Monday, March 1, 2010

22 miles hurt, thank goodness for taper weeks

Pinch punch first day of the month!

Happy March everyone! March brings lots of good things, like Girl's Day, the Daylight Savings Time (yay more sunlight after work!) and of course, the LA Marathon! (21 days, what what)

Yesterday was the last official LSD run before the big day; all 22 frigggggin miles of it. It was only the third time James and I had run that far/long... and it was as daunting as the first time around. 22 miles. Does that ever become easy, I wonder? :)

Of course, my favorite part about LSD runs is the "carbo-loading." (cough cough chocolate doughnut what? cough cough who me?) For the pre-run dinner, we tried a new variation on a recent favorite food of mine: Polenta. At Trader Joe's, you can get ready-to-eat Polenta for only $1.99, and one of those things is enough to feed a very hungry James and Julia for two meals. (that's a lot of food)

The new variation consisted of Polenta Pizza: rounds of polenta topped with BBQ tri-tip, (James is the grill master) spinach, mushrooms, marinara sauce, Parmesan cheese, and shredded cheese. Pop it into a 390* oven for 10-15 min and voila: carb heaven.
Sorry for the yucky photo, but it was tastey. He had five, I had three, along with some fried rice.

Pre-run morning breakfast was the usual waffles/banana/coffee spread. Yum.

Ok. On to the run. We finally managed to start a run before 10 AM. Success!
The weather was perfection; clear and cool. (so glad the rains stopped the day before!)
The run consisted of two 11 mile loops. We parked one car at the start/stop/midpoint, and one car at mile 6/16, and stashed it with water/Gatorade/food/food/food.

Miles 1-13 was a blast. Body felt good. And we were having one of the most stimulating conversations ever. The time and miles just flew by. So far so good.
Waffles pit stop at mile 10.5. Yum yum yumminess. Please excuse the gross sweatiness. Yes. I like to eat solid food on runs. Is that weird?

Then all of a sudden, around mile 15/16(?) my right ITB started acting up like a bratty hormonal teenager throwing a tantrum. The pain was sharp. It hurt. It was annoying. It pissed me off. We took a break at mile 16-ish to stretch and re-fuel. I had a Banana Peach Carb Boom! (not my favorite flavor; a little too fake on the banana front, but still enjoyable, kind of like candy) and then James came up with the most genius idea ever. He squeezed his Double Espresso Carb Boom! onto one of the waffles as a topping. ummmmm.... WOW. It was incredible. I make some pretty bomb waffles, and the addition of the Carb Boom! as a topping was just like putting chocolate syrup on it or something. Absolutely delightful. Will definitely be repeating this again. I guess you know you're a runner when you start incorporating energy gels into your diet as an ingredient.

The stretching only helped for a bit. By mile 17.5 it was screaming at me again. I could hardly bend my knee it hurt so much. But for some reason I was just so full of adrenaline. I kept shouting and grunting, and James was so encouraging. The endorphins were racing through my blood. All of a sudden at mile 19, I had this surge of animal instinct to run for it. Just run my little heart out. Who knows where this energy suddenly came from, but it was fast. It was primal. It felt GLORIOUS. All of a sudden there was no pain. Only a desire to run as fast as possible.

After the little sprint was a two mile cool down and this:

I'm doing my best interpretation of "Try not to collapse into one sweaty, painful, miserable lump of flesh on the ground."

Every last step. Finito. Done. Booya.

LA Marathon; bring it on baby!

Though my ITB is tight as a mofo today and my knee still hurts, I know it's nothing some Ibuprofen and a lot of foam rolling, and 21 days can't take care of. I feel confident I'll be fine. LA: I am ready for you.

A huge shout out to my dad who completed the Tokyo Marathon this weekend!

Have a splendid week everyone!


  1. Way to go on the run! Your picture did not look nasty at all, it looked delicious. I hope you have a great week and your ITB feel better!

  2. Congrats to Dad!

    And congrats on your 22! I wish I could eat solid food on the run.... I can only stomach so many gels but I just can't get anything more substantial than orange wedges into me.

    MMMM!!! Pre-run dinner looks YUMMY!

  3. Congratulations on your 22 miles! I'm training for my first marathon and am preparing for the extra long runs next month.

    BTW - I was so excited when I read that you mentioned "Girls Day!" We always celebrated it growing up in Hawaii - 3/3!

  4. Good work on pressing through those last miles. Since the last 3 miles of the LA course are downhill this 22 miler should get you to the finish in good shape. I don't know about eating during long runs, though. I have a good dinner the night before but only drink dilluted sports drink on long training runs so my body gets efficient at burning fat as energy after glycogen stores are depleted. I'm probably out of step with most folks on that, but it works for me. Best of luck on the streets of LA!

    Road Dog

  5. Wow...nice job on getting the 22 done! That seems like a lifetime away for me right now. and solid food on a run. Haven't tried it as yet, might be an interesting things to experiment with. Hope ITB feels better soon.

  6. Congratulations on your 22 mile run! I love the idea of putting gel on a waffle. I hope your ITB loosens up quickly!

  7. Great job on your run - you are a rockstar!!!

  8. I've seen that polenta but never knew what to make with it!! mini pizza for carb loading? Perfect!! :)

    Congrats ont he run!!! Hope your legs recover quickly :)

  9. Great run report. And I am not sure 22 is ever easy. Had to laugh - Gu on waffles. Yes, a runner delicacy.

  10. Great job gutting through it girly! And NO, 22 never becomes easy. If it did you wouldn't be human. :)

    Taper time! Rest up!

  11. Nice run sweetie! you rocked it!! :) :) :) i love the pictures too!! your going to do so awesome at LA!!

  12. Nice job! I can't imagine running any more than 15 miles, and that was a touch race. I still can't fathom how a long run of 22 miles is all someone needs to prepare for a marathon. I guess that's why most people feel like complete crap when they cross the finish line, lol. Good luck! I'm sure you'll have plenty of adrenaline to carry you through the marathon, and all the hard work you put in training will shine through!



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