Tuesday, September 27, 2016


I only ran 6.25 miles last Wednesday and my feet barely made it. I waited until Sunday to give my long run a try.

We had a very rainy, hot, humid week, the weather man promised Sunday a break would come...

Sunday morning, about 6:15 a.m. I ate a piece of bread with peanutbutter and jelly on it and drank a glass of ice tea. Caffeine and a "just in case" meal...
I knew I was going to the four mile loop and my best case scenario was four times around.

I put about a liter and half of water in my pack with two tablets of Nuun.

I drove the 15 minutes to the trail head. It was not as cool (about 68 degrees) as I hoped, but thankfully it never got sunny! Spoiler: that cool drop happened about 2 in the afternoon, the temp and humidity finally took a dip while I was on the sofa recovering LOL...can't win them all...

I started at 7:13 a.m. I had programmed 2:30 run/ 45 second recover breaks into my watch.

It is hilly loop, but nothing tremendous, my Garmin credits 719 ft. of elevation gain total for the run.

Toward the end of the first loop my tummy started rebelling. I had quite the cramp. I remembered why I do not like to eat before a run. There is only one rest room near by, it is about a quarter mile off the trail. After my pit stop I felt better, and headed out for loop two. When I ran off the trail I saw all these search and rescue teams...I wondered if they were really looking for someone or just practicing. I assumed if someone was really missing they wouldn't let me trample the trail, right.

I checked off my second loop with out any more incidences. I ate a tootsie pop. I didn't have any fuel at home, so I grabbed two tootsie pops before I left the house. During my second loop I saw a glove on the trail. It was so strange, it wasn't there the first time I went by and it has not been glove weather here since March. I started wondering if the killer lost his glove...my big imagination! STOP watching ID channel Karen.

It was probably put there by the search and rescue teams for practice...

Third loop I was cruising along and thought I have not had a walk break in a while. My watch started beeping into power saver mode.  I guess I was zoned out a bit and didn't catch when my work out ended.
I hit the button and the timer started again, but I knew I had lost quite a bit of mileage - at least a half mile. That being said I ran at least 16.5 miles but I can't prove it :(  That would be my longest run ever!

40 is the max amounts of repeats you can program into one step. That timed out about two hours in.   My watch stopped at that point. I needed to hit the button to keep the timer going, but didn't realize that... live and learn...

 I added a few more steps later that night...I should be able to run without timing out the work out now :)

Power save mode bummed me out for a few minutes, because I realized I would be short 16 miles on my watch. I know I ran the loop four times, but I wanted to see it on my watch! I decided if I wasn't dying I would loop around the parking lot until my watch hit 16.
After the programed workout ended it went back to tracking traditional miles. I didn't have my gymboss timer with me, so I had to run the last four miles with no intervals. I ended up sprinkling in a few walk breaks at the end.

My last loop back I started feeling fatigued, but I was determined and I did keep moving until I saw 16 on my watch. :)

11:03, 11:32, 11:58, 12:22

My toes started screaming the last two miles, I finally hit pause and just stood still a few minutes and let the pain calm. The third mile I ran, I took a short walk break and it helped ease the burning. The last mile I had to walk way more than I wanted.
Four times right this way...

I also had my first pang of hunger the last mile. I really need some fuel the next time I attempt this...

It took me 3:09:33 (11:51 avg pace)
Trying to touch my toes was challenging after I stopped running LOL I felt a little tight....everywhere.

A few more musings...
I loved that run /walk ratio way more than I thought I would. It seemed to help my feet more, maybe it was the trail surface too...I do wonder how my feet would have felt if I could finished the whole run with that rhythm.

My biggest concern is a race would be about two more hours. I can't take the kind of pain for two more hours, and I really don't want to walk miles and miles of race.

Getting a three hour run done feels like a victory, but it created more questions than answers.

I also don't want to push past the point of no return. Last year a month off my feet barely gave me any relief from the pain, once I lose the feet it could take months off to get them back.

There is a 20 mile run on October 8th about an hour and half from my house.  I have debated about this run for a few weeks now.
Part of me thinks, go do the 20 miler. I will have an official 20 mile time in case I don't make it to marathon day.

Part of me thinks save the feet and just roll with whatever happens marathon day. If I can't finish at least I tried.  I keep going back and forth! I really don't want to have to walk 6 or 8 miles of a race, I know it'll break my heart.

I am anxious to see how my feet recover. If the pain lingers, I think it is time to just stop. Hopefully, I can do my daily runs this week and feel okay! I don't want to get into a situation where I need another whole week or two off just to recover from one run.
If I have to stop, it will kill me after all this work...but it is what it is...
...and that brings me back to, maybe I should just do the 20 miler ???? See, I am like a crazy person LOL I am kind of in limbo.

Elated to finish, after running the parking a lot a few times :)

Can you believe how whacky I make myself thinking about this stuff??
Would you do the 20 miler?

Save it all for race day and see what happens?
Jump picture tips?? I am bad at them LOL 
Crappiest fuel you ever used on a run?
What do you like to eat before a long run? 
I want to eat nothing, but I know I will hit the wall and need energy. 


  1. I would have thought the same thing seeing a glove and a search and rescue team on the trail! I'm sure you're right about the practice scenario but it would have totally freaked me out anyway!

    With regards to walking the last few miles of the marathon ... it is frustrating. Obviously the only marathon I've ever finished is Portland and that did include a lot of walking for me in the final miles. I just couldn't take the 80 degrees, sunny, no shade thing on hills that I wasn't used to.

    That was super frustrating because I felt that I put in a really solid training cycle. To date I honestly think that's the best training cycle I've ever had even if the race was sub-par. I'm sure it was the best training cycle because coming off of it I didn't do great in the marathon but I PR'd the half marathon big time.

    Anyway, all of this is a round about way of saying, you think that you'll hate walking the last few miles, and if it happens you will definitely hate it in the moment. However, once you cross the finish line you won't hate it anymore. You will be relieved and amazed that you just completed a full marathon. You will be in awe of what your body can do, and you will feel grateful that it can do it (no matter how slow)!

    1. 80 degrees, hills, and no shade is like a nightmare scenario to me! I do have a deep fear it'll be like the race day but i try to push it out of my mind. Nov. is such a toss up here it can 80 or 50. If it is hot I am afraid I won't make it.
      That is good you had a PR with the half! You worked hard and earned it :)
      I am going to remember that because that is my hope that I will feel amazed I finally did it!

  2. The first thing that jumps out at me was that you ran 16 miles with barely ANY fuel. I'd still be laying on that trail somewhere . . .

    I don't have advice on the race. I wish I did. I admire your grit!

    I love my run/walk, it's really made a difference for me, too. And the reason I don't do marathons is that I don't want to run that long! You are still far speedier than I am.

    The glove is kind of spooky, though.

    1. I do need to work on getting some fuel in me LOL that was crazy I was out of sport beans and I didn't even have a good cliff bar or anything at home. Last year when I tried to train i did several long runs with just Nuun, my tummy is so sensitive I am hesitant to eat. I hope to get at least one more good long run in to experiment with some fuel.
      The glove really freaked me out for a minute lol

  3. Do the 20 miler! I think it will help you a lot to have other people to run with and being in a race-like environment will make the miles go by faster - just don't race it! Stick to your normal training paces and you'll be fine.

    A lot of people don't do a training run that equals the time it will take to finish their marathon. It's hard to imagine running that much longer, but keep in mind you will have freshly tapered, rested legs, lots of training in the bank, and the adrenaline of race day which makes the first ten miles fly by.

    1. I am so on the fence about that crazy race. You are right I would be doing it slow, everything I have done this cycle has been slow because it is so hot, i feel like it is all my body knows. I do feel if the temp would drop that training pace could feel a lot easier to me! I am glad to hear the first ten fly by!!

  4. The search and rescue team would have freaked me out too! That is so funny! Do you feel safe on that trail? From wildlife AND human predators?

    Congrats on your LONGEST RUN EVER!!!! I really hope your tootsies recover well! That is a tough decision... do the 20 or save it for the race. What does your gut tell you???

    1. Thank you :) I wish I knew how far I really ran LOL
      There have been times I felt creeped out on the trail but I felt really good Sunday! Well until the glove lol I decided they must have been practicing.
      Everyone i went by on Sunday was friendly and spoke, some times that doesn't happen.
      So far even my snake encounters have been easy - I toss something near their heads and they just slither off. I've only had one snake situation where he wouldn't move so I went the other way LOL
      My gut is still undecided right now!

  5. Similar to another commenter, why the heck didn't you have any fuel? That could have been really bad. :(

    I am concerned about you doing the 20, seriously. Like you said, 16 was killing your toes. It just doesn't sound like your feet are ready right now. I am worried long runs will make them worse and take even longer to recover :(

    1. I wasn't really prepared to run that long! After the week I had I honestly thought I would be lucky to get three loops in. I will have something next time. I did have the Nuun in my system which seems to really help me.
      I do think if I had not switched to straight running I would have felt better. It was funny, I felt pretty good for two miles then it when it hit that was it lol

      I ran today w/o pain! Just my usual twinges, so that is a good sign, but i was painfully slow. I may just do another trail long run to get ready for the race and let go of the 20 since that will be pavement. I am still tossing the ideas around.

  6. I would not feel safe on that trail at all and your glove comment made me laugh. I would think the exact same thing. I think Rick has drilled into my head to be so aware and careful and I have promised him I won't run in secluded areas. But I am so envious that you have that because it looks wonderful! I don't have good advice about what you should do. I am a complete wimp when it comes to any pain or discomfort so how you can finish when your feet are in pain just baffles me. I wish I could be more that way, but if my body objects, I am like "OK, I will stop". Maybe that is why I am just a 3-5 mile runner :) You know I have been dealing on and off with the ankle thing and my discomfort is just around a 2 or 3 but I am totally going to get it checked out. "Paranoid, party of one".....that is totally me! Have an awesome day, friend.

    1. Sunday there were runners on the trail than usual - I seem to passing a lot more runners in the morning too. I think a lot more people are out training for the half and marathon now. It is a huge race here!
      I really don't like pain either - it worries me, but I have come to conclusion that some pain does not equal damage - I am still trying to not cross the line to damage again. I do have moments where i just have to stop moving and it bothers me my body won't cooperate LOL but i am trying to respect what it is telling me and take a break if needed. It is very hard.
      Your ankle still hurts ?!:( Booo, I hoped it felt better by now.

  7. Yikes, the glove and search and rescue team would have really freaked me out too! Way to go on that 16 miles! Do you think the pain would have been better if you had been able to continue the run/walk intervals? Maybe with the watch issue fixed and keeping the intervals it will let the rest of the long runs stay pain free? Fingers crossed your toes feel better soon!

    1. The glove was kind of funny lol my imagination is big!
      I do think I would have felt better if I continued the intervals so i am anxious to try that again! I should have about 6 hours of intervals in my program now lol

  8. This is amazing! Congratulations on your longest run EVER!! It is super exciting!

    for me, 16 miles was the hardest long run during marathon training, I had this exact same thought --> " I can't take the kind of pain for two more hours"

    And i'll tell you right now that this was what got me through the Marathon, knowing that the pain would be there, but that I could manage through it and finish. And as you are building your mileage towards the marathon, the pain tolerance will be higher too, well it was for me. I'm no expert, but pushing through is what will get you to the marathon.

    I am notorious for always being hungry, and I can't get through my head how you run only on toast and PB!! I used to carry a cookie or bites of bagel with nutella for runs longer than 15 miles.

    1. Thank you :) It was a hard threshold for me to finally get over too- stuff kept happening so I would miss it. I think i was determined last week to get over that hump LOL I sure hope my pain tolerance increase just a bit! It is good to know you thought that and then made it marathon day :)
      A bagel w/nutella sounds yummm, so does a cookie :) I will get some fuel for my next one.

  9. I am in awe of anyone who can run more than 13 miles. And with pain. But you have committed to do this. And if you are like me, you will not quit. No matter what. I hope you don't further damage your feet. I want to run with you in Dec.

    1. That is my mission to get through this but save the feet...I will stop if I have big changes, I want to be able to run in December too! That is what keeps me in check, I don't want to push too much and have to take months off.

  10. So sorry you are still dealing with this issue, so frustrating when you just want to run and the body isn't cooperating isn't it.
    I dropped a glove on a run two years ago on a cattle guard... it is still there, dirty and mud covered but everytime I run over that cattle guard I look down and see my glove :)

    1. I am trying to work through it! but yes, it gets tiring for sure...
      at least you know it is your glove :)

  11. I'd say go for the 20 miler. It is always an accomplishment when you go that far. I always make myself eat before a long run even when I am not that hungry bc I know I will be starving later.

    1. I am thinking about it :)
      I got some sport beans and a cliff bar last night lol

  12. You've come this far, you may as well run the 20 miler!

    1. That has been my thinking. I know I will be weather stalking the week before. I expect it to be hot, but pouring rain may be a deal breaker lol I have trained enough in rain, I don't want to do 20 in it!

  13. Way to get through those 16 miles!! You are seriously awesome.

    Did you try an ice bath for your feet? I know it might not really be legitimate, but I think ice baths really do help.

    I can't even begin to give you advice on what to do. I know I'd probably run that 20-miler, but I often do things that smart people wouldn't advise!

    1. Awww, thank you :)
      I just purchased a dish pan the other night so I could do that! I don't like all the slippery Epsom salts in my tub, so I figured that way I could soak them and clean up easy.
      I always feel ice helps too! I have not spent enough time soaking my feet but i will now :)
      I am leaning towards the 20 :)

  14. So I read this post back when you first published it, but just now getting to commenting! I vote that you try the 20-miler, but that you take it very slow and easy. Do NOT pressure yourself to do more than what you know you can handle. It's an important distance to cover from both a mental and a physical perspective, but not so important that it's worth risking further injury to complete. I second the idea of icing and as always, I wish you the speediest of recoveries!!!

    1. I am taking that into account") I am still weighing the options, but I will take it easy out there and walk when needed. I do not want extended time off so i am trying to respect the feet but it sure is hard sometimes.
      Thanks Emily!


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