Long Run - 22 Miles - 9-19-09

I had two goals for my long run this weekend: finish the twenty two miles and not cramp up during or after the run.

Every time I have run over eighteen miles I have cramped up in my calves (sometimes it was just slightly, but it still hurts). This week I spent a lot of time preparing for the run. Other than the runs I did during the week, I treated it as if I was about to a marathon. I stayed hydrated all week, especially Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. I ate three bananas a day all week. I also started drinking coconut water (water not milk).

I can not say enough about coconut water. I had to get the flavored kind, but it really has worked well for me. It has a ton of potassium and very few calories. I drank it all week and then loaded up on it on Friday and then Saturday morning.

We started with four runners (Andrew, Cathy, Elizabeth and myself). Our coach (Greg) had us run around the Old Village for about four slow miles before we headed towards the Cooper River Bridge (11:47, 11:35, 11:12, 10:41). We got out on Coleman Blvd and ran down to the bridge where we stopped at the water fountain and refilled our water (10:31, 10:26, 11:36). After our quick stop, we ran under the bridge past the new park and then ran by ION and to Bowman where we stopped for water again (10:47, 10:39, 10:55, 10:31). We ran up to Hwy 17 and around the back side of the Towne Center and over the Isle of Palms Connector Bridge(10:29, 10:56, 10:27, 10:20, 10:39). Once again, our pace over the bridge was faster than while we were on a flat area (not sure what is up with that). We stopped again to refill our water (I filled up my bottle with water and a little Power Aid) I also drank some coconut water. This was a quick stop and we headed off towards Sullivan's Island. We crossed Breach Inlet and then went over the Ben Sawyer Bridge and ended the run back in the Old Village (10:20, 10:24, 10:31, 10:26, 10:28, 10:30).

I could have run another mile to St. Andrews, but I was really happy about not cramping and how good I felt. I am a little superstitious and did not want anything bad to happen on this run (its my last really long run before the marathon) so I jumped in the back of Coach Greg's truck and headed back to my car.

I really felt good about the run. I could have been really hardcore and gone on with Andrew and Cathy for the extra mile at the end, but I am really happy with reaching the two goals I had set. The pace was right on the mark and my hydration plan worked I can't ask for more than that...

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