I ran 14 kilometres on Sunday, my longest distance so far in 2013.
It’s a good feeling to know I could break the 12-k threshold once again. My pace was slow but I was OK with it. Thanks so the awesome maps and data I can analyze with my Garmin watch, I know that the route was pretty hilly, and I slowed down quite a bit along a particularly hilly stretch. Also, the there was a bit of a north wind (19 km/h) and it brought a wind chill of -5 C. Nippy for late March.
After our fun run last weekend, Mark and I immediately signed up for the Fredericton Marathon on May 12, Mother’s Day. So it’s really happening! Half-marathon is definitely a go (5K for Mark).
For any run beyond 10 or 12 km, a snack is needed. Water is also important. I have learned this the hard way.
I picked up this Nike fuel belt last summer at Mountain Equipment Co-op.
It kind of feels ridiculous wearing it, but you get used to the extra weight. The only way I can get the belt to stay in place, especially with full water bottles, is to wear it very snug and high on the waist. Since it was a relatively short run I only filled my bottles about 3/4 full.
Last year, I tried eating chews and gels during long runs. But I have been reading about more natural, real-food options. I decided to try medjool dates, a favourite new snack of mine.
Not only are they tasty, but they are good for runners, too. Dates are rich in glucose, which is quickly converted to energy.
When I got past the 10K mark, it was like a switch went off, and I felt hungry. I stopped to walk for a few seconds and reached for one of the dates I had wrapped in plastic and put in my handy pouch. Since it was cold, it felt like biting into a jujube. Yum! I had no stomach troubles, but made sure I ate just a bite here and there, followed by sips of water. I like the idea of eating natural sugars rather than processed during a run, so if I can make it work, I’m all for it.
Another dried fruit I just discovered is apricots. They are so yummy and apparently have more potassium per serving than a banana. Potassium is an electrolyte, which you lose a lot of during a long run. Hmmm – another long run possibility?
After the run, I downed a whole-grain wrap filled with peanut butter, banana, my leftover date chunks, blueberries and honey. So delish.
It was the end of a long, six day stretch of exercise (including yoga!), but I was pretty proud of myself. If I’m going to improve my half-marathon time over last year, I know I will have to earn it.