Monday, November 1, 2010
Long Run Recap
Well, yesterday was a tough one. First, the eldest was here for two weeks for mid-tour leave, and then he was gone, so I was sad and mopey all weekend. :( He's only got six or seven months left in the Army (depending on how much leave he has saved up by then), so we'll have him home for good soon enough, though.
And I had a long run that I needed to get in. So I ate a mini bagel with a little peanut butter, and gave it about 45 minutes to settle. Then I started running, and I was going too fast. I tend to do that when I'm stressed and upset, and it usually works well to ease the stress, but yesterday I had planned a 16-miler. NOT the best plan. So, anyway, I was pounding along - I took a walk break every mile for 20-30 seconds to drink from my Camelbak, but I didn't take in anything else. (This is important).
I pass a convenience store on this particular route at about mile 7 and again at about mile 9. I had one pack of Gu, and I had a half-baked idea in my head that I'd stop at the store and get a banana or something on mile 9, and then finish the last 7.
But I got to mile 8 (where the potty is) and stopped, and realized that I had forgotten my Gu. I ate it then, and had a bathroom break, and a little stretch, and then started back. Since I had just eaten my Gu, I didn't feel all that hungry at mile 9. So I kept running.
At mile 10, I was a little hungry. Mile 11 - a little hungrier. By mile 12 I was ready to gnaw my own leg off. But it was three miles back to the convenience store, and only four home. My legs were cramping at this point, so I stopped for a quick stretch break before heading on.
Mile 13 - my legs were still cramping, there was a tightness in my hip that I hadn't noticed before and my stomach is complaining to beat the band. I stretch again, and keep going.
Mile 14 - I started wondering if there's anything edible on the side of the road. I'm not kidding - I'm looking for leftover dead berries from the summer or some sheep sorrel or some edible fungi - ANYTHING, because I'm bonking HARD. My pace has slowed and my legs are still cramping. At this point, my husband drives by, takes one look at me and slows the truck. He points to the passenger side and I give it up. I ride the last bit home in the truck. And go immediately to the kitchen for a giant glass of chocolate milk and some leftover chicken. I can't remember when I've been that hungry before!
So, I cut the run short by two miles. I'm not happy with that, but it was still a tough run. My pace was just slightly over 11 minutes per mile for the whole distance, but the first 8 miles were just over a 10 minute per mile pace.
Lessons learned: you need more fuel than a mini-bagel to start a long run. You need to refuel at various intervals, and one pack of Gu halfway through is probably not enough. I should have had the Gu at mile 4, and a banana at mile 8 or 9. Then, although I might have been a little hungry, I should have been able to finish the last 7 miles or so. Oh, and it's probably not a great idea to start a long run at your tempo run pace. But I'll do better next week!
On a positive note, this is the scenery I was running through:
It's gorgeous here right now. The weather was perfect - sunny and cool, with a little breeze. And the lake is gorgeous, too - we're lucky to live so close to it!
So, ultimately I think it was a valuable training run. Better to figure out the food issue now than at Disney. And the pace issue, for that matter. We have a half-marathon in just under two weeks and I'm going to try to get some good photos.
Big Fat Greek Marathon Fund: $50
Goal: Unknown (they send out information in February)
Days until our next race: 13