It's impossible to pinpoint where today's run went wrong, because it seemed to go wrong in so many places, on so many levels. Let's just say I was holding back tears a few times, and I am NOT a crier.
I was nervous to begin with, since I knew my run would start after noon and there's no way I was going to NOT be on my feet leading up to that point. Typically my long runs start an hour or 90 minutes after I wake up.
I ate a big bowl of oatmeal for breakfast and drank a grande coffee drink from Starbucks for breakfast and I ate a Fiber One Bar about an hour before my run and a few orange slices on the way. I also drank 16oz of Nuun in the late morning.
As I started out, I felt good. In fact I went out a little too fast, but slowed down after a mile. Things were okay until miles 5-6 and I felt myself slowing a lot. My right hip was really bothering me, I felt sluggish and everything was just bothering me. Around 7.5 miles I stopped for about 5 minutes and did some really good stretching and regrouped.
By 9 miles, things were only worse. My feet were hurting and different body parts took turns aching and yelling at me. My shins, my ankles, hips, lower back, yup--everything. I started taking walk breaks every 5 minutes or so. My car was at the 11-mile mark and I was so incredibly tempted to call it a day. But the walk breaks pepped me up and I kept on trucking.
Every mile seemed to get worse. I put my Garmin on the "current lap" screen so I could monitor my walk breaks and it helped to not look at my overall time or distance. Everything just hurt and my feet were the worst. I miscalculated a bit and thought I may come up short. I had to push until the very end of my route before I turned around. And it just hurt. I wanted to cry
I stopped my Garmin a few times to refill water or take in some nutrition slowly. I needed every ounce of strength. I pushed on and sometimes I took walk breaks more frequently, but mostly every 5 minutes. I texted Bean to give him an estimate of when I'd be at the car to come home. I felt terrible too because I had been gone longer than I'd hoped to be, leaving him with the three kids all afternoon. He's fully capable and willing...we just work well as a team together too
Wouldn't you know, I got to my car at 17.5 miles. I was tempted to stop, but I'd pushed it so far, I had to complete it. So I ran past .25 miles and then turned around. Finally---done. My quads and my feet hurt so bad.
I started out at 10:30-10:45 pace, the middle miles were 11:00 and then the last several were 12:00 and then 13:00+. It was ROUGH. I was so disappointed. My overall pace was 11:50, which is actually better than I was expecting, but quite off on my goal of 11ish.
Most of my runs were great. What was especially frustrating about today was that last weeks 17-miler was a very similar route and it went great. I pushed in the beginning, took it slower with my sister and then pushed again the last few miles for a great finishing time. I ran twice earlier in the week and those were good runs too.
I guess my body needed to be broken down more. Even though I was so disappointed by my pace, I kept telling myself that during the actual race I will be running for even longer than I did today, so it's all a part of the training. I can't help my optimism.
There's no doubt the late day start contributed to my troubles. I will really be working to avoid that again. I didn't care for my nutrition today---Clif Shots and Orange Slices. I've been trying a variety of things to make sure I find what I like the most. I am a big fan of Gu. I think Espresso Love is my favorite although I usually alternate between caffeinated and uncaffeinated. I also like Honey Stingers. I think that's what I'll stick with from here on out.
I am a little concerned about my shoes. They were fine last week, but this week my feet hurt so bad. I don't know if it's part of the breaking in/breaking down process and my feet are still adjusting or what. I want to stick with them for a few more runs and roll my feet out some and see what happens.
Everything was just off. This run made me doubt myself--can I really run 26 miles? Can I really run for up to 90 more minutes than I did today? I certainly couldn't have done it today. What a difference a week makes. Last week I thought "I've got this" and this week, I'm not so sure.
What can I do but just keep running and hope I recover and come back stronger.
Running in the afternoon meant the temperature was dropping by the time I finished and being soaked in sweat I got cold very fast. I just couldn't stomach sitting in an ice bath. I've stretched a few times tonight and I guess it will be a good experiment to see how effective the ice bath is in my recovery.
I needed to work this all out in writing in an attempt to help me understand and record my experience for help in future runs.
Any suggestions, advice or personal experience is always appreciated!