What Goes Up Does Not Necessarily Come Down

What Goes Up Does Not Necessarily Come Down

This weekend’s run was mostly a I will be miserable if I have another bad run “I am going to be positive and take it mile by mile” kind of run. After the mishaps with my back (again), and then the sickness (again), I planned to do 16 instead of the 21 on plan. The route was in a very hilly location, but I’ve had good runs everytime we have been there, so I started positively. 
I was joined by Michelle, who is transitioning between recovery from Goofy to training/tapering for Little Rock and coach extraordinaire, Barbara. With Barbara leading the way, we took it very very easy. I did good until about 14.5 miles, after which I had GI distress and when that subsided I was left with some mild stomach cramps. I suspect a bit of dehydration coupled with the super tight CW-X compression tights that was holding in my lovable muffin top.
Our wonderful group who mainly all did 21 miles (I stopped at 17).
We were all b!tching about hills, and then the camera comes out and all of us ham it up 🙂

After reflecting on last week’s running disaster, it is only fair that I put down onto paper some of my thoughts after this week’s redeeming run.

  • What goes up does not necessarily come down
    The route was peppered with hills (not inclines, but hills!). And if you thought that you could only gain elevation for so long before it came down – you were wrong! It went up and up and up, and down, and then up and up and up again. 
  • It’s just a hill, Get over it
    There was nothing much to be done when confronted with all those hills, but to get over it. Literally. Towards the end, I ended up completely walking up the hills. Not a tired-I’m-done walk, but a let-me-get-over-this kind of walk. And it was ok. I did lose my pace (in case you misunderstood – that was a joke with the slowpoke pace I’ve been keeping), but I lived to fight go over another hill.
  • Nutrition is a major player
    Of course I knew this, and it is chapter 1 of Marathoning 101, but I’ve become complacent/forgetful of late. Last week, I took my nutrition by miles instead of time and I ended up bonking. This time, I watched for 45 minutes and took my energy Gu. Even though I took 4 (or 5?) for my 17 miles, I was much stronger and felt much better.
  • Dehydration is more common in winter than we realize
    One thing that I’ve noticed is that I seem to have GI disstress more in winter than in summer. And I think the only difference is water (mild dehydration has been known to cause GI disstress). I take in less water in winter than in summer. And even then, I have to force myself to drink water in the early super cold miles.  Believe me, GI distress with the next restroom opportunity atleast 1 mile away is no fun!
  • Foam rolling/Stick after a long run does speed recovery
    Again a Marathoning 101 chapter that I’ve ignored forgotten. I usually finish up the run and stand around talking before heading to grab a bite to eat. This run, I changed and waited for Barbara to get back from an extra 3. In that time, I noticed a foam roller section with one roller marked “Try Me” (Just like Alice in Wunderland, I have absolutely no issues trying out something that tells me to try it). I foam rolled very gently and I could see the difference in the way I was walking that evening.
    I may have discovered my friend Barry’s secret – he uses ‘the stick’ after every run (and is also quite Goofy with a string of marathons AND century bike rides).
  • Running with a Buddy/Group makes the miles fly by
    Just like the last time I did 16 and Christina came to my rescue over the last 6 miles, having Michelle and Barbara with me this time did wonders. The first 8-10 miles went by even before realizing it. Barbara’s quiet assured demeanor that she had no doubt about my ability to complete the mileage did wonders and there was no place for self doubt to creep in. Indeed, all through the run, never once did I ask myself ‘why am I doing this’.

Do you enjoy running on hills aka ‘inclines’ to some people? What is your secret mantra/philosophy to taking on a hill or a tough run in general? Are hill repeats a regular part of your training?

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