20 miles is a long time to run by yourself. Back when I was training for my first marathon, I was lucky enough to be a part of Team in Training.
While fundraising for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and running my little heart out, I had the opportunity to meet a group of amazing people. We would meet each weekend to conquer our long runs, and boy was it fun! Chatting about running, life, and the cause we were running for made the miles fly by.
This time around I'm training by myself. Although one day I see myself joining back up with Team in Training, for now I am training sans a team. But training for a marathon with out running buddies can get monotonous and can even be dangerous. During a 17-miler I ran out of water and was super thirsty when I got home. Sure I made it home, but what if it had been hotter? After hearing this my mom promptly got online, looked up a local running group, and signed me up. Thanks Mom!
Saturday night, after carbo loading with sweet potatoes, I got all my running gear together in preparation for my big day. This running group is very organized and has routes posted online, so I figured I'd run the 10 mile loop with everyone, and then do the other 10 by myself. Due to some events going on, the turn out was small, and only one other person was doing the 10 mile loop + a 6 mile loop. It was so great! About 15 minutes before we started I ate a banana, then we all started out together, and at mile 3, 2 runners split off to finish the 6 mile loop, while Barbara and I continued on to complete 10. We arrived back at our cars in 1:46:39!
When running with a buddy, your mind doesn't have time to second guess itself and the thought "I can't do this" never surfaced. Instead we talked about our love of running, how awesome it was that we had the same running pace, and just got to know each other. Mentally it was also easier to think of this as two separate 10 mile runs. After hydrating we set out again, and Barbara split off at 3 miles, which left me only 7 miles by myself. My second 10 was run in 1:51:51, slower than my first 10 but I was just happy to cover the distance with no ankle pain!!!
Refueling wise I took some of your advice and tried new GU flavors. Espresso Love at mile 7 and Chocolate at mile 14. It was like eating dessert while running! Really enjoyed the flavors and so happy I'm over my non-fruity GU fear.
When I got home Shane had an ice bath waiting for me, and I soaked for 20 minutes. I really feel a difference in my recovery when I use an ice bath! It may be hard getting in, but it's totally worth it for me! And then I enjoyed a recovery shake. (recycled this picture...they all look the same!)
2 medium bananas
large handful spinach
1 1/2 cups soy milk
1 packet chocolate Amazing Meal
After a long run all I want to do is nap, eat, repeat. I filled my body with lots of nutritious eats, but I also indulged in my favorite fall candy...CANDY CORN!
Yea, I'm pretty much obsessed with candy corn. Shane and I first started dating in the fall, and one day he surprised me with flowers...and a bag of candy corn. He knew the way into my heart even then <3
And if you ever want to show your love of candy corn through the art of baking, make these cupcakes! Instead of water I used Candy Corn flavored soda from Target. They were so cute and tasty!
One more candy corn related note, mix dry roasted peanuts with the autumn candy corns (white, orange, brown) and the sweet/salty flavor is the bomb.com!
Do you prefer to run by yourself or with a group? A lot of days, I find running to be my "me" time and enjoy running alone. However long runs are wonderful with a group! And although I haven't done it myself, I've heard having a friend to do speed work is super fun and is really helpful motivation wise.
What's your favorite fall candy?