Thursday, December 29, 2011

17 miles in the Eastern Shore

Yesterday, I met up with my friend Sam at the public library in Daphne for the LONGEST RUN OF MY LIFE (seems like I'm doing that every week, these days) - 17 miles. It was in the low 40s and I felt extremely underdressed, but I figured I'd get warm in the first few miles and that it would heat up towards the end of our run. We set off to run along the Eastern Shore Trail from Daphne to Fairhope. 

32 paved miles from Battleship Park to the Weeks Bay Reserve. Awesome!

This was the first run I've done with another person, while training for the marathon- and it was an absolutely critical one to have company. And to make it even cooler, Sam is the only woman I know to have completed a full IronMan! In short, she kicks a lot of ass. 

We talked a lot about her IronMan preparation and she told me that the most crucial thing she learned was heart rate training. She explained that most people struggle with their training because they don't know how to properly pace themselves and will tend to swim/bike/run much faster than they ought to. This is the wrong way to train because it causes your body to operate at heart rate outside of the fat burning zone. Basically, your body stops burning fat because your workout requires something with a higher caloric value so it ends up burning muscle instead. This opens you up to more injury risks and causes you to feel burned out and exhausted by the end of your workout. Training in the appropriate heart rate zone forces people to move slower than they would, but it allows your body to operate in the aerobic zone which is where your body most efficiently burns fat. Sam said that if you do it right, you should feel refreshed by the end of a long workout. I can't say I've felt that way after my long runs!

Before I knew it, we had run 8.5 miles and it was time to turn around! I couldn't believe what a difference it made to run with someone else, especially someone as interesting and experienced as Sam. It was a gorgeous run and I was really enjoying myself... until right around mile 15. Sam has ITBS and it really started to bother her towards the end of our run. My aches and pains were isolated in the arches of my feet, which was annoying but still MUCH better than what I had experienced in my other long runs. Then, we both started to feel nauseous which Sam said was a symptom of dehydration. At mile 16.3 (estimation), we saw an oasis in the desert...

We crawled in and said "we don't have any money, but if you give us some lemonade we'll love you forever and come back from lunch!" and they said "Alright, ya'll!" 

We sipped our half lemonade/half water beverages and they were sooo incredibly refreshing! I felt much better and extremely grateful to the kind folks at East Shore Cafe. Thanks to them, Sam and I were able to safely make it back to the library where our cars were parked. We had to walk a little because our legs had stiffened up from our break at the Cafe, but we survived and I'm still counting it as 17 miles completed!

Today, I'm feeling a little tightness in my calves but other than that, I'm just fine. Might do a spin class with Hans this afternoon to loosen everything up. Might also invest in a heart rate monitor ;)

No comments:

Post a Comment