I was so happy to see that Loretta was feeling better and was able to run again. She'd been out for a non running-related issue; while it's never fun to be sick, at least it wasn't caused by running. Anyway, because there was no way she should attempt 9 miles after several weeks off, we did a different route so that she could turn back toward the park and finish with 5 miles for the day. Overachiever that she is, she ended up running 6 miles! CC and I left her at the 4.5 mile mark and continued on our way, and I have to say, it wasn't bad, this 9 miles, especially considering that it was warmer than predicted; we were supposed to be in the high 60s, but I was disappointed to see the car temperature reading 72 degrees as we drove to the park, and naturally, it was still super humid, too. I can't help but think how much nicer those 9 miles will feel when we get a crisp, cool morning...probably not for another month, but hey, I can dream, right?!
I started using my Orange Mud HydraQuiver again a couple of weeks ago - until then, I'd been OK with using my Nathan handheld bottle, but all of a sudden, I was just plain OVER having to hold something in my hand. I think having the bigger water bottle with the HydraQuiver has been a big help with my fueling for the longer runs, as it holds 24 ounces (compared to 8 ounces in my handheld) - I'm drinking more water, which not only is helping with staying hydrated, but it's also helping dilute the intensity of the GU gels that I use for fuel.
Recipe for a successful run, right here!
Speaking of fuel, I don't eat anything before I run, so I need to stay on top of that during my long runs - I don't like to wait until I feel like I'm getting tired; I'd rather stay ahead of fatigue instead of chasing it. I took a GU at miles 3 and 5, and then at mile 7 I had a few Honey Stinger energy chews, just to get me through the last couple of miles. This worked out great, and I had enough energy left to push the last mile, which ended up being our fastest by nearly a minute and a half! Now that is a nice way to finish up a long run.
After everyone came in and we relaxed at the park for a bit, we headed to Blue Baker, where I tried doing something different for breakfast. My stomach has been bothering me for a month or so now, every Saturday. Much as I didn't want to think this, I figured it was from the breakfast food - my gallbladderless body sometimes doesn't like certain things. Well, I finally remembered that my stomach used to always hurt after a long run...it's not the food, it's just how my body reacts to all the miles. So this time, I brought some protein powder that I mixed up at the restaurant, and over the course of about 2.5 hours had that, coffee, some bacon, and half a cinnamon twist. I left feeling good, and I didn't end up with a stomach ache at all! Kinda wish I'd realized this earlier, but hey - we still have several months of long runs ahead, so I'll continue to do this and hopefully won't spend the rest of my Saturdays in misery.
P.S. I just checked, and the discount code still works if you click the link for Orange Mud and want to order any of their products - "MYJOURNEY" will get you 10% off.
I'm happy to report that Jeff, Loretta, and I were able to run in our neighborhood on Monday with no sign of that aggressive dog. I will admit to feeling a little trepidation as we approached the corner where he came at us, and between that plus worrying that I might accidentally flip the switch on the canister and mace myself, it wasn't the most mentally relaxing of runs but we made it. Yesterday just Jeff and I ran, and it went something like this: "!@#$% my legs feel dead! !@#$% this humidity! !@#$% running!" So there you have it...nine miles? No problem. A 30-minute run? Bah humbug. They can't all be winners, but I guess if I'm going to have a bad run, I'd rather it be the short one.