Today I ran 13.1 miles! One of the things I’ve come to really enjoy about training is being able to find new things around Santa Barbara that I didn’t know about before. So far, I’ve been using an application called runningmap.com where you type in your location and can mark where you’ll be running. It helps me have a general idea of how long I’ll be running so my runs aren’t too short or too long.
While using runningmap yesterday to map my run for today, I saw that less then four miles from my house was a lake! I’ve been in this area multiple times but never knew there was a lake, so I decided to check it out. No joke, it was one of the most beautiful sights I’ve ever seen on a run. You enter off the side of the road onto this unmarked dirt path, then follow it about a mile down until the lake appears. Once I got a half mile in or so, I started to hear a flute playing that I couldn’t locate. I thought maybe I stumbled upon some sort of ceremony, only to find a mile later an older man playing a wooden flute next to the lake. I turned down my music and listened as a ran by him, then came up near the top of the lake where the pictured view is. One of my favorite things about Santa Barbara is that from some points you can be looking at both the ocean and the mountains, which is truly one of the most incredible sights I have ever seen. This was one in the same for me. It was a beautiful sight to see and I’m truly glad I stumbled upon the lake while mapping out my run yesterday.
Through training, one other thing I have learned is that positive reinforcement is extremely helpful during long runs. My running partner has been away for the past three weeks, meaning since I ran ten miles three weeks ago I have been on my own for all of the long runs. It gets really boring after a while running by yourself for over an hour or more. I read a lot of experienced runners blogs to find ways to work around these problems and to learn about things I should know going into my first marathon, and I found a lot of advice suggesting you learn how to positively motivate yourself during the run. Thinking to yourself “good job, keep up the great work” may seem a little ridiculous, but I tried it for a little while today and found that it really did help. I generally try to not think about running itself and busy myself with other thoughts, then find myself after a certain amount of miles getting really bored trying to think up new thoughts. This time I instead started talking positively to myself when I got bored and it helped me get through some tougher patches.
For my next long run, I get to run in my home town and I’m so excited! I haven’t been home since February, and I’m really looking forward to running some familiar territory. I’m also going to check out some hydration techniques with my next long run, like nuuns, so that I can find a system that works well for me during race day. So far I haven’t been using anything other then water before and after runs, and I learned today after I began feeling really thirsty at mile 8 that it might be a good idea to start using gel packets or some electrolyte fueled drink.