Run: March 13 – 19

For most of last week, I was dreading Saturday. Saturday is long run day, which in itself isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but long run day combined with the fact that Chris, my long run buddy, was out of town made Saturday seem somewhat ominous. In addition to being lonely, a solo long run meant that I would stick with familiar turf for safety reasons, so I was afraid that my run was going to be mind numbingly boring too. Well, until I had this brilliant idea.

I downloaded a book on tape for my run.

Does anyone else do this? If so, why have you  not passed this great idea on to me?

My book of choice was The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan. I have been meaning to read it for a long time, but life has happened without much sitting down for a good read. As I ran through the first few chapters, the irony of it struck me.

You see, I spent the better part of two hours and forty-eight minutes running past the remnants of last year’s corn. Or, in some cases, soybeans where they were up in the rotation.

(I tried very hard here to capture just how flat the land is. Only 183 feet of elevation gain over 18 miles. This picture looks to me like it was soybeans last fall and, believe it or not, it was taken in the “hilly” part of my county.)

As I ran, heard about corn, looked at the corn, and reflected on my economics classes this book got me thinking. I’m not ready to pass judgement on it as a whole yet since I have only heard the first few chapters, but I will say that it is thought provoking and will result in hours of discussion with Chris if I can get him to give it a listen too.

I’m looking forward to this week’s runs so I can listen to a few more chapters.

  • Sunday: rest
  • Monday: 5 miles @ 8:49
  • Tuesday: 6 miles @ 8:39 – 1 mile w/u, 4 miles @ 8:13, 1 mile c/d

My plan was to do mile repeats, but instead I did a lactate threshold test. I think I messed up the test because I didn’t feel quite bad enough at the end, but it was interesting to do nonetheless. I should try it again at a bit faster pace, the problem is convincing myself to do so. It sounds downright awful.

I did a warm-up followed by 30 minutes at as fast as I thought I could stand it, then a cooldown. I wore my HRM during the test to find my average HR during the last 20 minutes of the 30 minute time trial. Next I used this calculator to determine my HR zones.

I think this data will be especially useful when I do cross training on the bike trainer. Bikes are out of my comfort zone, so I never have a good understanding of what each type of bike ride should feel like.

  • Wednesday: easy ride on bike trainer ~ 15 miles
  • Thursday: New Rules Workout 4B2, 4 miles @ 9:13
  • Friday: rest
  • Saturday: 18 miles @ 9:22

This long run had a lot of positives to it. I went a lot faster than I did last weekend in the wind, but did not feel like I was putting in significantly more effort. I also discovered the ultimate long-run entertainment – a book on tape. How did this never occur to me before?

Unfortunately, the run had a fair amount of negatives too. For one, my right foot/ankle hurt more than it should during/after the long run. I have been RICE-ing the spot just below/behind my outside ankle bone on my right foot ever since my run. My best guess on this is peroneal tendinopathy, so I have been doing some extra stretching to see if I can get it to improve.  (I know, see a doctor not Dr. Internet.)

Also disappointing, I think I need to abandon my beloved Vanilla Bean GU. It isn’t sitting well when I run. I need to come up with another option because I definitely hit the wall if I don’t eat some GU or something during my long run.

Weekly Total: 33
March Total: 83.1
2011 Total: 288.22
Miles on Shoes: 239.22
Miles on New Shoes: 18 (I decided to wear a newer pair of shoes for my long runs and race only so they will have a bit more cushioning as the shoes I had been wearing are nearing the end of their typical life.)

  1. Kier said:

    Nice week of running/lifting! I’ve never listened to a book on tape while I run, however I do listen to quite a few podcasts.

    That book is next on my list of books to read. I just finished the China Study (interesting…have you read it?) and started In Defense of Food this morning.

    • Brit said:

      I haven’t read the China Study yet, but it is on my “to read” list. I have a feeling that I’ll end up listening to it instead though. I definitely spend enough time running each week to get through some serious “reading”. 🙂

  2. Lisa said:

    Great runs this week! 18 miles is a long way solo, but downloading a book is a great idea. I also need to read this one, so maybe downloading is the way to go… I have a feeling I will have some strong opinions about it so maybe running during it would work out well!

    Random side note – I had my first vanilla gu this weekend, and I think it will work well for me. I’d been using mainly plain, and I think I can also handle vanilla. I feel like I’m eating a giant glob of frosting which is a bit nasty, but luckily I haven’t had any stomach issues yet. Good luck finding a replacement. I will say that I’ve tried dried fruit and that gave me major stomach problems so experiment carefully with real food!

    • Brit said:

      I am not sure what to do in the way of food and I only have two long-ish runs left to think about it. I have had success in the past with a mix of dry cereal and craisins, but that is far easier to eat from a cup on the treadmill than it is while running outside. I may go back to Sports Beans or something. Ugh, I don’t know.

      I’m curious to hear what you think of The Omnivore’s Dilemma. I hope you blog about it after you read it.

  3. Lori said:

    I’m almost halfway through the Omnivore’s Dilemma right now, and yeah its definitely thought provoking…I’m really thinking about what I’m eating more (and will probably never eat McDonald’s with a clear conscience again…unless its 3am and my consience is drowning in booze).

    Do you think trying another flavor of Gu would help? I currently have the equivalent of a case of Gu that I got for signing up for a year of training group by a certain date, and there’s no way I’ll go through it all so if you want to try some different flavors I’d be happy to send you some! Let me know…you know how to find me 🙂

    • Brit said:

      That’s awesome Lori, thanks for the offer! Unfortunately, I think I may just be GUed out. I’ve already eliminated all of the fruit flavors, espresso, chocolate, plain, and now vanilla. I may try Shelby’s friend’s marathon burritos although Chris pointed out that his pre-run Taco Bell a few weeks ago didn’t sit well.

      I kind of expected McDonalds to be demonized in the book, but I was a bit surprised by some of the other companies who were demonized along with them. I’m not sure how I’ll feel at the end. I will probably end up buying a hard copy so that I can do further research on some of Pollan’s claims. It is hard to do when you are just listening. I need to be able to dog ear a page for later.

  4. Nice job with the long run! I tried to run with a book on tape once but I ended up turning it off. Not sure if it was the book’s fault or what but I just wasn’t feelin’ the experience. I hope the ankle/foot soreness goes away!

    This may go against the norm, but I used to eat clementines and raisins on my long runs and they were dandy. They aren’t the easiest portable food, but I just segmented out the clementines beforehand and tucked them into my sports bra in plastic wrap; same with the raisins. I think conventional wisdom would advise against either of those foods (acid in the citrus… dried fruit creating bathroom issues…) but I know that I’ve never had issues with either of those, so they worked well.

  5. Lori said:

    Totally understandable re: the GUs. Have you tried Shot Bloks? The strawberry flavor is really the only one I like enough to eat while racing-they remind me of fruit snacks, and that’s never a bad thing 🙂

    And ditto re: some of Pollan’s claims. I definitely want to look into some things a little further but like you, I was surprised at some of the companies he slammed right along with Mickey D’s.

  6. branny said:

    I always listen to books on tape while running. When training for my last marathon, I listened to Ultra Marathon Man and I loved it.

    • Brit said:

      I think I’ll put that one on my “to listen” list!

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