While everyone was out running the Cherry Blossom 10 Mile sans cherry blossoms last Saturday, I was running my own 10 miles. And I’ve been too tired (dehydrated?) since to write until now.
I was in the Pittsburgh area for the weekend visiting family, so I got a change of scenery. 10 miles is a new distance for me, so why not do it in a new location right? Anyways, I ran what is called the Lake Shore Loop in North Park. It is a 5 mile loop so I ran it once clockwise and a second time counterclockwise. Mentally, I treated the run like two 5-milers rather than a 10 mile run. My mom was also in town and joined in on the morning workout by walking the loop once while I was running (proud of her for getting out in the 20-30 degree weather with me at 8am!).
Looking back, the run seems uneventful and less than extraordinary. The first time around the loop I took in the scenery and just enjoyed it. It felt fine though in the beginning I felt like I was surrounded by cars and other runners. There were also a few more hills than I’m used to in flat DC, but I think I conquered them fairly well. This was my first run with my hydration belt, so I was constantly having to fidget with it. I decided I like it low on my hips rather than my waist because it seems to bounce around less. I don’t know if it was too tight or too heavy with being full of fluids, but it would not stay put and kept riding up! This was frustrating because even if I wanted to put it higher up on my waist it doesn’t adjust any smaller to fit there snuggly. So I continuously had to push it down, which I guess gave me a nice distraction from thinking too hard about pace or form for once.
Once I completed my first 5 miles, I ran back to the car to dump a layer and try and adjust the belt. I guess I loosened it too much because as I started running again it was really flopping around. I had to then tighten it back up while running because I didn’t want to stop again. I’m sure I looked like a multitasking fool of a novice. It continued to move around a little but then settled into place and didn’t really bother me again. I am still not sure whether it is a tiny bit looser than when I got it or if wearing it over only one tight-fitting long sleeve layer helped it stay in place better than two layers had. Has anyone else experienced so much trial and error when they started using a hydration belt? Do you feel like it just takes some getting used to before you learn to love it?
I also took a strawberry Clif Shot gel just after 5 miles, which slowed down my pace a little until it kicked in sometime after 6 miles. This is also when I started hydrating a little more consistently. At first I was taking a couple sips of water once every mile or so until I switched to electrolytes towards the end of the run. The second time around the loop may have overall been a bit slower than the first, no thanks to the increased amount of walkers, runners/joggers, cyclists, and general traffic. But the second half felt better, maybe it was a result of that runner’s high thing everyone talks about? 😉
I’m pretty satisfied with how my first double-digit run went, though it did wear me out a good bit. While I hydrated well during and directly after the run, I dropped the ball the rest of the day. I think that combined with stress and not being able to stick to my usual eating habits while out of town left me feeling run-down the rest of the weekend. In fact, I am even still feeling a little tight and sore 2 days later. I made sure to foam roll either last night or this morning, and stretched really good after my run today. It’s funny how you can feel so sore and stiff when walking, but once you start running most of the aches and pains go away and you are left with the normal feeling of your calves at work.