Monday, October 28, 2013

My First Ultra...

...was a training run.

Seriously!  This past Saturday, I had 5 hours on my schedule.  I had to be on my feet "running" (aka, run/walk/hiking) for 5 hours.

I started the day off at 8:30am with the group that I am training for the Disney Marathon Weekend.  The group was small this week and it happened to be a drop-down week, so we ran 3.2 miles on the rails to trails.  We ran at a leisurely 10+ min. pace.

This section of the trail has some amazing murals!
Then I drove to a local reservoir trail and met a couple friends for their last long run before the NYC Marathon.  We ran 10.2 miles at sub-8 pace.  I had expected to feel out of my range there, but surprisingly, I felt good!  Awesome!!

That's 13.4 miles done in under 2 hours!

Then they headed off and I had just over three hours to go.  I grabbed my Nathan pack and headed up to the trails.

There is a connection on the reservoir trail (above) to the Metacomet Trail (blue in the map below).  From the map, it looked like I could easily catch the trail and head north up to one of the other parks I'm used to.  Awesome!

So I headed in that direction.  I quickly found out that there are PLENTY of blazed trails out there!  And since none of the others are mapped out, it was difficult to know which was the Metacomet Trail.

In the end, I ran out a bit and then took a right at some point.  I ran 45 minutes in that direction and then turned around.  That trail took me along the telephone/electrical wire path.

Once I turned around, I started slowing down.  I could feel my energy dropping, so I pulled out my last Clif bar.  By the time I got back to the split, I was ready to go!!  This time I headed left on the split, which turned out to be the Metacomet trail.  

I ran down this trail (again, ignoring a lot of trail turn offs), unknowingly going off and back onto the Metacomet Trail at least once if not twice (they do not have this well marked the whole way through!).  Eventually I got to a point where the trail opened up into a MUCH wider path with multiple directions to go...

The view coming out of my trail.

The view looking back (I came from the right).

With no markings to go by, I stood there for maybe a minute before I decided that yes, I would like to go on for another 30 minutes, but I doubt I have enough water in my pack to last me.  So I turned around and headed back.  Back at the original split, I took out and ate half of a pbj sandwich, which about 15 minutes later pumped me right back up!  At this point I was loving real food versus the gels!

Once off the trail, I finished the lap of the reservoir loop and headed back to the car.

Fortunately or unfortunately, that didn't take as long as I thought it would.  I had 23 minutes left to hit 5 hours, so after downing a good amount of water at the car, I headed back out for one more loop of the reservoir.  When I got back, I had 5:00:12 on the watch.  I was finished!!

I had run 20.2 miles in total on mappable pavement.  The trail, however, isn't as easy to map out.  I was out there for 2.5 hours.  Based on my run from last Monday, I felt I probably got somewhere between 8 and 10 miles in.

I called it an unofficial 29 miles for the day.

Having run around 8:00/mile pace in the final 4 miles, I was pumped at how awesome I felt despite the mileage I had on my feet at that point.  However, the day was not all fist pumps and high fives.

Ankle Injury?
At the point when I started the trails, I did something to my left ankle.  There's a small pain on the inside that is painful to the touch, but after a bit of walking was fine to run on.  I ran through it for 3 hours and honestly felt fine, but I can tell that it's a bit swollen.  Yeah, yeah, yeah...

Not the smartest idea
to go run 3 hours by yourself 
in the woods 
on a possibly injured ankle.  
Do what I say, not what I do.

Anyways, after some ice and rest, it feels fine today to run on, but is still swollen and tender to touch.  We'll see how that goes later. 

As I mentioned, I went with "normal" real food today instead of gels and it worked amazingly well.  In fact, I also took in far less calories than I normally would have.  Here's my breakdown of breakfast and my between run munchies...

6:30a Breakfast
4 eggs, banana w/ pb 
920 Calories

(** 3.2 mile run ** )

10:15a 2nd Run munch
3 scoops of pb, honey
355 Calories 

(** 10.2 mile run **)

12:30p 3rd Run munch
1 pbj, 2 swigs of Gatorade
410 Calories

(** 2.5 hour run **)

During my Trail Run
Clif, 1/2 pb
390 Calories

Total = 2075 Calories

I was very surprised to see that I really only took in about 1150 during the whole run and only 800 during my final 3 hours.  I think I found my race fuel!!

Running Partner
Lastly, I've completely fallen in love with this band. Sleeping with Sirens.  They may be a bit screamo at times, but they are a great running partner!!

Ok, I'm off to go run/hike for another 2 hours!


1.  What is the longest time you've been out running?
5 hours is the longest for me!  The JFK50 I'm sure will break that pretty easily though.

2.  Do you run with groups or on your own?
I run 95% of the time on my own, but I'm looking forward to joining this new running group (the NYC marathon guys) for more weekend runs in the future.

3.  What do you use for running fuel??  Anything non-sports nutrition related?
The pbj was awesome!!



CautiouslyAudacious said...

Amazing! I usually run alone it's hard to find someone at my slow pace :-)

Lisa said...

I just did my longest my bike ride of 151km (that 1km is important!). My nutrition was primarily dates with cubes of bulgarit cheese in place of the pits. That was supplemented with 2 half sandwiches of PB&J. It was perfect!
I was pysched to find the date/cheese combo work so well since I don't tolerate any of the energy gels at all and I'm now looking for something to carry me through a marathon. I know that running is different from biking but I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this will work!