Today I ran 9 miles on the Saguaro National Monument East Loop (paved - including the picnic loop) followed by 10.5 miles on the Cactus Forest Trail (from the Visitor's Center). It was fantastic! My fueling was perfect - I felt great the whole time, plenty of energy, and no stomach problems. I used Hammer Heed, Hammer Perpetuem, Clif Blox, and Hammer Endurolytes (electrolyte replacement). The Hammer products are great since there is no sugar.
The last 2 miles my legs were getting tired, but I felt that was normal since this was my longest run so far in my training. I know I'll be ready for my marathon on March 30.
I did the run in two pieces. I don't have anyone to run the whole run with, so I was blessed to be joined by some road running friends for the first part (paved) and then some trail running friends for the second part (trails).
I met my friends Nancy and Lisa (she's moved back from Oregon to stay!) first thing this morning and did the 9 mile loop. It was pretty cold at the start (about 38 degrees) but by the time we were done, it had warmed up nicely! This loop is great hill training. It has one monster hill in the middle that goes on and on. I feel like my conditioning is coming along because it wasn't that hard!
It was so wonderful to see Lisa and Nancy. I had not run with Nancy since January 5th and I hadn't seen Lisa since November when she moved to Oregon. They are amazing women and I'm so glad they are in my life!
After we were done, they went on their way and my friend Laurie and a new friend of mine, Shari, met me and we did the remaining 10.5 miles on the Cactus Forest Trail. Shari has done an Ironman and Laurie will be training for one in the Fall (she has already done a half Ironman). This trail is nice single track with some rolling hill action and some rocky areas. I love it!
I went home and ate A LOT. I'm usually hungry all day when I run this long! However, I'm trying to be good. I ate some extra firm tofu (protein!) and 3 thick slices of some heavy duty whole grain bread (Essene bread). Essene bread is just made with sprouted grain - nothing else. No sugar, no yeast, nothing. It is very sweet and moist and amazing and has protein, fiber and carbs! I get it at the health food store.
I gained weight last year during marathon training (I can eat all I want right? I'm training for a marathon!), so this year I'm trying to eat lots of berries, cherries, fruit in general, whole grains (brown rice, whole grain pasta), tons of veggies, salmon, lean ground beef, tofu, and lots of beans. I do allow myself some sweets - chocolate! However, I try to limit it to small pieces of dark chocolate, Skinny Cow fudge bars, and dark chocolate covered edamame (Trader Joe's, yum! Lots of fiber and protein). Angie's last post got me thinking about my diet again. I know my training goes better when I eat better. It is just so hard to make good choices when I'm hungry all the time!The trail just heals my soul. I continue to fall more in love with the Tucson desert.
I'm getting a massage today. My shins and calves are super tight and still sore. Can't wait! Have a good day, ya'll!