Sunset Run – 15.27 miles

sunset

Today’s run brought a mixture of many different thoughts. It is certainly an interesting point in this process (of training for the Long Beach Marathon in the short run) but also what’s going on outside of the training. As I hinted a couple of times in the previous posts, I am an avid hiker, more like addicted to it, and hiking long miles every weekend has become an integral part of my being.

I’ll talk about that more in depth in another time, but for now, I quite enjoyed another long (about 20 miles) hike past Saturday, traversing in and out of a few different trails in x-country style, over 10 hours, over 7,400 feet elevation gain and bagging 6 peaks, including Mt. San Gorgonio Peak (11,503 feet).

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In other words, it was a strenuous hike. However, the reason why I did it is not only because it was another weekend hike but also because I knew it would be good for strength training, especially when it involves continuous uphill battles of 6,000 feet elevation gain in 4 hours in spite of only 7-mile distance, that involves pretty steep hill climbs and supposedly strengthens quads, glutes and hamstrings. And most of all, it is just pure fun.

Up to last weekend, I rested early part of each Sunday before the long run later in the day. But when I stepped out and started running for less than a quarter mile this Sunday, I felt that my legs weren’t fully recovered. So, I decided to give them a full day off. And today, I tried to load up as much carbs as I could in my system.

Today’s run was about 15 1/4 miles (15.27 miles based on the route that I created). Due to the fact that my phone died on me right after the 12 mile mark, I don’t have the full data recorded.

Screenshot 2014-08-25 22.00.04

But, as you can see, from the moment my phone died to the time I got back home and replugged my phone to charge, MapMyRun drew a straight line, which is quite amusing. Too bad that I don’t have the full data to analyze. But from what was recorded, we can decipher a few things.

Screenshot 2014-08-25 22.01.09

Today’s goal was to try to keep the pace under 7:30 pace. But, my pace was definitely slowing down after 10 mile mark. And while still waiting for my order to arrive from Amazon this week, I purchased one of the energy gel brands from the nearest Big 5 yesterday.

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Based on what I’ve read so far, it is recommended to take it in every hour (in case of running long runs) with the fact in mind that it takes time to kick in, depending on your digestive system. This pack of PowerGel offers 110 Calories, 200mg of Sodium, 20mg of Potassium, and 27g of Carbohydrate. And 10g of Sugars. I took it exactly at one hour mark, which happened to be right after the 8 mile point. To my disappointment, it did not kick in at all, although I was reminded that it is more of psychological impact than its actual effect until it does really kick in, which wasn’t necessarily the case for me.

Although this isn’t the first time taking energy gels, I have no previously recorded data to refer to or compare this to. In other words, I will have to test drive more and see what happens. Apparently, without it working, it is seriously draining all my energy out of my body. The noticeable side effects are stiffness around my shoulders, back of my neck and a definite slowdown in pace.

Screenshot 2014-08-25 21.58.36

This is the actual route that I ran. It was definitely less than what I had in mind, which is 16 miles, but obviously it wasn’t the ideal day to pull that off. Lesson learned that I will have to make long runs work on the weekends, because workdays are not the best time to execute any of them. It simply is not easy. And commuters get in the way as well.

This week, back to strength training. Also, taking those energy gels during the run really needs to work.

The sunset shot was taken while running along the Venice boardwalk (aka Ocean Front Walk).

So, how is your training coming along if you are training for a race? What is your take on energy gels? How do you keep the energy level high?

Thanks for reading.

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About H Peter Ji Photography

I am a photographer. My photos have been sold on EyeEm, Adobe Stock and ShutterStock and also featured on ViewBug and G+ Landscape Photography Community, and via Death Valley National Park Instagram and Facebook. My work is the natural byproduct of my love for outdoors - backpacking, hiking and camping in nature.

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