My First 13.1, Week 4, Runs 11-14

The gear, that’s what this week was about. in my mind shoes should be the only things a runner needs, and I am sure that there are people out there that easily run 13.1 miles with just their shoes, clothes, and a swig of water but that’s not likely me. Coach Katie Barrett started talking about several things to consider when prepping for my first 13.1. Earlier today I did my long run which was 55 minutes and I attempted to prep the way I would for race day.

It did not go as I had hoped.

My little helper <3

My little helper <3


A few years back I did a 15k run and used some gummy energy things that were pretty tasty, but I found that I needed a lot of water to wash them down. I am not a fan of drinking a lot of water while running. Today I thought I would give those gel packets a try. There are so many variations! Most of them are full of non-food ingredients that I try to avoid. I ended up settling on a brand called Huma, their gels are all natural and the ingredient list is pretty short and recognizable. This morning I packed the lemonade flavor and downed half of it around 30 minutes into the run. I tend to prefer to run on an empty stomach so it seemed like a good idea to only have half, and it’s a good thing I did. I didn’t realize that the gel contained caffeine. Almost immediately I got really tingly and found it hard to breath deeply. I can be a little sensitive to caffeine and I guess that combining all that sugar with an upper was a bit too much of a shock to my system. I was barely able to finish my run today and had to slow significantly to keep from getting light-headed. I almost threw the whole box out when I got home, but upon closer inspection (Iz insisted on helping) only some of the packs contain caffeine. I am a little nervous about trying them again, but maybe I will push it to the last 15 minutes just in case.


What do you wear when you run more than a few miles??? Leggings are too warm, shorts let my inner thighs rub, my tight sports bras are too constricting and the others allow too much shifting. This is something that I am going to have to figure out sooner than later. I felt fine in my first three runs of the week, but my run today was a mess. I thought running in shorts would be the key to crushing a warm morning, but yours truly has not been the owner of a thigh-gap since she was (maybe) 12. I also wore one of my more supportive bras and found that it was just too much, especially when I was having trouble breathing deeply from the caffeine.


Into the trash went my SPIBELT as soon as I completed my run. I bought it at least 5-6 years ago and the stretch had started to weaken and some of the stitches connecting the pouch were unraveling. It seems that the past month of training really put it over the edge and it bounced so much I thought I might have a raw spot on my back. A new belt was far overdue, hopefully the one on order from Amazon will treat me right.

It was still dark when I headed out for my run, but it was “Race Day”, so I threw on my new visor and hoped for the best. The hat I usually run with was making my head steamy so I thought a visor would be better. It might be, but as you might be able to tell today was the perfect storm of race speed bumps. I had a haircut yesterday and my stylist very kindly gave me a super sleek blowout. I french braided my hair as I usually do and it immediately began to slip out with each step. Pieces of hair were getting stuck to my face and my visor was slipping off of my head. Every 2 minutes or so I had to wiggle it down my head and my hair would get more tangled in the adjustable velcro strip gggrrrrrr…..the visor was not working with my slippery hair. With just 5 minutes left in my run I was so frustrated by it I had to take it off. I am going to try another hairstyle to hold the visor down, I still have hopes. I do think that I need to get some sunglasses in addition to a visor. The sun was low and reflecting off the water as I reached the last mile of my run.

Tomorrow is the start of week 5

Ending my first month of training with a day like today was not ideal, but I got through it and I actually felt great until I downed the caffeine. There were lots of little annoyances, but I have a new running belt on the way and I ordered little refillable pouches so that I can try to make my own race fuel. Tomorrow is the start of week 5 and I am excited to see how the changes I make impact my runs.

Run 11: Easy run + 6lb vest, 30 minutes 2.9 miles.

Run 12: Temp run + 6lb vest, 40 minutes 4.1 miles.

Run 13: Recovery run + 6lb vest, 20 minutes 1.9 miles.

Run 14: Long run + intervals, 55 minutes 6 miles.

HikeAmber13.1, run, gearComment