RAINY DAY // GOT GEL?!
Fun fact. When you go a solid 2 days without stretching/foam rolling, your legs/joints/entire body turn against you. And apparently so does the weather. I knew going into today's run that there would be a high probability of some rain, sprinkle here or there, nothing major. No downpours or thunder and lightening. Just a nice quick mist to cool me off when I needed it most. WRONG.
In my defense, the radar online showed a small patch of "light rain" over Belle Plaine (aka my hometown) at 5:46 a.m. I started my run at 5:41. So, getting a little wet right from the get go didn't seem like that big of a deal. Except for the fact that the damn rain did not start until lap 2. Oh, and my hips and lower back were definitely not 8 mile ready. But, I needed to try out my energy gel....so I could not afford to half ass this run!
Let's rewind to lap 1 for a minute and give a special shoot out to the random sidewalk-bicycle guy who I haven't seen all summer who decided today would be a GREAT day to make me run/fast walk over the muddy grass by zip mart. HOW RUDE! After that, things did get better during the remainder of that first lap. No falling or slip and sliding in the mud either!
By lap two I was a bit tired (aka really wondering if I had to actually run all the miles today just so I could try the vanilla bean goop). However, I was in good spirits because a. I was still dry and b. there was waaaaaaaaaaay less traffic than I'm used to contending with during my runs during the week. As I reached the end of 11th street and turned to run past the sale barn, the real fun began.
Rain. Just a few sprinkles at first, and then pretty much a complete downpour. I could not see where the bleep I was going and didn't want to take off my glasses because like I NEED THEM TO NAVIGATE THE WORLD. I contemplated either stopping and finding someplace dry to wait the rain out or even just stopping at my house since I run right past it on this new and improved route...more on that later!
But, nooooooooo. I decided that running in the rain was going to be fun. I was going to make the best of it no matter what. Even if that mean running around like an idiot with my tongue hanging out and clutching my energy gel like it was the holy grail. A little rain never hurt anybody...except for that one time my freshman year of college during running club when I slipped and fell in the mud after it had been raining all day and almost got lost in a sketchy part of Iowa City.
Anyhow, due to the rain, I physically had to stop to rip open my GU energy gel packet when I was 45 minutes into my run. And the minute I had that thing open, I took off and tried to keep pace while slurping down some of this magical and surprisingly tasty goop. Oh, and ya know wiping snot away from my face and trying not to step in any puddles.
One bright side to this run, was that I was at least smart enough to not down the whole gel at once. I just took small sips of it every now and then. I was shocked at how much goop was actually in that little packet and also by how hard it was to trying to squeeze out goop and run at the same time. Honestly, that goop must really be magical, because I made my second loop around 11th street in no time and was climbing the mini hill by the rail road tracks way sooner than I anticipated I would be.
I felt good. Very good considering that conditions were not ideal and this was a pretty high mileage week for me. When I finished things up at the 8 mile mark, I was utterly in shock at my splits. Aside from a slow mile 1 and mile 7, all of my other miles were at a decent pace. Nothing super fast, but highly consistent. For me, this confirmed my suspicions that this gel stuff was an absolute necessity for long runs, hot runs, struggle bus runs, and of course race day in September.
However, you can't just slurp magical goop on every single run and expect it not to loose it's magical powers. So, I am aiming to have one goop packet a week (on my longer and/or hotter runs) as well as try out a few different brands/flavors.
We are officially 2 months into half marathon training. I completed 43 miles this week. My hips/pelvis ares still causing issues. My times aren't quite where I want them to be. But, I feel ready. Like I could go out tomorrow and actually run the full 13.1 miles without stopping or having a mental breakdown. So, that's progress! Now, we ice, ice, ice and do all the stretching and foam rolling. Because, somebody just HAD to max out on back/front squats today (It was me...but hey I did hit 140 lbs by 2 on back squats!!!).