Things I know about running…

Here I am again, in the midst of my training for my half-marathon, re-learning the basics about me and running.  This is my fifth half marathon race and my eigth year of running – you’d think I would have this thing down already.  But really, I am stubborn and silly and don’t really listen well, even to myself ;-).

My last three long runs (not long yet really at all (6, 8, 8) have been brutal.  My feet have both fallen asleep at the same time while running – for real.  Any idea how hard it is to run when you can’t feel your feet? Either of them?  Hard.  I have been running out of energy on my first km…granted it is all up hill, but still.  I have been feeling like I needed to walk for a bit after 5km, and during some runs I have.  I have been dehydrated because it was 30 degrees out and I didn’t bring water.  I have just been having a miserable time.

1 – Get a good night’s sleep – I desperately need a good night’s sleep before a long run…I consider a long run 10km or more.  I can’t just sleep five hours – I need a good 7-8 hours and preferably a bedtime before 11pm.  Last night I got to sleep just before 11pm and was up at 7:30am…perfection.

2 – No alcohol the night before a run – for some reason it makes me sluggish – I am really not sure why even one glass affects my run so much but I am just slow and sad if I have wine the night before a run (even a short one).

3 – Good shoes are imperative – Every year I try to make my shoes last as long as I can.  Every year I have crazy weird problems like my feet falling asleep while I run or strange knee pain, or toe problems.  As soon as I cave in and buy new shoes, they all disappear.  Last night I bought new shoes, and today’s run I experienced no weird stuff – it was pretty perfect.  Sigh, I know I will put myself through it again next year…

4 – Nutrition really does matter – When I eat a bowl of Lucky Charms and then go for a 6km run, I run out of energy about 1km in.  Why do I do this to myself?  I know that if I wake up and have a bowl of shreddies, with a banana, I can easily do 10km.  I also need my sport beans (gosh I love those things!).  Every time I start to feel a bit hungry on my run I eat two until the next hunger pang.  Water is also key, as soon as I hit about 8km or the temperature is really hot.  Not a lot, but I do need a sip every km or so, just to keep everything working properly.  And an even more important thing for me, is post run I need to eat something within an hour.  A peanut butter sandwich, or a frappucino, or some chicken or tuna.  Without that I find myself lying on the floor ready to throw up and feeling horrible.

So to recap, today, I got up after a good night’s sleep, had a good nutritious breakfast, put on my new fabulous runners, brought water and sports beans and had a really awesome run!!  Now if only I had the discipline and sense to do that every week 🙂

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