So after running for a while the running “firsts” start to become less and less frequent. I’ve had the bloody nipples, the extreme chaffing and then the enquiring looks from friends when they see the industrial sized pot of Vaseline sat on the bathroom counter. Then of course there are the less graphically disturbing firsts like the first double digit run, the first long run with no walk breaks and of course the first medal (hopefully this coincides with the first race). Understandably these experiences had started to dry up, that is until the last month or so. I thought I would share a couple of these new firsts with you.
I will say straight up that some of these may not really be considered running achievements, but they are firsts for me.
New longest ever run – As the training intensity starts to ramp up so do the distances and just before our jaunt to Jamaica I hit a new high. Now I am not going to say I owned that long run, and really there is only one thing stopping me making that claim, and that is the fact that I didn’t own it. I made a plethora schoolboy mistakes I ran out of the gate far to quickly which left me sucking wind by the half way point, which then lead to an over hydrating stitch and of course a headache for Heather as I whinged for the next few kilometers. All that said my previous long run, the Picton Half, was surpassed by 4km. And what’s more it was followed up by another long run the following day. I think at this point I really started to believe that this training really was going to equate a 125km race.
Really getting hungry – I don’t know if it is the back-to-back long runs but I have recently really felt the effects of not taking in calories on the long runs. They say you should be taking on 200 calories per hour on long runs. Really how hard can this be, in fact it might even sound like fun, a 42g bag if M&M’s is 207 calories, so throw the green ones away and there you have your 200. So who wouldn’t be happy scoffing down a bag of M&M’s every hour, but I’m pretty sure you have already realized that this not the reality. The reality is you have to kiss a hell of a lot of toads to find your running snacks, the market is littered with options and honestly it is all about the individual, but we have been through all manner of dry bars, jelly cubes and goopy nastiness, and we are still not 100% of the way there. We have found a couple of great products like Larabar’s, but we are still some way away from working out how we are going to fuel ourselves over the course of the race (stay tuned for theories, we are both foodies and won’t compromise on the nutrition flavor equation). I digress a little so what is the first? Basically I hit a wall of having no fuel, my legs felt great, breathing and heart rate perfect but no energy, and this is because I really didn’t think I needed to eat. Pretty crappy first.
Running lore – this truly is a first for me. On a run with Roberta, Heather’s cousin, she told us about her friend who will stop on a run to pick up money she finds on the sidewalk, but her maxim is to pay that money forward. A noble ideal but as Heather is the only one with me for the most part she is up over 5 bucks and as for me I am realizing I have an unobservant running partner!!
Yellow snow – We all know what it is and how it’s made. I have had to make pee stops before but never in the snow, so on a long snowy run I hoped off the trail for a brief errr…. rest. But you know it’s always nice when one pops a cherry with you, thanks Heather……
He fell over – Really it should have been inevitable but some how I had managed to avoid it even through the snow and ice of the Toronto winter. But you know what they say all good things come to an end, I blame karma, just as I am complaining about someone (no need to say anymore their ears would have burnt) I hit a patch of ice and accelerate. At this point however I didn’t hit the deck, which probably only severed to piss off karma, and also make karma sneaky, which must be bad karma for karma, 20 minutes later I hit another patch of ice this time however I did the full Bambi. I hit the pavement arms and legs splayed. Fortunately the only thing that was damaged was pride as I lay giggling on the street. Moral of this story is that karma is sneaky, be mean with caution.
And those are my firsts.