Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Lessons Learned on a Long Run

Long runs are good for more than physical conditioning. It is a good opportunity to try out new gear and learn how your body responds to different types of fuel.

Lesson #1: I need my hands free.
I got a new Nathan water bottle a few weeks ago and used it for the first time during the Million Inch run. To be honest, I am NOT a fan. I had a lot of issues with it and almost chucked it into the ditch. I am a very handsy person. I like to have my hands free to wipe sweat, get hair out of my eyes, adjust my pants, change my iPod, scratch an itch, mess with my poor nameless Garmin (interested in helping me name him? click HERE) and adjusting my heart rate monitor. I found it quite annoying to have one hand occupied at all times. Since I have lost about 10 pounds since Dec 1. (yep, I am bragging) I am having issues with my heart rate monitor, as in it wont stay up. I have tightened it to the max and it still slips down. I have to tuck it up under my bra and let me tell you, if it slips I cannot fix it with one hand. I had to shove the water bottle under my armpit so that I could mess with the monitor. Then, my iPod shuffle came unclipped from my pants and dangled behind me. I had to put the bottle in my teeth so that I could get the iPod back in to place. When I got hot wearing my cute new gloves (courtesy of Tall Mom thanks!!) I had to once again put the bottle between my teeth. The last straw was when I was shutting the valve and pinched my tongue. Not cool. So I will be putting the Nathan water bottle in my workout gear basket and maybe, just maybe give it a try in the spring.

Lesson #2: Ziploc bags are brilliant!
Duh! Thanks to Kerrie T. I was able to carry my iPhone on this run, and thank goooooodness! We were all hanging around the start when I noticed that Kerrie and Zoe had their phones in Ziploc bags to keep the rain out. Brilliant I tell you, these girls are thinkers! I asked Kerrie if she had an extra baggy not really expecting her to and she did! She had one bag tucked in her fuel belt holding a Nuun tablet. She gave me the baggy and took a chance with the Nuun getting wet. I forgot to ask her if it disintegrated in her belt. I put my phone in the baggy and shoved it in the small pocket on the back of my pants...which leads me to....

Lesson #3: Do not put your cell phone in the small pocket in the back of your pants (especially if you are using a handheld Nathan water bottle).
At the time I thought it was brilliant. I put my phone in the back pocket. It was the perfect size and fit right in. I zipped it up and off we went. I wasn't 2 minutes in when my tights started sagging lower, and lower, and lower. I mean I was feeling a draft down my crack. Not good. Well if it weren't for that dad-gummed water bottle I would have just taken the phone right out and put in my jacket pocket. BUT...BUT I had that stupid water bottle. This is the first time I had to tuck it under my arm pit, slip of at least one glove, unzip the small pocket and shimmy the phone out of the snug pocket (Oh man! I forgot to apologize to the pack of dudes behind me who undoubtedly saw my crack during the ordeal). I put the phone in my jacket pocket which was pretty annoying for the remainder of the run (I should have thought to bring the awesome tested and approved arm band for my phone).

Lesson #4: Pig tails and hats are good.
When the weather is wet my hair has serious issues. I have finished runs where I couldn't get a comb through my hair without loading it up with conditioner. This time I put the hair in pig tail braids and threw a hat on top. This left my hair untangled at the end of the run! Score!

Lesson #5: When my battery is low on my iPod it will last at least 12 more miles at around a 9:13/mile pace.
During my 12 miler in Oklahoma I started out my run and turned on my shuffle just to hear "Battery low." But much to my surprise and relief it did not die and lasted the entire run! Good to know!

Lesson #6: I don't mind running by myself.
While running with friends is awesome I don't have a problem running by myself. The 15.78 miles seemed to fly by. Point to point races are a good way to ensure I don't quit. It's not like I can quit and just head back to my car. You have to get from point A to point B. When my hip was hurting I knew I had to just finish. But there are times like when I was doing the 12Ks of Christmas. I was looking for a shortcut. I wanted to sneak through a neighborhood or something just to finish sooner. I wanted to take out my iPhone and get directions and find the shortest route to the end BUT I had no idea what address to put in for the start. Bummer. I digress....I did not mind running alone this time. It would have been nice to have a buddy but it is also nice to get lost in my own head and just zone out. No pressure, no distractions. Just me, myself, and I. I kind like running with me. I am learning a lot about myself lately and I like what I am learning. I am strong, both mentally and physically. I will run with me any day.

***Don't forget to enter my Name My Garmin Contest! The winner will get an awesome surprise!! It will be worth it! I promise!! Click HERE!

Today I am grateful for:
Barnes and Noble and a gift card from my sister!
The Olympics. I love how the world seems to come together during the games.
My new nephew! He is a doll!!
Friends who watch my Little Buddy so I can run (ahem....Carrie! Thanks a million!).


  1. I agree with the hands free part. That is why I haven't gotten a water bottle! I just get annoyed too easily when I have to keep adjusting....great job on losing 10lbs as well!

  2. The hand held doesn't bother me that much - that being said, it can screw with your gait, so I normally don't run with one unless it is a short, hot run.

  3. Well, that was one educational long run! Sorry the handheld did not work out for you. I have grown to love mine, but different strokes for different folks! Have you ever considered an ifitness pouch or a spibelt? They are great for carrying phones, ipods, gels, etc.

  4. I don't like things in my hands either. I would not be a candidate for the Nathan hand held. I love running with friends but I don't like to talk during a race. I feel I need all of my energy! I do love point to point races. When you go down a hill you don't have to worry about coming up it later!

  5. super cute post! I hate running with a handheld too! I also just figured out the whole ziploc bag thing ... so simple, but somehow I never thought of it!

    Congrats on a great run!

  6. I ALSO struggled with the nathans! I wrote about it on my blog too...I am going to try it out some more but I am skeptical about our longterm future together:)

    The plastic baggie trick is great...now that I blog I use it all the time to tote my camera around with me.

  7. I stole the bag idea from Zoe, so I can't take all the credit. And, the back pocket thing? LOL! I did the same thing on a run last fall! I was like, whoa, my bum is going to be hanging out here in a sec.

  8. Oh my goodness - a ziploc baggie! This is brilliant! Thanks for sharing the tip. Also, it is good to get your take on the water bottle. I have considered getting one and I need to figure out if I am that into having my hands free or not. I thought I needed hands free but ended up having to carry my entire set of keys this morning...I was wishing it was water. Maybe that is my answer! :) (I have a Spi belt that I put my phone and ipod in...works out nicely. Sometimes it rides up, but not annoying enough to make me want to take it off or anything.)

    I'm glad you have someone you trust to watch your little one while you run. Yay! Someone you trust is worth their weight in gold!

  9. Yeah I have to continuously remember to flip flop it between my hands so it doesn't screw up my gait. So annoying. Great lessons learned though!

  10. I love my handheld, I can do anything with it, even rip open a gu. I jsut trust the hand strap..

    Love all that you learned.. I am really proud of you for running alone, that would have been TOUGH!! The course was BORING, you totally rocked it out and will be great on Marathon day.. Which FYI I found a blogger running the same race, let me know if you want her info.. The Running Lawyer.

  11. I truly enjoyed this post and laughed laughed laughed. I have had so many wardrobe, cell phone, ipod malfunctions and think to myself every time that it would make a funny blog post but then forget.

    I was on call at the mill once and shoved my phone in my sports bra only to get a call and have to dig in on the side of a very busy 4 lane road to get it out and talk. Very embarrassing.

  12. Oh my gosh I can so relate! Thanks for a great post. I have the same water bottle and have dealt with it but don't LOVE it. I am able to do a few things while holding it but it's just annoying. I switch between hands sometime but still...it gets old. I really want to try one that goes around the waist. Have you tried that?

    The ZIPLOC...great idea. I will for sure be using one of those next time. I have put my phone in my jacket which works unless I take it off and then I don't know what to do with it because I hate putting it in my back pocket.

    Running by myself is my prefrence. I don't mind running with others sometimes but mostly by myself is best for me. I know some people run with others to keep going and to stay motivated but I can do that by myself. I get in the zone. I run to have ME time and to just think about whatever is going on.

    Thanks again for a great post...I really enjoyed reading it.

    Oh and by the way...You look AMAZING! Way to go...10 pounds lost is great! Was it just the running?

  13. Yes, you are right...it sounds like that darn bottle is the root of all problems. I am surprised you just didn't throw it in a ditch somewhere along the run ;) Tall Mom is right though, you can pretty much do anything if you just rely on the hand strap. Great job on the run, especially since you were bamboozled into running 16.4!!

  14. Very educational, thanks! I don't like the hand held water bottle either; I like to use my hands to do a million other things to distract me. I had to laugh at the phone in your pants ... I've done that, too, and spent way too much time pulling 'em up. Great post, thanks!!

  15. I really like the handheld and want one but I think I would have similar problems that you had. Maybe it would be better in the summer when you aren't wearing as much clothing???

  16. I hate my handheld too!! I honestly thought I was alone in that thought! I only take one when I know I absolutely need one, otherwise, never.

  17. I like running with myself and I. Well, I run with my dog - Buttercup. She is usually ahead of me and I am trying to keep up with her. But she is good, she will stop and wait on me while I play catch-up with her.

    Where do you put your phone when you run?


You're pretty much awesome!!


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