It was a beautiful day Saturday morning, and I set off around 10:30 a.m on a 16 mile jaunt. On this, the longest distance I had ever run, I decided I was going to experiment with some things.
The first was breakfast. I've always had cramping problems before when I've run with food in my stomach. I decided to eat eight bananas about two hours before I set out. I'd done this before with watermelon, but banana is more calorically dense, which you need to fuel a long run. It's also a more substantial food, and theoretically could give me some digestive challenge compared to the watermelon.
As ran down W. Main Street, I I felt some mild tightness in my stomach, but it passed away pretty quickly.
I headed down Oregon Road, up the Quinnipiac Gorge Trail, and into Cheshire. W Meriden Road is basically a long climb that lasts a few miles, but I didn't have too much of a problem with it.
I was rationing my water, but by mile seven or so I had run out. I was purposely taking this route so that I could stop off at my parents house. There, I had asked my parents to pick some celery from the garden and save me a couple of ripe bananas to try another experiment- my raw "energy drink."
It's simple, but far better than the crap they sell at the store. After a couple of hours, I was feeling fairly tired and a bit thirty. I made a smoothie out of celery and two bananas and a whole lot of water. I sipped it slowly, stretched, and set off back to Meriden after about 20 minutes.
I suppose a 20 minute break in the middle of my run is cheating, but whatever.
So I felt completely refreshed with my "energy drink" and had no lack of energy as I powered up the hills in the neighborhood I grew up in and back down to Meriden.
On about mile 13 or 14, I ran into a problem, though. My legs had been tired before my run, and after a couple hours my left leg was shot. I wouldn't exactly describe the sensation as pain. It was more like a really deep tiredness. It's like my muscle had come off its track. It was just telling me to stop.
I could have powered through it, but I figured that it was better to slow down and walk rather than risk injury.
I found it really, really annoying to be walking all the way back to Meriden when I had plenty of energy.
But my muscular rebellion had a good point. I had probably been averaging 25 miles a week previous to my training.
Last week, I ran 47. I think that while I was cardiovascular fit enough for the mileage, my leg muscles may not have been prepared.
After a massive meal after I got back to to my apartment and a lot of stretching, my leg was soon bending and functioning just fine, though it was a bit sore.
I slept 12 hours that night. I was completely exhausted and the sleep felt fantastic.
I took all of Sunday off for rest and, as I was off from work Monday, I didn't run that day either, but instead decided to go to the beach and do some swimming.
After two days of rest, I was ready to run again. I had a nice tour of the city and stretched my legs a bit.