Will Run for Cupcakes

Will Run for Cupcakes

This weekend’s run was one last attempt at getting some long miles in before a short taper for Little Rock Marathon. 
With 16 miles planned, I was lucky to have 2 running buddies rag-team me for the effort. Unfortunately, a little bit of Math error ended up with me getting in almost 2 extra miles. While the run itself was pleasant, my legs were screaming at me towards the end. When I finished, I could feel my legs shriveling and shrinking! Not a pleasant feeling at all. After a bit of foam rolling when I got back home, my legs were feeling much better and ready to take on the rest of the weekend. 
Will Run for Cupcakes – thanks to Ajit’s wife Ella

Some random thoughts about the run

  • Hills are all in the headThe route was hilly as usual. But it was much more tolerable since I knew it was hilly and I did not mind anymore. Sadly, It did not mean that I took on the hills with more gusto. Just that I made peace with the hills. (I doubt I will feel that way after 26.2 miles of hills and more hills in Little Rock, but its a start).
  • Hills are in your legs too
    The way my legs were screaming at me after the run indicated that my legs felt every bit of the hills. Uphills and downhills, inclines and declines.
  • Don’t second guess your mileage
    I had used mapmyrun.com to come up with 16 miles. When the fork in the road came, I questioned it and reasoned that there was no way I’d make 16 without an added extra bit. So we took the turn to an added extra bit, and went a mile out and back – and ended up with close to 2 extra miles. Lesson learnt – trust GPS and all those features that people have invested $$$$$ on.
  • Having a mantra is powerful
    “Cupcakes” were the thing I was focusing on while the going was tough. I had some awesome homebaked goodness waiting for me, thanks to Ella (Atlanta folks – wait for this awesomeness to open soon!). I first started using focus words after reading Jeff Galloway, who suggests using it. I’ve used the words “focus” “form” and “strong” in the past – each of those reminds me of my goal and my determination to get to it. At Chicago 2012, when my mind was wandering, I kept thinking about a huge ice-cream sundae from Ghirardelli that I’d have later on.
  • Massage the day before your long run is not a good idea 
    My legs being so painfully tired after the long run was a first for me. I had never had it so bad. And even though the route was hilly, so was the route from last week. The only difference I could think about is – I had a sports massage the day before. I had my back worked on, along with calf and hamstrings. I then remembered a very important thing from Marathoning 201 – get a massage 3-4 days before a race to loosen up muscles, but not immediately before. A normal sports massage should feel like a heavy session of weights. So imagine working out my legs for 1hr the day before and then running long miles!! 
  • Learn from previous lessons
    Documenting my long runs for the past few weeks has let me go back and see what worked and what did not. With the GI distress I had, I remembered to hydrate extra and my stomach was happy! Taking a note from last week, I foamrolled when I got back home (about 20 minutes after I finished the run), and the screaming, shriveling, shrinking legs returned to normal pretty quickly. 

Do you have a mantra that you use in training or on race day to get through tough miles? Do you ‘practice’ your mantra/focus word or is it a random thought that pops into your head?
What motivates you to keep going? 

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