Today's longrun begins the "Battle of the Energy Bars 2006." Last night I purchased the following:
Snickers Marathon Energy Bar (220 cal, 2g fiber, 10g protein)
Pria Double Chocolate Cookie Power Bar (110 cal, 1g fiber, 5g protein)
Harvest Whole Grain Double Chocolate Crisp Power Bar (250 cal, 5g fiber, 10g protein)
Clif Chocolate Brownie Energy Bar (240 cal, 5g fiber, 10g protein)
Today I left for my 10.5 mile longrun just before 7 AM. I was equipped with my cel phone and the Snickers Marathon Energy Bar. My course was to be a semi-familiar one, just farther than I'd ever run it. For the first two miles or so I actually pretended to do a (runcast) podcast. Basically, I talked to myself. I explained my history with running/fitness/weight loss/etc. I guess it took until the 3-mile point. At that point I was up to my half-marathon experience last year. I decided to call it quits on the runcast. I figured I should go ahead and start on the energy bar since I was approximately 1/3 done with the longrun already. It was beautiful outside and I was right on pace. I was, as usual, trying to maintain a 12-minute mile (inclusive of walking breaks).
At about the 5-mile point I saw the population sigh for the next town, Haskell. Well, Haskell should be called Haskhill (and that is self-explanatory). I was doing plenty of walking due to the hills. I wondered if I could keep my overall pace. Well guess what -- I did! I got to the halfway point (5.25 miles) with seven seconds to spare.
At the halfway point I have been stopping the Garmin and taking an extended walking/breathing break and I eat the energy bar. I know I won't be able to do that on race day, but it sure is nice for now!
I turned the Garmin back on and headed home. I started running up a huge hill when I decided to conserve my energy and walk. At 6.11 miles I noticed a handsome stranger pulling over and coming towards me with a water bottle. OK... it was my husband... but I had you going for a minute, didn't I!?! He was beaming, and I was, too. He said he was so proud of me and he wanted to come out and support me. Awwwww! So I turned off the Garmin again and talked with him for a minute or two. Off he went, and on went the Garmin and I was headed back up the hill.
Mile 7.5 marked me getting back on "my side of the interstate." I thought to myself "just a little more than a 5K and I'm done" like it was nothing. My how times have changed! Through the entire longrun I was thinking of the National Lampoon's song "Holiday Road" and that kept me smiling.
Mile 8.5 is where I am almost to the bridge that I used to think was so terribly long. It's really not. At mile 9 I feel like I'm a hop, skip and jump from home. I was projecting where I'd be at mile 10 with a half mile to go. I was right! That point is right in front of a bird shop. I got there, on pace, by the skin of my teeth. I had six minutes to get to my imaginary finish line. I did let myself walk for a little more than a minute. By then I could see the ending point. So I took off and ran on glycogen fumes! I passed the line at 2:05:49. I met my goal! The average pace was 11:59 per mile. YAY!
Just as I started my cooldown walk home, here comes my husband again. He wanted to be there when I finished, but he thought it would be a few more minutes. No sir! Oh well - I was happy to see him. He informed me that he had mini-croissants baking for me, as well as a bowl of fruit. Now THAT is the way to finish a longrun! After my stretching, I enjoyed the nice breakfast with my wonderfully supportive man.
About the energy bar: I was a little concerned that the chocolate on top would melt in the pocket of my running shorts, especially when it was a partial bar waiting to be finished. It really didn't , but it was kind of difficult to eat with the chocolate, caramel, etc. I suppose they're all chewy, though. I didn't feel totally depleted or anything. I mean, I felt this run, but I was always capable of finishing it. So, I guess the Snickers Marathon Energy Bar gets two thumbs up... but I suspect some of the others might get better reviews. We shall see. Have a great weekend!