Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Quantity vs. Quality

I tend to get carried away fairly easily. With mostly warm spring like weather last week, it was an easy decision to run in the afternoon when things were at their warmest so that I could start toughening up my feet again. Friday's run I was able to go 3.75 miles completely barefoot. I was pretty excited. Yeah, my feet were feeling a little raw but I was glad. Up until this point I have felt like I could have gone farther. Not this day. They were at the point where they couldn't go on that chipped asphalt anymore. Cool. I inspected my feet. No blisters or hot spots. They just felt raw. I slipped my gorilla feet on and finished out my run.
It just so happened that last week the kids had early out Wednesday and no school on Friday. I had much more time to run and so I did. Saturday is when it came back to bite me. I started adding up my miles for the week and knew that I'd overdone it. If I did my planned 16 miler, I'd be doing 47 miles in a week. That would be a new distance record for me ever. And with all the barefooting I had done, it wasn't going to be the smartest idea. So I set out just to see how it would go and I'd make the decision based on how I felt while I was out there.

It was a great day. 41 degrees and overcast. The first mile was torture. I don't know why. I just wasn't feeling it. But after a couple more miles I was settling in to a nice easy pace and enjoying myself. I ran out west by the grandma house that I want to own someday. My feet were starting to get tired. As I got closer to town they really started to ache. All over, but mostly in my toes. I called the husband at mile 14 and he came and got me. My feet ached all Sunday too. So I'm glad I called it in. Still, 44.5 miles last week. But I don't feel like they were quality miles as far as marathon training goes. Yes, I did do hills and I did run longish. But most of it was spent having fun barefooting, trying out new shoes, and just having more time than I usually do. I feel like I keep losing my focus. While I'm loosely following a plan, my heart just isn't into this marathon like I wish it was.
On the fueling front: I went to my running store and talked with the owner about different options. I decided to try Hammer gels because they don't have any refined sugar in them. I really think that all the sugar that I consume during the race makes my stomach upset. Between the sweet gatorade and then the gels, my stomach just doesn't do it well. It may be something else, but that's what I've come up with for now. I tried the apple cinnamon kind and it tasted good and I had no stomach issues. I also tried their electrolyte fizz that I added to my water. It was refreshing and not sweet at all. I'll keep trying this new concoction on longer runs and see if it continues to work for me. The only issue then is packing my own nutrition to the race instead of just being able to use what they have.

Anyone else have stomach issues?
What do you do when you lose focus?
How do you get it back?

Monday: 9.5 miles outside in gorilla feet (2.5 barefoot, 3 hills)
Tuesday: full body weights, 60 min spin class
Wednesday: 9.5 miles outside in VFF's (1.5 barefoot)
Thursday: 4 mile run outside in Evo's (1.5 trail), 60 min spin class
Friday: 7.5 mile run outside in gorilla feet (3.75 barefoot)
Saturday: 14 mile run outside in gorilla feet


Anonymous said...

I have a terrible time with gels, they make me sick.. the sugar is way to much for me. I'm still working on what to use. The cliff shots are a bit better. Way to go on the Bfing!!!!!!!!!

Sam {} said...

i can't seem to handle sugar during long runs either. usually a new playlist or a new running outfit jumpstarts my motivation...that's sort of like focus. apparently i'm a materialistic runner!

Julia said...

First of all...your pictures always have the best beautiful!
And I am really excited for you that you took a week and just ran the way you enjoy it...sooo cool that you got so much barefoot running in!

When I lose focus...I usually just try to run for fun for a while...shorten my distance, run somewhere different or run with a friend. Or...if I am really burnt out then I turn to another active activity that I love and is still hiking. Being in the outdoors but not necessarily running gets me rejuvenated and makes me totally crave that next run :) Have a good week!!

Julia said...

p.s. not that I do not always run for fun...but sometimes I like to just take the pressure off and run to enjoy nature or run to enjoy time with friends...rather than run to just pound away miles on the treadmill...but some days those miles feel motivating too...all just depends on the day! I hope you are doing well!!! I am always so inspired at how well you listen to your body. I enjoy reading your blog because I feel like I learn so much from you!

LAPT said...

Looooove your cute running braids!

I have terrible stomach issues and it's bad for me to take chances during a race. I swear by my Nathan fuel belt...You can buy all sorts of different types/styles. I also like my new Lulu running pants because they have little pouches in the front that hold Gus!!

Teamarcia said...

I am a huge Hammer fan. Hope they work for you.
I am unfocused right now too. So I've decided to take the pressure off on running goals and change it up. So far so good.

Rachelle Wardle said...

I think you will like the Hammer Gels. They are a little thicker than a lot of Gels but seem to not give me any problems. I have all sorts of stomach issues and get side stiches really bad if I don't have exactly the right amount of food/water in my stomach at all times.....stupid stomachs.

You are very good at listenning to your body, I am jealous. Also I like your advice on quality vs. quantity. It is so easy to get caught up on what we 'should' be doing rather than focusing on quality.

Have a great day!! :)

Tara said...

Great job sticking it out through14! I always try to vary my music so I get a REALLY motivating song then a few so-so songs, then another REALLY motivating song!

misszippy said...

I think that those were quality miles--getting your feet accustomed to their future running style. All worth it!

I used to have lots of issues with fueling, but ended up learning that by taking a peppermint oil tablet before my long runs and races, my system could do ok.

Pere Pasamonte said...

If you don't want to have focus lost remember yourself why you run. It usually works. If you are too much burned out take some relaxed running days, without chronometer, without distance goals.

KT80 (Running Like a Girl) said...

I am learning that some of my best runs start off difficult in the beginning. It's funny, I find that pushing through past the 2nd mile lets my legs loosen up. I have bad heartburn (GERD, really) and so I have trouble with running sometimes. I find that sugar does indeed upset my belly. I keep tums with me, or Gaviscon (more powerful) and that helps. Way to go on your barefoot run!

ashley & sundance said...

I'm glad you are trying new 'fuel' for your long runs. I'll be looking forward to more reviews of the Hammer gels. I go for the Gu Chomps or Clif Shot Blocks.

I do have stomach issues, but it's never consistent... I think it has to do with what I eat the night before a run... Just something I like to always be prepared for, I tend to plan my long runs so I have at least 1 or 2 bathroom stops, just in case. :/

When i start feeling like I'm losing focus I try to go for a run without worrying about time or pace or distance. just GO. Usually does the trick. :)

Audrey said...

I've had an awful time with my stomach and running. Gels, bars, even homemade fuel made me sick. I finally found the perfect fuel. I told my husband "my stomach is so sensitive, I need baby food, this is ridiculous" That got me to thinking and I decided to check out the baby food isle at the store. After perusing I decided to try some "Graduates Fruit twists" - all natural, just fruit, nothing added. Their only 35 calories a piece, so I try and eat 3 or 4 per hour when I'm running. During a marathon that's a lot. But totally worth it - NO MORE SICK RUNS :-) I open up all the packages before I run and put the twists in a ziploc. It just looks like I've got a bag of twizzlers. If nothing else works, it's worth trying. Good luck

trisha*n said...

my stomach doesn't handle things well when running or racing. I need something not I'm still looking. Let me know if you find the trick! Love the blog :)