Well another Sunday gone, another long run in the can. Needed to get 26km in, and now the distances are starting to get long enough that I need to figure out how to get creative in my long runs to stretch them out far enough without boring myself to death running through urban landscape, while at the same time keeping me safe enough and away from heavy traffic.
Fell back to a usual route which has me run a circuit around the upper part of my city – we have an escarpment that bisects the town, so a run around the “Mountain” (as it is nicknamed) can allow me to get about 30-32km in, with the ability to trim off excess if I don’t need to get quite that much distance in (which was the case yesterday). It is a route that isn’t too bad, as I can hit pretty low-trafficked roads or walking/biking paths for almost the entire route, which is ideal – I hate having to run in or near it. It’s also nice, because I get treated to some nice views from the Escarpment as well.
The day was pretty chilly, starting about 2 degrees C, but partly sunny, no rain (or snow) in the forecast for at least most of my run, so pretty decent running weather. The wind was a bit of a bear, somewhat strong and put a pretty cold chill in the air. Went back and forth about what to wear…it was JUST warm enough for shorts (I have a 0 degree rule, above that shorts, below that tights) but what to wear on top? With it being cool and windy, I didn’t want to be too hot, as I’d sweat too much, and in the wind would mean I’d cool off and risk being too cold – but also didn’t want to under-dress and just be plain cold.
Elected for a long sleeve thermal running top from Under Armour, with another long sleeve tee over top. Turns out the choice was perfect, as I was a little cold when I started (which is what you want on a run) but warmed up enough that I was JUST comfortable enough during the run, didn’t really sweat all that much which kept me from getting chilled.
Pre-run was some overnight oatmeal – fairly easy recipe, it’s just equal parts oatmeal (the real stuff), yogurt (this time Greek vanilla) and milk. I added an apple I shredded, plus a tiny bit of vanilla and brown sugar for taste, make it the night before and when you get up in the morning, your oatmeal is done! You have to like eating cold oatmeal, but it cuts prep time considerably, all you need to do is take the oatmeal out of the fridge, grab a spoon and start eating.
For in-run fuelling I’ve been trying something different lately (kind of by accident) in that I haven’t really been bringing any fuel for my long runs – just relying on pre-run food. I say by accident, because I realized well into my training plan that I was forgetting to bring anything with me on a run for fuel…no gels, no special pre-run potions…and surprisingly, it has been working out extremely well for me! I’m running with consistent energy levels, finish still feeling strong and ready to go, and, most amazingly, still have energy afterwards – complete change from anything I’ve had before!
That’s not to say I don’t treat myself to some in-run snacks…couple weeks ago I brought a bit of Halloween candy with me on a long run, and this week, I decided to bring some Stroopwaffels with me! I had been talking about them with an online running friends a few weeks back, and ever since then they’ve been on my mind, so I decided to grab some for a snack!
I guess technically that makes this stuff in-run fuel, but I see them more as in-run treats – run to such and such a place, you can get a treat! I’m sure there is a fuelling benefit to it, but the calories that a couple of these cookies added sure doesn’t make up for the calories burned during the near-3 hour run yesterday.
At any rate, one more long run done, and I also came to the realization that I only have three more crazy-long runs left before the taper starts…my 29km next week, 32 the week after that…and then one last 32km after a week’s rest.