Sunday, April 13, 2008

Long, Hot Run

Santa Ana's blowing! Even though we started at 7:30AM, by the end of yesterday's long run, I was tired, hot, and dehydrated. The weather report said that it was going to be in the upper 80s. According to, Newport Beach reached a balmy 95 degrees!

Our training group had a 12 mile LSD yesterday. I knew it was going to be hot, so I left in the morning with 40 oz of liquid - 20 ounces of Ultrafuel mixed full strength (200 calories) and 20 ounces of water. When we left CDM High School, everything was quite pleasant. I am still having to old school my pace, since my Garmin is "in the shop" being repaired. I was pretty much right on a 10:00 pace for the first three miles or so. I usually like to run a little faster than a 10:00 pace so that I can relax along the way and take a running break, but with just a Polar watch, that is sometimes hard to do.

About mile 4 first problem. My morning coffee caught up to me, so I had to make a quick pit stop. Luckily, we ran the San Diego Creek trail, so there are plenty of bushes, bridge abutments, etc. to hide behind. So, I took the hit and made the stop. I was still feeling pretty good at our turnaround point at mile 6. I was still at a 10:10 pace or so at that point, even with the pit stop. It was then that the person I was running with pointed out something that hadn't registered until then - the breeze had quit blowing. For the first time I noticed that not only had the breeze stopped blowing, but the sun was blazing and it was pretty warm. I noticed too that it was very dry out - normally my clothes would be sweat soaked, but I was for the most part dry. That only means one thing - no humidity. Kind of like running in the desert.

My experience has told me that I feel much more comfortable on long runs if I replace calories. At our turnaround, I finished 100 calories of Ultrafuel. I had some water and continued back toward our start point. By mile 8 my legs were starting to feel tired. I took another 100 calories of Ultrafuel and pushed on. By mile 9 I had to take a walk break. Things went downhill (well actually uphill) from that point. I found mile 10 to be the toughest. My pace was dropping (10:15 or so), my legs were tired, and I was out of liquids. I gathered my mental strength and pushed on, slowing my pace so that I wouldn't crash and burn. I did finish in a 10:30 pace (2:06 for the 12 miles). I found a nice shady place next to the track, had a seat, and waited for my legs to stop wobbling. Whew!

I learned a couple of things today. First, my erg workout on Thursday probably wasn't a great idea. I'm travelling on Tuesday and Wednesday this week, running a 5K next Sunday. I think I'll put my cross training on hold this week. Second, I need to start thinking about fueling for the marathon. I think I need to make sure that my fuel belt is carrying calories. I went through 200 calories on yesterday's run, a little less than a half marathon. If I didn't run out of liquids, then I think I would have been okay. Marathon plan - 40 oz of Ultrafuel. I'll rely on water stations for water. Third, the marathon can be a real bugger mentally. I need to start preparing myself for the fact that I'm going to be out on the course for 4 and a half hours or more. I will be tired. I will be sore. Mentally though, I just need to put my mind to it and get it done.

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