I probably shouldn't be sitting right now; I think I'll have problems getting out of my chair. I finally completed my 13 miler this morning, although it turned out to be 14 miles.
My reason: gut cramps. Oh, so fun. I started out great; having a Hammer Gel before I began to run. It's beautiful out today, and was about 64 degrees when I started. I ran the first 3 miles with a bottle of water, so I could drop it off and pick it up on the way back. I made it five miles without any walking and that felt really good. After hitting the five mile mark, I started to get my usual gut cramps. I knew this would happen today; things didn't happen this morning before I ran, so I knew I was probably going to be in trouble on the trail. Nothing like a little jogging to kick start your intestinal tract! Better than coffee!
My plan was to run to the 6.5 mile mark, then turn around. But by then, my cramps were severe enough that I had to stop and walk. I even considered going into the weeds to take care of business, it was that bad. My friends know this is not my usual way of operating, and I was horrified that I was even contemplating this! I knew there was an outhouse at mile 7, since I had taken advantage of it's delightful presence two years ago on my 20 mile long run for the marathon. I made it to the outhouse, took care of business, and started back. I had another Hammer Gel, and started to think about that water bottle back at mile 3. On this particular trail, it always seems like miles 4-6 are way longer than a mile each. I don't know why! There was no one else biking or running on the trail until I hit mile 4 (mile 10) when I saw some other ladies running out. By now my back was hurting, and my bit of energy was slowly dying. I had to stop and walk a few times, which disappointed me, but I kept reminding myself that I was running an extra mile!
Happily, my water bottle was still waiting for me. I was pretty thirsty, running 8 miles without any water. It tasted good! At about mile 12 (mile marker 2), a doe jumped out of the woods onto the trail about 50 feet in front of me. It looked at me, and bolted back into the woods. I guess the smile on my face didn't make it feel very safe. At least I thought it was a smile--maybe a grimace?
So I made it! I completely lost track of my time; I'm pretty sure it took me way longer than I had planned. My potty stop and cramps probably added at least 10 minutes extra. Just as I got back to my truck, the cramps returned with force, and I quickly stretched and drove home.
My plan this last week before the half marathon is to eat a lot of bananas and drink a lot of water. I seem to be noticing more cramping in my calves and hamstrings so I think it's just a lack of potassium. A hill run is lined up for Monday, and a few short runs before I stop running on Friday to take a break before Sunday's half on Sept 5th!