Wait, is this really happening?

I asked myself that same question this weekend SO many times on my 16 miler this past weekend. Am I really running 16 miles, again? Can I do this? Am I really passing by so many bathrooms?! First off, I haven’t ran over 13.1 miles in a LONG time. Like since May 31st and the 1st marathon experience long time. I knew I have to up my mileage and get my started back in the train of thought that maybe once again I will run another marathon. I also wanted to prove to myself that I could run longer distances once again. I was going to run early Sunday morning and take off from Mr. R’s place, but then when I woke up I realized I left my running shoes at my house. WHOOPS. So then, I waited all day for the heat to pass, and took off right around 5:30. As many of you know, one of my main problems is nutrition while I run. When reaching higher mileage, there comes a point where you must eat something, or your body can’t continue running because your are running on fumes. I have found that the “running” starts a little bit early when I take Gus, shot blox, chomps or anything of that sort, if you catch my drift. After numerous bathroom stops and many upset stomachs I have really looked into different types of ‘food’ to eat on my run, including jelly beans, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, pop tarts, and sport beans. For this run, I opted to try the peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I made a whole one and cut it into four little squares. I put two in a small snack bag and the other two in a different small snack bag and stuffed them all into my loincloth pouch, along with a small bag of jelly beans. Any extra excuse to eat candy, seriously. I was worried that this too might make me, perhaps, explosive, but I was more than willing to try new things.

I also have had many issues with my fuel belt. Pulling it down the ENTIRE run because it slides up my hips gets a little annoying. Getting chafed from the beast on my back and on my hips also isn’t very pleasant and it about sent me through the roof when I found perfect little bruises from the blasted thing on my hips. Enough is enough and though I vowed I would never try it, because I thought I would hate it, I decided to try to run with a handheld. Now, a handheld is a water bottle with a strap attached so it can stay in your hand. I didn’t want to go out and get one if I didn’t know if I would like it or not, so I decided to try it for the first 8 miles of my 16 and then thought I could drop it at my house. I decided to make my own to test it out and see how I liked it.

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Whalaa. Jank, yes, free, yes. A water bottle with a coozie, to help it not get condensation on the outside and get too slippery for me to carry. Reppin’ some Miller lite as well. Can’t go wrong. I was worried that I would get so tired of carrying it.

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I mapped my run on mapmyrun.com before hand and wrote down the exact route in my phone so just in case I forgot or got lost, I could look at my phone and know where to go. Filled my bottle with red G2, which I normally don’t drink, but thought, heck this is an experimental run! I put my phone in my new iFitness belt along with my ipod, and attached my loincloth pouch to the belt as well and got my handheld and took off. I wore a running skirt and a running tank and a hat.Ā  It was HOT outside and I knew it was going to be a long, hot, sticky, run.

Claude had some issues finding a satellite (i.e. took him over a mile and a half, sometimes he’s a little slow) and he missed me running all the tough hills. Darn him, I wanted that elevation in my recap! Anyways, I NEVER got bored holding the handheld like I thought I would, and not having the bouncing, bunching, chafing, annoying, swishing, noisy fuel belt strapped to my butt felt great. I almost found a weird joy and entertainment in switching the handheld back and forth between hands. The first 8 milers were on a newer route and I didn’t realize how hilly it was, but it was a great first 8 miles. I realized after I got to the turn around and back into the part ‘on my way home’ that the wind was pretty killer. Another nuisance about running in the evening by my house, is that it’s pretty windy. I got to mile four and realized it was time to eat my first square of my sandwich. I was pretty nervous, because I was at least 4 miles away from my house and if something happened with my stomach like it did with the Gus, I was going to be visiting a gas station bathroom, which isn’t a pleasant experience.

I ate the square and drank some Gator and kept going. It was a little hard at the beginning to run and chew that sandwich, but then I was reminded about competitive eaters and the 4th of July Hot Dog Eating contest. A true Champion, Joey Chestnut, said that he gets the buns wet so that they go down easier. I decided the next square I would drink a little more liquid to make it easier to go down. I was about 6 miles in and though to myself, normally, right about here, is when the issues start! Could it be that I feel great?! I trekked on and started to think many positive thoughts in my head along the lines of MUB, You are powerful (enough with the power ranger references right?!) You can do this, and tons of other really weird, weird phrases in my head that kept me going. On long runs I start to get some ADD and sometimes look at the sidewalk and try not to step on the cracks, or sing along with the ipod. Once I hit the wind on the beach path, it was a little overwhelming. It was a very hot sticky breeze that exploded once I turned the corner on my 7th mile. I had one mile to get home and drop off my handheld. Then I had the normal 8 mile loop that I usually run along the beach path.

Once I got home to drop off my handheld, I was SO hot. I started to get dizzy, and almost felt the familiar signs of my asthma coming on. I only get asthma when I try to push my body too far in the heat. This was discovered when I wheezed like a freak back in high school during summer cross country practices and was pushing REALLY hard and running MUCH faster. This was when my roommate also informed me that she was looking and hopefully buying a new BMW later that evening. SICK. Obviously, getting details from her and taking a little bit of a break (15 minutes) to get some water and rehydrate was more important than dying from heat exhaustion, so I took a quick break, which was a little rough on my legs to get going again, but I knew I would complete the run in better shape than if I didn’t stop. At mile eight, right when I took off again, I downed a handful of Jelly Beans. I was worried these might upset my stomach as well, but they didn’t. Mile 9 was another square of sandwich and this time I tried the Chestnut method and got the sandwich soggy in my mouth. This sounds gross, but it worked WONDERFUL. The sandwich went right down the hatch and once my legs started turning over and stopped complaining of being sore, I was off again. For about a mile, I contemplated about how I hadn’t had ANY bathroom problems at all yet. It was a huge victory for me. My stomach never felt upset and though I was tired, I still felt okay. It was very windy and the trek out was pretty brutal for me, but I just kept telling myself that soon I would be on the back end of the last loop and it wouldn’t be windy on my way home at all! I just kept chanting weird things in my head and kept myself going forward. The wall at mile 14 came, just as I expected. More jelly beans down the hatch and then finally I was on my way home. For some reason, I’m an idiot and measured my route wrong. Shocking, not so much. So therefore I walked/jogged/slogged the last (and extra) 1.5 miles home, it wasn’t too bad though because I got to see this pretty sunset. Yea, I know, you’re jealous.

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Without the small break in the middle, I would have probably melted out on the pavement, and it was smart of me to stop, even though it took a little bit for my legs to get going again. The best part of my run was I NEVER had to stop to go to the bathroom. It felt great to not have any stomach issues, and to still be able to fuel myself on my run. It also felt great to be able to run without my fuel belt and I was VERY surprised that I liked the handheld so much. I do see how having a hand strap would make it much easier, I’m glad I did the test with the coozie first to make sure that I liked it.

It was one of those runs when I realized once again that I CAN run long distances. It was hard to push myself to keep going after my short break, but I’m glad I listened to my body and made sure that I had a lot of water during that little break time. I also am glad I did some experiments with fueling that allow me to eat during my run without running to the bathroom. The iFitness belt was the best purchase of the month of July, hands down. I can’t wait to write a more in depth review and perhaps, did I hear a giveaway approaching?

Sometimes it’s good for runners to try new things, even if they think it might not work for them. Hello, loving the handheld, loving the pb&j squares and loving the Jelly Beans as an option. I am going to try pop tarts as well, just to see if they are maybe a little easier than so much bread that I’m taking in with the pb&js, but that’s for another experimental run! I also checked a lot of my paces and they were around the 9:30-10:30 time, which is right where I wanted them to be. There were a few hills in the beginning on the new route that challenged me, but they will only make me stronger in the long term. Hills are friends, not enemies! I am really glad I checked out the new route as well for the first 8 miles, it took my mind off of running and kept me looking at all my new surroundings. I also downloaded some great new jams for this run, and I totally recommend them.

Throw It In The Bag – Fabolous Featuring the Dream

Good Girls Go Bad – Cobra Starship

Push The Feeling On – Nightcrawlers

Ice Cream Paint Job – Dorrough

Sandstorm – Darude ( this is the song that I listen to before every long run. It’s a weird, techno mix but it gets me pumped up, then I put it on shuffle)

La La La – LMFAO

Whatcha Say – Jason Derulo

Walkin’ On The Moon – The Dream with Kanye West

So Sharp – Mack 10

So before when I was running long runs and they were kicking my butt, now I can do this to them!

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This is another incredible find by my roommate who has an incredible knack for finding things while watching TV. Nigel from So You Think You Can Dance, said “Good luck! Fingers crossed!” but instead it looks like he’s mad and flipping off the contestants. Love it.

Now, bring on some more long distance runs! Let’s strengthen these legs and pass by the portapotties!

xoxo

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49 Responses to Wait, is this really happening?

  1. I’m so happy to have found your blog! I loved your recent 16 mile report. I too have had such a hard time with stomach issues while running. I’ve been training with a lower sugar sports drink (heed by Hammer Nutrition) that has helped quite a bit but I’m finding I get hungrier quicker. I’m training for a 1/2 Ironman in August and my huge issue is the bike to run GI problems. I’m determined to run at a good pace off the bike for this one. I can’t wait to read more posts.
    Cheers!
    Katrine

    PS – I also love my ifitness belt.

  2. Emily says:

    I’ve only run three times with a fuel belt (two long practice runs and my half marathon), and I noticed the same annoying banging on my hips. I haven’t run any long distances since my race a few weeks ago, but when I do, I’ll have to try the handheld. Your experience is encouraging because I’ve been hesitant to try it, too!

  3. Allyson says:

    Wow! Nice job!!! Very inspiring. Keep rockin’ girl!

  4. Kelly says:

    Yay for no bathroom stops! Way to go.

  5. Shannon says:

    Love the post!!! Congrats on the long run. I am only up to about 7 miles. I hate to carry anything when I run…so, I’m trying to figure out some options in terms of fuel and water as I add miles. You always give great ideas and tips! Thanks so much! :-)

    Shannon (@hendy2)

  6. Stef says:

    Which fuel belt do you have? I tried on the amphipod = too big. The local stores dont have many options for belts other than this one. I really want to try a fuel belt helium (heard not to go with the 4 bottler because of bouncing/sloshing etc??) but I’m going to have to make a trip to Portland to be able to find one to try on… which is fine because it means another shopping trip!! Have you tried Hammer gels? I think they are lower sugar than most and they are the only ones my tummy can handle. I’ve never run so fast in my life as the times I tried Gu, shotblox etc – mad GI issues with everything but Hammer. Just another thought ? But maybe I will try PB&J too – just got some homemade jam from my gma. Worth a shot but then I need a belt to carry it… another reason to shop. I have a handheld that I like for my shorter runs – Havent tried it on my long ones but have definitely wished I would have. We don’t have heat usually too bad in Oregon but recently we have and I’ve been wishin I had a belt or would just take my dang handheld…

    Love your blog. I’m working on finding the motivation to post more often on mine… :)

  7. rioruns says:

    Good job on the long run and your nutrition experiment! I switched from holding a bottle (without strap) to the Nathan 4 bottle belt about 8 months ago. I bought big so it would sit on my hips rather than waist-luckily it worked ok for me, but am thinking of trying the handheld with strap next. Tired of the sweat buildup underneath the belt.

  8. Amy says:

    great 16 miler! I’m so pleased your stomach cooperated! :) I happen to love my amphipod most of the time (although I get some chafing when it’s super hot), but used a hand held this morning for the first time at my track workout – kind of loved that for shorter workouts!

  9. christine says:

    way to go! I am right there with ya feeling good about long runs..for me right now it is 10 miles though. I had my first GOOD, I mean really GOOD 10 miler because of new hydration/fuel techniques! I’m glad you found somethin that works for you. I for one hate the handheld but I always switch around water systems because I hate ALL of them! I like to run freeeeee haha. Right now I’m using a CamelBak (for women) and yes it does get sweaty but it’s better than dying of thirst before I get to the scattered water fountains.

  10. CharmCityKim says:

    Congrats on your successful run!

    I have a “nervous” stomach that tends to hit me right before a race. I haven’t run anything past 10 miles and your post makes me a bit nervous! I’ve never tried snacking on my own (the 10 mile race offered mini clif bars) and just kind of assumed those little gel shots were safe! Yikes!

  11. Danielle C. says:

    Nice! It’s important to try out new things…never one to shy away from the TMI subjects, I also have some bathroom issues (although I think I’m pretty close to saying any dairy within 4 hours of a run will do it for me). Unfortunately for me there are only a couple of bathrooms on my routes and I’ve come VERY close to using some bushes before…It was a close call for sure. LOL

  12. Niki says:

    Great job on the 16 miler! So glad you found some fuel that doesn’t upset your tummy!!

  13. Marlene says:

    Welcome back to long distance running! :)

    Love the handheld experiment. I HATE my fuel belt and have major chafing/bruising, so I should give that a try.

  14. Morgan says:

    Congrats on a successful test run! YAY!

    I’ve been thinking about trying out the PB & J myself… not that gu’s bother me but just to switch it up so I have options.

    Can’t wait for the ibelt review!

  15. Sam says:

    Way to come through on TMI Tuesday! Ha ha … my wife uses a hand-held that she got from the running shop that basically has a handle on it, which makes it easier to carry, plus it has a zippered pocket to put your {insert food choice here} in.

    Re Sandstorm, I used to have that on my playlist when I ran with an iPod. I had a techno section about 3/4 of the way through to keep me rolling with a quick beat.

  16. Nicole says:

    I’m glad you found something that works & helps keep you going!

    Awesome 16 miler girl.. your gonna rock your next marathon i just KNOW it!!! :)

  17. Denise says:

    I’m glad you found something that doesn’t upset your stomach. Believe me, I know what you’ve been going through. Boiled potatoes are a great choice, too. Great job on a great run!

  18. aron says:

    lol you are hilarious girl :) LOVE the “handheld”! now go buy yourself a real one! hehe – I looove mine!

    YAY for no bathroom breaks!

  19. i loved this report! you make a good point about experimenting…. i think that it would add a little more to the run, a little more distraction (which is needed!).
    I need to check out this little belt, as well as re-read your last posts…. I thought you and 26.2 were breaking up?

    definite motivation to get out and run tonight!

  20. ShutupandRun says:

    So creative with the coozie. Plus you can look at it during your long run and think about that beer you get to have later as a reward. Nice 16 miler!!

  21. Lauren says:

    I can’t wait to hear about the belt!

  22. diana-d10 says:

    I have struggled with nutrition on long runs too. However, I think I have found the combination that works for me (hammer gel and NUUN). It is such a process. Bananas work well too.

  23. B.o.B. says:

    Glad you found your long run again. Like that Sex in the city where samantha loses her O. Hmm. yeah not the same. anyway glad you found it!

    also that ice cream paint job song is a total guilty pleasure. it’s awesome.

  24. You made that run your biotch!! So proud, you are my hero girlie! :)

  25. Lindsey says:

    Congrats on the successful 16 mile run! Sometimes it is all about finding the right combination. I loved the competitive eater reference! I have had GI issues in the past, but it usually occurred on 6-8 mile runs right after work. I think I have visited every public park’s restroom in the entire city of Denver. Oh the joy! I can’t wait to hear about your ifitness belt!

  26. Glenn Jones says:

    WTG on the long run! I know that it took me a while to get used to the longer distances, but these days 14 to 16 miles is not a huge deal. I just take it nice and slow. I’m talking 10:00 miles.

    I’m still slow, but I’m also old. And I’m a Dodger’s fan, so three strikes I guess!

  27. kristen says:

    Right on girl!

  28. Jen says:

    Congrats on the 16 miler! That’s awesome! I just tried a fuel belt for the first this past weekend for a 10 miler and wasn’t too happy with it moving around the whole time. Thanks for the tips!

  29. Alisa says:

    Yeah! Way to kick that distance in the booty.

    Also, HOORAY for more ChicRunner music selections, love those. Marathon…you don’t know what is coming…ChicRunner is going to attack you Mr. 26.2.

  30. Jamie says:

    I have said it before and I will say it again… YOU ROCK! Totally inspiring! Keep it up!

  31. Amanda says:

    Way to go lady! I was just thinking this morning that I want to add Sandstorm to my Ipod.

  32. Amen on the iFitness belt. I was really skeptical before using it.

    Did you pick one up in SF? The dude at the marathon expo sold me on it, I thought I was a sucker, but I’m very pleased.

  33. Jenny says:

    LOL about the fuel belt! I had a fight with my fuel belt a few weeks ago. Hate that thing. I bought a hand held but haven’t tried it yet!

  34. Yay, for no upset tummies! One day I hope to be where you are at and run a 14 miler!

  35. What’s this “loincloth” you speak of?? I would love to try pb&j’s on my runs because I get stomach issues to but my hydration belt has the teeniest, tiniest pouch EVER and it barely fits my blackberry – would never fit a pb&j sandwich!!!

    Good job on the no bathroom breaks, btw!!

  36. Molly says:

    I am so glad you wrote about the water belt issue. Ironically I was going to write about that in my next post on my blog because Sunday I ran 14 miles without the stupid belt and insteadd with a bottle in hand, it was a much more pleasant run! No chaffing, no extra weight, no shifting, I will never use it again! Love the cuzie idea too. Also the pb&strawberry j is what I eat right before I go on my long runs as well, I just may try to incorporate it in the middle of my run next time!

  37. Stuart says:

    Nice job on the PB&J and on the mileage…still can’t get over the loincloth! Check out Ultimate Direction bottles…and/or you can order Nathan ones through the WRC link on my site and get the discount!

  38. Great job with the run, ChicRunner! Long runs have nothing on you now…World, watch out!

  39. Shannon says:

    Great job! I’ve found I can only wear my fuel belt “backwards.” As in, the bottles are in the front instead of the back. I have too much of a ghetto booty for them to ride in the back! ha!

  40. Marcia says:

    Congrats on a nice run! I swear I am at the same place as you–in the process of “rewrapping” my head around the idea of another marathon. It’s good to know I am not alone!

  41. oz runner says:

    great job on the long run..i’ll have to try the pb&j squares, i have the same problem with upset stomach w gus…i love my handheld, i definitely suggest getting one with a strap though…check out the Ultimate Direction bottles at REI.com…

  42. J says:

    i eat Pb & j sandwiches all the time before running (especially in college) and it always worked well for me. I understand about the gus – I have trouble with them too.

  43. KatieA. says:

    Loved the run report! And yeah for no bathroom breaks! I always go through periods where I have that “issue” and then periods, like weeks, where I am free as a bird! Go figure!
    Love the handheld!

  44. A says:

    I have had the same issues with running and “issues”…then I read about Kefir. It’s super probiotic, and great for the GI issues! Give it a shot (I usually do 4 oz. in the morning)…its worth the $4 to have a happy run!

    I love your blog! You rock, girl!

  45. cindy says:

    great job on your 16 miles! sometimes it’s nice to run a distance like that just to run it. and yay for finding a good nutrition routine.
    p.s. love the beer cozy water bottle

  46. Ally says:

    Congrats!!! So glad that you didn’t have any problems on your run! It’s amazing how much of a difference feeling sick and off really makes in running.

    I need to step up my long run distances as well–I haven’t done a good long run since June. Ugh!!

  47. Billy Burger says:

    Wow, that sure is a lotta talk about going to the bathroom. Haha…

    Great job girl. Sorry for the late post, just getting caught up here. And you’re doing exactly what you’re supposed to be doing on the long runs – EXPERIMENTING!

    Crossing my fingers we can both be running Malibu with no foot pain for me, no stomach issues for you. Sub-4 in November…keep it up Danica!

  48. RoadBunner says:

    Great job!

    I personally love my handheld, too! I also have a Nathan fuel belt but like the handheld because I feel like I drink more frequently since it is more convenient.

    At SFM I refilled my handheld twice so never stopped at the stations. I have to admit a full 22 oz bottle does get a little heavy. I rarely switch hands when I run but maybe I should start beefing up my left arm!

    I’m glad you found fuel that works for you. Sounds like you’re an ultra runner at heart eating PBJ!

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