13th Asheville Citizen-Times Half-Marathon

A Little Someone made an appearance on the picture 🙂

So race day came. I was ready. Mentally at least. I had not had to wake up that early in a long time. So I made myself get up at 5am to have breakfast then went back to bed for another 45 minutes. We did cut it a little close to the race and did not have time to use the port-potties prior to the start. This of course meant that I already had to pee by the time the gun went off. Oh well. At least the weather was perfect, foggy and cool in the mid 50’s.

I was planning on starting along with the 2:15 pacers but somehow found myself a little ahead of it while my Sister-in-Law went for the under 2 hour pacers. I didn’t have a true time goal in mind. I was thinking that I would finish somewhere between 2:15 and 2:30 but had no real expectations. I warmed-up and hugged my husband and off we were in the blasting music. I missed the silent communion of the running feet from last years start. It wasn’t as peaceful to my ears.

I knew I was likely going a little fast in the beginning, but I felt fine, and I knew I would have to take a potty break soon anyway. Well the first mile and port-potty came but there was a line. Same for the second one, right at the beginning of a heavy climb. I knew that hill, I walked it. This was no time for PR and uphill has been a lot harder on me since I got pregnant. I finally stopped at the 3 mile port-potty and stopped my watch during that time.

I went off again and within a mile I wanted to pee again. Seriously?! I held it until mile 5 and took another break. Thankfully things got better after that. On the steep hill before the Country Club Golf Course, I caught up with and passed the 2:10 pacers. I had been ahead of them before my first break and it was very comforting yet surprising to see that I could still catch up. As we went along the golf course (around mile 6) I felt the need to walk and questioned myself. Did I wanted to walk because I felt pregnancy tired or because my legs were not agreeing with the hill. I found that it was my legs so I kept on running. I ate a Cliff block around mile 6.

Around mile 7, a runner called my name. I finally got to meet Laura with whom we’ve exchange a few words over the last year or so on daily mile. It was nice to see her in person. I passed her then, but she caught up later.
Right before Beaverdam Lake someone else called me. My eyes caught sight of a fellow Diamond Brand running buddy. I screamed back that I was pregnant and she jumped up and down screamed “Run for Two! Run for Two!” That was a great confidence booster and I definitely had a big smile on my face after that.

I had to take one last pee break around mile 9. Then it was all about running. I felt that I could do then next 4 miles without a bathroom break and was happy about it. I met Laura again right before “The Hill” (as my SIL would later refer to it). Lookout road is a little over a mile of uphill, yet I don’t dread that section because it’s a smooth, “gentle” uphill full of nice curves. I did walk at one point however.

While last year we went down trough the university, this year they had us take an other route. One that few runners like: a “you feel you’re going to tumble down” steep downhill. Seriously it was steeper than anything I remember from the Blue Ridge Marathon. Thank God I’m used to run on trails and knew how to handle it. But I was fearful of a fall non the less. This was followed by a much longer run along Broadway. The most boring part of the race in my opinion. Slightly uphill and on a large road. Meeh! I saw a girl walking on the side, not looking too good and a policeman caught up with her to check on her well being. I took a walk break once more but still caught up with one of my co-workers.

Downtown Asheville came in sight. We went under the bridge and I smiled big time when I saw a sign saying “You were born to run Baby”. How appropriate! There was still one last hill to tackle though, my least favorite because after almost 13 miles my legs were ready to chill: Walnut St. A steep uphill followed by about two blocks to run to the finish line. I ran it last year, I walked half of it this year with no shame. I picked up running again and ran all the way to the end. Unlike last year I didn’t accelerate much at the end. I didn’t care if I was passing people. Instead I put my hand on y belly and dedicated my run to my Little One. To beating the odds. To getting pregnant after an ectopic pregnancy. I thought about the same run last year, I had been pregnant but didn’t know yet that it wasn’t a safe pregnancy. This year was a victory for me in many ways. I was still shocked when I saw that the clock read under 2:10. Really? With all my breaks I had still managed to make it that fast?

Thank you for a good race baby!

Well as my husband said, I had three times this year: the gun time of 2:09:38, the chip time of 2:08:30 and the watch time (dubbed Port-Potty time by Hubby) of 2:03:02. I finished 736/1366 overall and 60/131 in my age group. Not so bad for a pregnant girl.

Now I did have to take two short nap that afternoon, but weirdly enough I was actually less sore this year than I was last year. I’m not sure if it’s due to the easier pace, that I’m in better shape or both. In any case, my SIL said we’re going to have to put a 13.1 sticker on the jogging stroller we’re planning to get. After all this was baby’s first race 🙂

Advertisements

Perspective

When I heard about other runners fulfilling their 20+ miles I was impressed. It seemed like the ultimate challenge before the marathon. Then I did it myself. It wasn’t easy. I walked at times. I had to catch my breath, stay focused, fuel. But I made it through.

Each time I ran a loop, did a few twist and turns. So even with the big 2.0 attached to my run it didn’t look that long on the map. Maybe it’s because I grew up with kilometers? But even 35km didn’t really mean anything to me. That is until I put it on a map. I first used one in France, from my Mom’s.

And that’s when I was like “Holy Cow! That’s a long way!”. I know how long it takes to drive it (about 30mns), I know how much the landscape changes going from the low elevations to the heart of the Pyrenees. I can run that far?

Then for the fun of it, I also did it here in the US. Starting from West Asheville.It looks like I ran run almost from home, past the airport and all the way to the next big town, aka Hendersonville. To which my husband said: “Well yeah, it’s 15 miles to my work”.

Putting my long runs in perspective really made me realize how much I had achieved. I never thought my legs would be able to carry me this far. I’ve had people telling me recently how good I will feel about myself when I finish the marathon. To be honest with you, yes I will feel so proud of myself. But I also already do. I think it doesn’t matter if one finishes a marathon at this point. To be able to train for it, especially when you think about the fact that there are no crowds to cheer you up during training, no water stations and only a handful of other runners if you’re lucky. So while I do plan to finish, I think that it goes beyond that. I am proud of the journey.

20 Going on 22


When I look at the Blue Ridge Marathon elevation course, I feel lucky I live in the Blue Ridge Mountains. I don’t see how I would train for it if I lived in the flat lands!

I debated doing a 20 miles trail run for a while. But ultimately I realized it would end up being way harder than the marathon itself (at least the one I had in mind), and I need to keep my legs for the race. So my last really long run of the marathon training would be on road again. I decided to go up the same way I did my 20 miler but add an extra hill after it to simulate the Blue Ridge Marathon course. This is how it turned out:
The elevation gain isn’t as much, or as steep but I think it gives me a good feel on how I will feel on race day. Now I did not have 22 miles scheduled on my training plan, nor did I plan to run that long. I was thinking about running somewhere between 20 and 21 miles, especially since I had additional elevation. Well it turns out that the road mapmyrun was showing me going to Patton Mountain Rd was not one. Nope, it was a steep driveway, and it stopped. So I pretty much ran an insane uphill for nothing other than training purposes.

So I had to go around the mountain. Patton Mountain Rd played with me again. I was at a fork, to the left I could see a dirt road to the right a real road. Now mind you I was in a fancy million dollar residential area up the mountain so by logic I figured the dirt road was a driveway. Nope again. I ended up on town mountain road (not where I wanted to be) having to back track my steps and ask directions to a nice dude with a smartphone. Well that road was hard to find, but it was so worth it. It was gorgeous, lines with rhododendrons, pine trees and other trees and the dirt was a nice rest on my joints.

Because of the detour I rerouted my course and went straight to the next hill. Let me tell you. I walked! Not all of it, but I walked several sections. I’m glad for this run ultimately because it made me realize that in a marathon, there is a time for running and there is a time to walk and give a break to the legs. I plan to walk some parts of the marathon course with no shame.

Even with the detour my run turned out to be 22 miles. Am I glad I took extra water or what? I was pooped by the time I got home. As I started walking I could feel some painful cramps (or was it just the lactic acid build up) hitting my legs. I took just long enough to put some gatorade and ice cubes in a container and sipped it as I cooled off. I followed it by a cold leg bath and a recovery smoothie (banana, frozen blueberries, GU recovery powder, greek yogurt). And took the rest of the afternoon as an opportunity to sit on the deck and do absolutely nothing productive thank you very much.

Breakfast 2hours prior to running: sesame sprouted bagel, almond butter, banana, honey.

Run fueling: 1 GU Roctane, 1 handhelf waterbottle, 1 water amphipod, 1 Gu Brew amphipod

Stats: 22.05mi, 3h32’17”, 9:37 pace

Gear: Drymax trail socks, lululemon skirt, brooks shirt

20 Miles and Getting Lost Is Worth the View

When I commented for a chance to win an entry to the Blue Ridge Marathon. I though my chances were limited but I figured why not? When I received the email that I won an entry I thought “Shit! I’ve got to train!”.
I wanted to run the marathon. But I wasn’t sure I could. My longest run had been 15 miles and months ago and while I somewhat maintained half marathon level I also had to take some breaks and was actually in the middle of Christmas vacation, at home, in France, eating my weight in French food.

So I approached this a little differently than my half marathon. I didn’t tell as many people that I was training for it to start with. I also took the approach that I would train and see where it would take me. I have to say, the training has been going fairly well. Oh I’ve had unpleasant runs, don’t doubt that. But so far my body seems to handle it well.

My training called for one 20 miles run on week 4. However I spoke with a running friend who told me she followed the same plan and felt it would have been better with two 20 miles run. At that point I had limited options to add it, but it sounded sensible. So on week 5, I replaced the 13 miles run by a 20 miles run. My first ever.

I’ve also done most of my long runs on trails because it’s something I enjoy more and find more challenging. However the Blue Ridge Marathon is a road race. I knew I needed some long road runs to test my body and my gear. So I mapped a course going from West Asheville to downtown, then up the hills behind the Grove Park Inn going back by way of Montford. I packed gels, water, Gu Brew and directions and went my merry way.

It was a beautiful day and the run would have been a great run had I not gotten lost. Ok not lost lost, but unable to find the road I was supposed to take. Lesson learned: when exploring new routes, can’t hurt to drive them first! I had to call my husband for directions, like me he thought the road would be easy to find. It wasn’t. In the end he directed me a different way. While it got me back on the loop I did miss some of the elevation I was counting on. But I did have a beautiful view over downtown Asheville so I can’t regret it too much.

But overall it was a good run. So much easier than my 18 miles trail run. Less elevation changes helps! I did really wanted some cold water in the end. I almost stopped in fact, but with only 2-3 miles to go I just pushed it all the way back home. I surprised myself in finish in 3h 10mns 19s. One minute faster than I ran 18 miles.

Recovery included a smoothie with GU recovery, greek yogurt, frozen raspberries and a splash of juice. I realized it’s hard for me to eat solid food after a long run beyond 16 miles. I also plopped myself in a cold bath for lack of icy creek. Given that I still pulled an 8h shift at work after that I felt pretty happy with myself.

Tough 18

My training plan called for an 18 miler this week. Due to working 3rd shift I had to work thins around and make it happen this Wednesday. I’m working 3rd shift tonight, and the next night followed by a weird turn around. There is no way I could have run this on Saturday. I plan to sleep in and maybe to my tempo then.

I’ve been dreading this one a little bit. It sounded scary. 18 miles, really? Sure there is still 8 miles to go to get to marathon distance, but still.
I woke up at 10:30, had a bagel with almond butter and honey. Unfortunately I was out of bananas so I had a glass of chia seeds (aka frog eggs in my head) with a splash of lemon juice and agave syrup.
I started running around noon, it was already 68F outside.

Now let me say it now, I picked a tough run. I knew it, it was on purpose. After all the Blue Ridge Marathon is tough. Not only is it a marathon (duh!) but it’s hilly, as in you climb 1200 feet in the first 7 miles. Not only that but there is a 500 feet climb starting at mile 17 too. So I picked a loop called Squirrel Loop: 17 miles, 810f of elevation change (that does not show in any way how much uphill and downhill are involved) and rated 18 out of 20 on the difficulty level. Yes please, call me nuts right now. Should I also say that I’m on the first day of my cycle? (Women will understand that one).

So tough it was. The first 5 miles are a straight uphill on forest road with the 810f climb on forest road. Then it’s downhill for about 2 miles. The first 8 miles or so I had cramps/side stitches on both sides, I though it might be what I ate at first, but now I think it may have more to do with my cycle. Anyhow, either I tuned it off or it went away by Mile 8ish. I took a break, texted my husband that I was about halfway. I couldn’t bear the though to tun the first crazy uphill of Sidehill trail, so I walked it. I ran on the trail all the way to Bent Creek Rd, then back uphill on South Ridge Forest Rd. I can’t say this is my favorite. It shouldn’t be called South Ridge but the Southern Roller Coaster. Seriously that’s all it does for miles.

Past the Apex I started wanting to walk. I took a mini break at some point and could tell my legs were hurting. But I kept on going, I told myself to walk when I would reach the uphill of Hardtime connector. It took some willpower! I alternated water with GU Brew and GU Roctane throughout my run. But by the end of the run, maybe around mile 13 or 14, all I could think about was the cold Emergen-C water waiting in the car. I swear that water is the only reason I finish running!

I finally reach Hardtime FR and the blissful downhill. Of course I had to add a loop around the lake otherwise the run would have been short a mile. It was tough. I just wanted to be done. I did walk the steep uphill of Hardtime connector but then ran all the way back to the car where I texted my husband that I was done, I walked to the bathroom. I could still pee but not much, I knew I was borderline dehydrated. I grabbed my cool drink and then jogged/walked to the creek were I proceeded to cool off as much of my legs as I could without getting my clothes wet. Heaven!

Now long runs recoveries call for eating within the first 30mns. I couldn’t. Just the thought of swallowing food made me feel sick. So I drank. I seriously thought that I might feel sick from all the fluids I swallowed. It turns out that I needed that water bad enough that it caused not problem whatsoever.

Once home I had a ripe pear straight out of the fridge. It suddenly tasted like the best thing in the world: sweet,juicy and cold. I did manage to eat a mini luna bar and helped myself to an other glass of chia/lemon/agave to replenish by body and provide some proteins. My next recovery choice was to set myself up for a nap on the deck, bliss! Once I woke up I stretched with the foam roller and told my husband he was in charge of dinner.

And now I need to have dinner and work third shift. I wish I could go to bed instead!

First 16 Miler

I should be sore today.Getting out of bed should have been hard, I shouldn’t have been able to work out and do lunges and squats. Yet I felt completely normal. I don’t get it, I ran 16 miles yesterday, aren’t you supposed to feel that?

Ok, sure I didn’t push it for those 16 miles. I knew it would be long so I aimed for an easy enough pace so that I would be able to carry on all the way. I guess it worked.

I made sure to get some carbs on Wednesday night and avoid too much soy or beans. On Friday I woke up at the normal night, ate a bagel with honey and almond butter, got ready and went. Truth be told I really wanted to stay in bed and sleep. But I knew it was a beautiful day and that I should just go for it. And beautiful it was. Sunny, temperatures in the mid 50’s when I started and the 60’s by the time I was done. It was absolutely perfect. I was not alone in that train of thought. Many people, mostly bikers were out on the trails.

I planned my route to include a section of trail I’m familiar with and one I’ve only done once. The first part was about 5-6 miles, following the usually Pine and Explorer loop. I tried to trick my body into thinking that was just the warm-up. Somehow it worked because it went by fast even though it took close to an hour. I was around a 10:00 pace and that was fine with me. I still had ground to cover with some good uphill. Then I hopped on Hardtime forest road, followed by the roller-coaster of South Ridge. I took a tiny break at the apex (actually running back to it because I missed it) to put a rock down on the cairn. Then it was downhill until Bent Creek Forest Rd. The fun wasn’t over yet, At that point I knew I had to follow the Forest Rd on a steep uphill and connect with Sidehill whose beginning can’t qualify as flat either. Last time I ran those I had to walk.

I’m proud to say I ran all the way. Even passed a biker. I made it back to the car in 2 hours 41mns and a few seconds. Averaging a 9:58 pace. Not so bad for a hilly 16 miles.

Fueling wise, last time I ran 14 miles I carried Gu Brew with me and got so sick of it by mile 11. At that point I wanted fresh water. So this time I skipped the brew, did water and took regular sips of a Gu gel and 1 cliff shot block. I think I had about 1/3 of the gel at 55mns, a sip at 1h20, another at 1h40 and one Cliff Shot Block at 2hours. Back at the car I had Emergen-C in water and forced myself to eat a Cliff Bar (Peanut Butter).

Two Furry Bodyguards

I went on a nice long run yesterday. Week 10 of my training plan called for 14 miles. I wanted to do something different, more trails than the 13 miles of dirt road from last week. Something a little more challenging. If I am to run the Blue Ridge Marathon, I want to prepare my body and stamina for the several up and downs of the course.
So I tried a loop called Crazy Eight, and because the original loop is 12.82 mi I added extra to it meet my mileage goal. Since I didn’t read things right, I ended up running 14.76mi. In turn it made it my longest run time wise (2 hours and 26mns).

Crazy Eight goes up for 800 feet on a forest road, then down 400 on single track and back up 700 feet on a trail that is listed as “extreme” in my trail book. But here’s the thing, while I had to walk at one point, it actually didn’t feel so bad. I think part of it as to do with my furry bodyguards.

You see I don’t own any pets, nor have any plans to. I find dogs often annoying, I can’t stand their barking and the fact that a giant Pyrenees tried to bite me once doesn’t help. I can’t have cats because I’m allergic. So you’re not going to find me on a trail with any animal. Heck when I ran two weeks ago, someone’s dogs were running near me, playing with each other and almost made me trip.

But when I reached the bottom of Green’s Lick I met two little fellows. Two dogs without a collar. They didn’t bark, but one made some “give me your attention” yaps. I thought their owner was nearby and didn’t pay much attention, I knew I was getting into this 2 miles of hard uphills. The dogs started following me. Again I thought they were on their way to meet their owner. Well, not so much. I only met one biker on the way up and he didn’t seem to know the dogs any more than I did.

The dogs were well behaved, they only hit my legs twice during the entire 2 miles. At times they stayed behind me, at times one lead the trail. They stopped a few times to drink at the creeks, but they stayed close. I have to say, it made me feel safe. I was on a new trail and it was nice to have them with me. Not only that but I think it encouraged me to keep on going, their happy energy was communicative. Sometimes I felt as I was cheering them up and sometimes they were. As I hit the downhill they kept on following me.
I met a biker on a break at a crossroad, he commented on how happy the dogs seemed to be. I said yes and laughed adding I didn’t even knew them. At that point the dogs decided the biker was more interesting and we parted ways.

I don’t know if those two little fellows were lost or just enjoying the freedom of the trails. But I sure enjoyed their company. For a while I could understand why people enjoy having a dog with them on their run.

Do you run with a pet?

The Difference Between 6 months and 50 Degrees

Friday I ran 13.35 miles. My training called for a 13 mile long run. I’m now hitting the Half Marathon distance with longer runs to go 14, 16, 18 and 20 are looming in the distance. Scary. But I’m not there yet Right now I can bask in the thought that I ran an other Half Marathon distance.

I picked the same loop that I did for my 13 mile training run last summer. A non technical all Forest Road run called Hardtime/S. Ridge Loop. It may be non technical but it’s not flat. Well the first two miles are fairly flat then it’s all uphill for a mile and a half, a little downhill followed by a roller coaster of up and down that takes you all the way up to 2860 feet at mile 9. After that it’s a good downhill and then a flat/downhill back to the car.

My watch says the difference between 6 month ago and this week was 4 minutes. Well good. But to me the difference was more physical. I don’t think it’s all fitness. There is definitely something to account for on temperature, last summer’s temperature hit above 80 pretty much every day, which meant I was sweating a lot more. When I look at my log I started getting pains in my leg on the last three miles. This time? Nothing. Maybe just a twinge right around 1h50mns, and that was that. Temperatures were in the 30’s the whole time.

I also fueled differently: A GU last summer and an entire bottle of water. Gu Brew the entire run this time but I only drank half of my bottle.

I come a long way from my first 6 miler when I spent the rest of the day as a couch potato. Friday, I ran 13 miles in the morning, made lunch, helped my husband and his friend build our deck, saw some wood, made dinner and was ready for bed only around 10:30pm. No matter what the reason is, it’s nice to see progress.

A Running Tour of the Pink City

I knew that I needed to keep on running while on vacation. Ahead of time I had drawn a few courses on Mapmyrun. While I’m familiar with Toulouse I was less with Barcelona, not to mention that I wanted an idea of my mileage.
Thankfully for me it wasn’t my husband’s first time in Toulouse so I was able to skip the tours and enjoy running around the main site instead which to me was really fun. Toulouse’s nickname is  the Pink City (“La Ville Rose”) because of its brick walls and clay tile roofs.

I knew I wanted a run that would include a lot of historic sites and be scenic. I wanted to soak in the city that heard my first cry.
Well my Mamie (Grandmother) happens to leave close to the Roman Arena of Ancely (well what’s left of it). As a child my Dad and my Aunt would go play in it all the time, it had not been “recovered” yet. So that’s where I started.

Source: Jean-François Peiré

Then I followed the Avenue de Casselardit that goes by Purpan Hospital and turned on a small street that I knew would bring me to the Garonne River levees. The only weird part is that there is always a homeless person living under that bridge, however I have never had any issues with it. I had one good mile overlooking the river and seeing downtown get closer and closer. I arrived to the Bazacles, a former ford which is now a type of dam used for a hydroelectric power station. On the west bank is the Parc Raymond IV where I was. The park is borded by the Garonne River, the Roman Wall and the Abatoirs modern art museum. At Place St Cyprien, I took a turn to hop on the Pont St Pierre which also happens to go right by the Dome de La Grave, a XIXth century chapel.The best thing from the Pont St Pierre is the view over an other bridge: the Pont Neuf which I would run on a few miles later.

Pont St Pierre et Dome de la Grave

I kept on going straight to reach the Romanesque Basilica of St Sernin. An 11th and 12th century church on the path to Santiago de Compostella. Every Thursday there is a great Flea Market around it. I ran the course twice during our visit, the first time I just ran by the basilica, the second time all around it, which was even better. I love how the bell tower stands out. You can also begin to understand why it’s called the Pink City.

Basilique St Sernin

From there all I had to do was follow the Rue du Taur to the heart of Downtown which is the Capitole. The building dates from the 16th to 18th century with a neoclassical facade. Not only do I love the town hall, but it overlooks the Place du Capitole, a very large plaza where one can find the Croix Occitane, the Occitan cross in the middle. Now this time the cross was not very visible due to the ongoing Christmas Market, but I knew it was there and that was enough.

Capitole

I went behind the Capitole and followed the newly pedestrian only street of Alsace-Lorraine. It’s a wide avenue boarded by many of my favorite shops. Had I not been running I would have had to stop and look at the current French fashion. But we ended up going back later with Hubby. One thing the picture below does not show is that there was some ongoing work being done on the street. So it wasn’t all smooth pavers, but since it was early I also did not have to fight the crowds.

Avenue Alsace-Lorraine

Alsace-Lorraine links the current downtown to the roman heart of the city. The place Esquirol is where the Romans had the Forum and where the two main roads would cross. Today it’s a busy area mainly used to hop on the bus or the metro. But I wasn’t taking any shortcuts. I turned on the rue de Metz and went straight back toward the Garonne for an other highlight of my run: going over the Pont Neuf. While neuf in French means new, this bridge is nothing like it. In fact it is the oldest one in Toulouse! Back in the days people did not give fancy names to bridges, there would just be the new bridge and the old bridge, so it kept its name.

Pont Neuf

Le Pont Neuf took me back to St Cyprien neighborhood and I ran again along the Garonne river back to my Mamie’s house. Truth is I did this run two different ways, but I like this one the best. Not to mention that the second time I ran it, my husband came with me.

I ran it at an 8:42 pace on my own and 9:17 pace with my husband by my side. If you ever go to Toulouse I highly recommend it.

Failing to Fuel

MST Folk Art Center-Cravens Gap

Winter view from Lunch Rock on the Mountain to Sea Trail

Ten days ago was one of my worst run ever. Sure I was a little ambitious, picking a 10.22 mile run which went way uphill (1000 feet) but I could have done it. My  biggest mistake was not eating enough and not taking something with me.

You see I’ve done long runs of 9-10 miles where I don’t need anything, so I completely underestimate what this one would do to my body. All I had before I left home was a Cliff gel. One. That’s it.
I’m an idiot.

The run started fine. My goal was to do the Out and Back from the Folk Art Center to Cravens Gap following the Mountain to Sea Trail. It starts flat, then a light uphill, followed by somewhat flattish, a good uphill (which I stupidly thought would be the worst one, Ah!), then the trail follows the crest so it’s a little easier, and suddenly you hit this steep section. It was relentless and I walked most of it.You think you’re almost done, but then the trail goes downhill (which you know will be uphill on the way back) and then it goes on and on and on until you reach a crossing of the Blue Ridge Parkway.

The uphill took a lot of my energy out. I think if I had taken some energy gels with me and had proper food prior to running it would have been hard but doable. Instead I started stopping a lot on the last 2 miles, checking the directions I had recorded on my phone, thinking the BRP would be right there. Well not so much. It took me  a whole hour to do 5.11 miles. I took a break at the gap and texted my husband so he wouldn’t be worried that the run was taking me longer than planned. But the rest was not enough, I needed energy and didn’t have anything to fuel because I left it all in the car.

I have to admit that the whole way back was a daze. I was low on energy and I knew it. I was only focused on returning to the car and eating the Larabar I had in my purse. I was worried about the risk of fainting but thankfully that did not happen. I did however walk in section I would normally run without any problem. I did stop. But I knew I was somewhat ok since I could still talk to the people I met on the trail.

Back at the car I chewed the Larabar slowly and processed to drink even more water. That was my second mistake. I think so much water on an empty stomach and a tired body did not go too well. Not to mention the smoothie I drank on top of that for fast refueling. I ended up feeling nauseous for the next three hours and so low on energy too.

So lesson learned, next time I go on a long hard run I need to have a running snack with banana and more and pack things with me. Better to have it and not need it.

Have you ever gone really low on energy during a run? What was your solution?