Labor Day Weekend Long Run & So Many Firsts!

Date: September 4, 2011

Distance: 10 miles

Time: 1:47:48

Happy Labor Day weekend! Two great running songs on my playlist that fit the theme: Loverboy’s “Working for the Weekend,” and “Workin’ for a Living” by Huey Lewis and the News. (Yes, I do know these are both from the 80s).

Today’s long run was good for so many reasons and it also included several “firsts”:

1. I woke up at 6:15 without an alarm and was easily out the door by 7:00. By the way, the article in the latest issue of Runner’s World magazine is correct. Running early in the day IS a good idea. (I just have a hard time convincing myself sometimes). Check it out if you want early morning running motivation.

2. During the first 2.5 miles I ran with my dog WITHOUT A LEASH! It was an amazing first. He stayed close to me at all times and even obeyed when I told him to sit and stay at each of the four intersections we crossed. Running so early on a Sunday morning meant virtually no traffic so I felt comfortable trying out the no leash thing. While I’m not sure I’m at the point where I would trust him off leash all the time, I’m feeling quite encouraged.

3. I tried using shot bloks rather than Gu for the first time during a run and learned that black cherry flavor is pretty tasty. (I’d sampled the margarita flavor in the past and about gagged). I may switch to the black cherry shot bloks for my Wyoming race but I’ll always prefer real Margaritas over the shot blok versions.

4. I also tried out my new HydraPouch for the first time and that worked well. A HydraPouch is a portable cup-type device with a clip you can use to attach to the waistband of your running shorts. The Jackson Hole race I plan to run in three weeks is suggesting these since they will not be using cups at the water stations. The idea is, instead of running past water stations and grabbing paper cups (and then running through piles of paper cups all along the route), runners will be expected to fill their own containers with water at the water dispensers that will be set up throughout the course. Much more environmentally friendly and easier cleanup for race volunteers. I was skeptical at first, but now am sold. My route today took me past water fountains at several points so I was able to get water every 1.5 to 2 miles and I loved not hauling along my heavy water bottle.

5. I ran ten miles with no walking breaks. A first. WHAT?! I’ve been writing about the merits of walking breaks in my blog posts. I LOVE walking breaks and think runners should routinely incorporate walking breaks into their runs. Today, however, something was different and I didn’t feel like walking–except at the end. After I finished running my ten miles, I walked the last 1.3 miles up the hill. (So I actually put in over 11 miles today–yay).

6. Maybe the reason why I felt no need to take a walking break is due to yet another first. Thanks to my friend,

from Google images

Debi’s, advice, I ate some pre-run Chia seeds. Evidently, they are magic. I tried them in oatmeal for the first time last week–thought they were good. The seeds added a bit of a crunchy texture, which I liked. Today, I mixed them with coconut water. Another first! Evidently, coconut water is getting lots of attention these days as being great for pre- and post-run hydration–as good as or better than electrolyte sports drinks.

If you don’t like your drinks to have texture don’t do this. If, however, you like “country-style” orange juice with lots of pulp and you are a fan of boba drinks, you may like adding chia seeds to your beverages. After about 10 or 15 minutes, they turn into a gel-like consistency. I was surprised the texture didn’t bother me as much as I expected. And, according to the package, “Chia seeds were revered by the ancient Aztec and Mayan empires as vital nourishment.” Who am I to argue with the Aztecs and Mayans?

Whatever the reason, today was an “on” day. I had an amazing run. Could have been due to many factors, or one of my several firsts. Who knows. What I do know is having a great, effortless long run like today really makes up for the other times I’ve struggled through a run and hated it.


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