Sweet Sixteen

I planned a two-pronged attack on the sixteen miler this morning.  The first was to get up with enough time to allow a full hour between eating breakfast and running.  I got up at 5:30 and had my coffee, and then made oatmeal with some cocoa powder, almond butter, and a little honey, and chased it with a banana and berry smoothie with some chia gel thrown in for good measure.  (A little Tarahumara mojo couldn’t hurt.)  Breakfast, check.

Prong two was a little more difficult, but basically boiled down to really trying to enjoy the run.  It occurred to me this morning that tackling four 4-milers didn’t really sound that bad, so I decided to approach it as such.  I really tried to relax into it, not worry about pace too much, and enjoy the scenery.  The miraculous thing is that it actually worked.  Somewhere around mile 12 I started feeling the fatigue in my legs, but the workout itself didn’t seem grueling at all.  I guess it should have been obvious all along, but I realized that stressing over every little thing for the duration of a long run was completely exhausting in itself.  I’m sure I’ll have to continue to work at relaxing on the run, but this was a good reminder to just sit back and let it flow.

On a more practical note, I tried Power Bar’s energy gels today.  I’ve been largely using Clif Gels for the past few years, but I decided to give the Power Gel’s a shot since they offer more options without caffeine.  The Power Gels are slightly larger than most of the other brands, so they require a bit more pouch or pocket space, but the upside is that they are far less viscous than the others.  The extra liquid helped them go down more easily, and I didn’t feel like I was left with raspberry paste coating my mouth for two miles.  I’ll definitely be stocking up on these this fall.

It was a good day, all around.  And now, in the spirit of Paula Radcliffe, I will be going to be at 9:30.

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