Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tuesday Ten: A 12 Mile Run

1. If you're going to run 12 miles you have to get up early enough to eat something more than just a banana.  Otherwise you end up with your stomach actually growling hungry right about mile 9 when your calorie burn has reached about 900.

2. Body conditions and weather conditions mean everything.  If the weather is cooperative - i.e., cool temperatures, no wind, and if you're relatively injury free and have nutritionally prepared properly leading up to it, you'll probably have a decent run.  In other words, hydrated and 42 degrees and calm is a heck of a lot easier to run in than dehydrated and 42 degrees and windy.

3.  Pay attention to dogs and other animals along the way.  Even if they're with a person:
  • My thought: "Oops, a dog with no leash, gotta stop." 
  • Said to me, “He’s really friendly, he won’t hurt you.”
  • Said by me, “No offense but I've learned not to run by dogs without leashes.” 
Followed by the owner grabbing the dog's collar, and as soon as I went by the dog, it lunged at me and growled.  Alrighty then.

4. No matter how much Body Glide you use, chances are you will end up with a chafe in a place.  Or two.  Which you won't discover until you get in the shower.  Water hitting it = "YEOW!"

5. You can't think about the entire distance, otherwise you'd probably never do it. Breaking the run down into segments will help you get through it.  Even then, you'll probably have a mile or two where you really struggle, both mentally and physically (why hello there mile 7-8!).  That's when you just have to gut it out.

6. You'll enjoy a 12 mile run the most if you don't keep looking at your Garmin to check your pace.  It's not a race, its a run.  And forget about comparing your current pace with your faster pace blah blah years ago.  It doesn't matter because every run is it's own creature.  Enjoy it and just run.

7. If you carry your phone/camera with you on the run and it's autumn in New England, you will probably be able to capture some really spectacular photos!

Remember the water fountain photo from my training run this past summer?
Here it is again

8.  Sometimes you will even see things that surprise you.

I thought summer was over!

Wait a minute!  It's not winter yet either!

9.  At some point later in the day, even after your ice bath, you will discover that you have some body parts that are aching and spots that are burning.  Don't ignore that if you want to run long distance again.

10.  After you run 12 miles, you really appreciate the 1398 calories you burned.  Because you eat whatever you want, including chocolate covered cake balls.  Food tastes better than it ever has before!

Here's those short ribs, over creamy polenta.  YUM.


  1. GREAT post!!! Your poor legs...and your beautiful toe nails!
    Where is your phone while you are running?

  2. I still can't get over the hydrangea...love that you had three seasons of nature on that run!

    Your number 4? I've written almost the exact same thing (complete with shower ouch) on my run recap! Those chafe surprises are, well, SURPRISING!

    Knock on wood, I haven't had any encounters with unleashed dogs (yet). I like dogs, but that is just plain unnerving.

    And wait - you didn't have a bagel before you ran?!? Tsk, tsk. ;)

    Your dinner looks divine, and I love your place mats.

    /Baby L. out. :)

  3. Drooling here over the short ribs and polenta, not to mention the cake balls!

    You are hard-core, Helen. I am always wowed by your athleticism.

  4. 12 miles is awesome. I can't even begin to image running that far. Good job!

    Glad the dog was held back. That's kind of scary.

    I'm going to go get me some bodyglide. On long hikes I tend to get some rub spots that hurt like the devil for a few days. Ouch!

    Great calorie burn!

  5. Someday, I will run 12 miles. And I will wear the chafing as a badge of honor. Sigh.

  6. Wow - I'm impressed with you athleticism. This was such an informative post for runners, and even long distance walkers. I walked a half once and some of what you said applies. I'd love to think I could run again someday. It's up to my knees and my weight. Wouldn't try it until I dropped at least 20 pounds, what with that 4 pounds of impact for every extra pound of weight.

  7. Ooooo...the body glide part made me laugh OUT LOUD. Oh the memories of that exact thing happening to me. Thanks for the reminder. I needed that laugh!

  8. I think I may be against any food with the word BALLS in it.

    Loaf and balls. Not good.

    The tree color is fantastic. I think you must have dillydallied a bit to take so many photos.

  9. Those purty trees make the run worth it, don't you think?

    Dogs - ugh! They are even worse when I bike for some reason. It just makes dogs want to chase after you like crazy.

  10. 11. Bask in the admiration from your bloggy peeps that you've run 12 miles, just like that.

    WOW, Helen, that is AWESOME! And I know never say 'never' but I don't think I'll EVER be a runner, so you get double bonus points in my book for making it look awesome. And oh, the leaves, the LEAVES! Breathtaking.

  11. I dunno Helen. I must be a wienie. But I'm not sure there is any food that is worth that much pain! This from someone who truly loves food!

    But I am so impressed by your determination. Yours and Shelley's. Impressed enough that I am considering challenging myself to walk longer distances.

    Thanks for sharing the wonderful pictures. I hope to make it back to New England someday for the fall foliage.

    And you know I am a dog lover, but HATE dog owners who allow their dogs off leash and think their dogs are perfect.

    Wait. Really? You did a 12 mile run with just a banana to start? Can't even comprehend that.

  12. I like how you break up your race like that - makes it seem way more manageable! :D

    Thanks for the tree picks!!! I love it!

  13. Oh I hurt for you! It sounds painful but I know you had a sense of accomplishment and what a treat to eat afterwards! Cake balls!!

  14. Love the pictures, hate to see you are in some discomfort from the run. Glad you take care of it quickly though.
    I am so amazed at how much you run! You rock!
    And those cake balls looked delish too...
    My dog is also friendly but when someone runs by me she doesn't necessarily know they are friendly so I ALWAYS make her sit with me off to the side until they have run by. I call it a courtesy as I don't want her to lunge out thinking I am being threatened by someone running towards me....you just never know what goes on in a dogs mind.

  15. you HAD ME at cakeballs!!

    I think my BUTBUT I GIT SOME CAKEBALLS is the fact I caint run one mile---let alone 12 :)

  16. I love the pictures of the leaves. It's such a beautiful time of the year to workout outside.

  17. Great run! I love the pictures you took. #3, the one about dogs, is so true! I've had a few bad experiences, but I still just run past. Haha, I should smarten up and take your advice!

  18. Love this post!

    I always break up my long runs in parts of 2K (1.2 miles) because if I think about the total distance it freaks me out. After 2K I say to myself, okay 2 more to go and so on.

    Thank you about your comment on my last post about the pace, I've read it here too.

    I've decided that since this will be my first half marathon I am going to listen to my body and run by that and not going to pay attention to pace anymore. Once I've run my first half and I still like it and I have a time to compare I am going to train my pace. For now finishing is the important thing!

    Beautiful pictures!

  19. Beautiful pics, 12 mile run - awesome!