Or “How not to do your 20-miler”
First, a little background. I moved my 20-miler to four weeks pre-marathon. Ragnar Relay is three weeks pre-marathon. At 21.8 miles total, it’ll be my biggest mileage weekend, but it won’t be continuous. So, that left my 20-miler to be done New Year’s weekend.
On Christmas Day, I had a wonderful 16-miler in the company of my sister. She ran me all over the hills of our hometown (the net elevation change was a 1200ft – but my usual elevation change is about 30 feet… so, yeah, it was tough towards the end). Temperatures were in the 40s. I managed to hold a 10:20 pace.
Two days later, I knocked out 5 miles at a 10:00 pace on the treadmill. I can handle the cold, but it was in the 30s and raining! Then, it was a windy, chilly 10 miler at a 10:23 pace. The wind chill made it feel like 1 degree above freezing! That night, I hopped in the car to begin the 20 hour drive back to Florida! Friday, I had every intention of doing my training run first thing in the morning. This didn’t work out due to a flat tire and my boyfriend’s follow-up appointments from his shoulder surgery. So, around noon I hit the pavement for a fairly mindless 5.2 miles at a 10:21 pace. The weather was in the mid 70s with a light breeze. I stripped to my sports bra trying to handle the heat – which is something I almost NEVER do.
So far, so good, right?
Saturday, I woke up. I had 20 miles to crush on New Year’s Eve. My stomach was NOT agreeing with me. After FOUR trips to the bathroom, I finally got out of the door around 11:30 in the morning. I was counting on the GI problems continuing, but I wasn’t about to attempt 20 miles on New Year’s Day. Luckily, on this planned route, there is a bathroom 1.7 miles from home, then another 5.3 miles from home. I used them both. I took in 100 cal at the second bathroom stop. As I started running from the restroom north along the beach, my nose started gushing blood. After another 3 miles, I took in some more food. Shortly after that, the Clif Shot Bloks I had eaten tried to make another appearance. I made it to the turn-around slightly nauseous – but at least I was hydrated. The beach showers provide lots of water! On top of all that, I couldn’t figure how to make my new iPod shuffle play songs in order… and by songs, I mean chapters of my audio book. Whoops.
-GI problems from the start
-too much nutrition
-less than 24 hours after my last run
I knew it was warm out. I stopped a few times to stand under the showers while trying to keep my feet dry. I took off my tank top. As I discovered today when I checked the weather history, we hit EIGHTY TWO degrees that day, with SEVENTY percent humidity. Heat index of 86 degrees – after some near-freezing runs the week before.
I finished in 3:46:37… an 11:16 pace. I was also stopped for a total of 30 minutes between bathroom stops, cooling off in beach showers, getting stuck at drawbridges, and hiding in the shade feeling sorry for myself.
Now that I’m physically – and mentally! – recovered from that mess… I think it didn’t go that badly! With everything going against me, I finished in a respectable time (for me). I toughed it out, and while I allowed myself more walk-breaks than I’d like, I didn’t call Patrick and make him come pick me up. I listened to my body and sat in the shade for a bit when I seemed not be handling the heat well. I’m ready for Ragnar!
This week will likely be about 10 miles today, 5 tomorrow, and off Thursday. It’ll give me a teeny-tiny bit of rest. Ragnar is supposed to be FUN, so I won’t be stressing about my times. I’d like to hit my adjusted paces (9:52 for the 11.8 mile run, and under 9:30 for the 5.2 and 4.1 mile run), but that’s not necessary.
Just one request – will someone PLEASE take my bike away during taper for the marathon? I know that with my extra energy I’ll want to take it out, but I should really take the taper seriously!
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