 5 of the 50K… lol
For anyone who has ever considered running, now is as good a time as any to start. For me, it is a great way to burn off the excess stress and anxiety caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s a legitimate reason to leave your house for some much-needed alone time if you can get away. Start small and work your way up. I started with 1-mile way back when.
Keep safe, be kind and stay hopeful.