Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The Restorative Powers of Food and a Nap - Heidi

Despite the loss of an hour with daylight savings time and an 18.5-mile run on Saturday, I woke up feeling well and full of energy on Sunday. The bright sun and 50-degree temperature certainly helps. Saturday was my longest run yet. Martha and I ran with a small group that we know through our running club, The Suburban Striders. Carol navigated our group through the streets of Wellesley, Dover, Sherborn and Natick. It was a beautiful morning and a gorgeous route that took us by Farm Pond and Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary. It was great to be on the back roads as many sidewalks are still coated in thick sheets of ice. The roads closer to Wellesley were tough as it grew later and we were competing for space with ice, slush and oncoming cars. At this point in our training, it would be tragic to get injured by slipping or falling on a slick spot, which almost happened to Carol. Her skidding shoes made a horrible scratching sound as she slid upright on a benign appearing patch of black ice-covered asphalt at about 11:00 am. Once she came to a halt, we all decided to walk the rest of that street and make it a drink/snack break to avoid any further danger.

In terms of fuel on the run, I have developed a liking for Gatorade, which has never appealed to me in the past. I went to Running Strong: A Runner’s Summit last month at the Hospital and one of the speakers showed slides promoting the use of this type of drink as opposed to water for long-distance runs. Given Martha’s strong dislike for Gu, I brought along two new things to try. One was a jellybean for runners and the other was a fruit block or chew. I don’t know whether there is data to support either of these, but it was great to have a little sweet snack in the midst of 18-plus miles and they were both easy to fit in a pocket and neither made Martha grimace. Diane in our group had brought along Gu, but somehow it exploded and dripped all down the front of her jacket and tights. Thank goodness for her, there were a few not too muddy puddles in the road to use for clean up. I think I’ll be sticking with the more solid snacks!

About two hours after my run, it was all I could do to keep my eyes open and I took the second of my “training naps.” A few hours later, my husband and I went out to dinner with our neighbors while our boys were at a teen center event. I had no difficulty polishing the plates of the three courses I had and everything tasted especially delicious! It was great to catch up with my neighbor Susan, who has been my primary running partner for the last five or more years. While we haven’t done much running together the past two months, I would never have been able to begin this training program if it hadn’t been for the “base” of runs with her these past years.

A quick thank you for the blog comments from Nancy and Rose. A belated thank you to Dot (a friend from college) for her comment a few weeks ago and my cousin Kathy (from California) for her concern about things other than Gatorade freezing on these winter runs!

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