What was seemingly a well-prepared re-entry to some of the higher mileage one does during marathon training, turned out to be a painful lesson that I would have preferred to learn a different way. But alas, this weekend I was reminded what NOT to do on your first 18-miler of the training season.
1. Going Out Too Strong
Nothing is more reassuring than glancing down at your Garmin to see 7 minutes and some odd seconds blinking back at you as your average pace. You smile at the time and the fact that your body is keeping up just fine. But it wasn’t soon after the 16 mile mark that my body needed a re-boot as it simply shut down. You know how sometimes you are walking a dog and they just decide to sit down in the middle of the sidewalk and say, “Nope. Not going anywhere. I’m done.” Well, that was my body. It was pooped and the last four miles were a dizzy, torturous hell. Thank goodness my car was parked at the finish, forcing me to complete the run.
MORAL OF THE STORY: Know what paces you are aiming for during your long runs and do your best to stick to them…even if they are slower than what you feel capable of at that moment, you will need to preserve energy for the trying moments in the run.
2. Only Fueling With Sports Drinks and Sports “Food”
All bodies handle sports drinks and fuels differently and it’s extremely important that you test what works well with your body. I consider myself pretty lucky in that I can handle the Gus of sports drinks of the world with minimal discomfort, but what I was reminded this weekend is the importance of drinking water in conjunction with sports fuel. The sports drinks provide the calories and sodium I need, but not stashing water along the way caused for dizzying dehydration
MORAL OF THE STORY: Test what fuels work well with your body and the ratio of sports drink to water works best for you, but never leave water out completely.
3. Small Pre-Long Run Breakfast
My usual pre-long run breakfast is tea and a giant bowl of oatmeal to help keep me full throughout the run. This weekend, I decided to try something new: a toasted English muffin with peanut butter and jelly. Long story short, it was simply not enough calories to keep me full and I was hungry throughout the entire run.
MORAL OF THE STORY: Choose pre-long run fuel that can sustain your appetite and caloric burn. Oatmeal is known to help keep your fuller, longer, and I will personally be keeping with my oatmeal moving forward.
While one of these elements alone wouldn’t be that big of a deal, all three coupled together helped create the perfect storm that taught me a good lesson. I won’t lie and say that I was disappointed. Beyond disappointment I even began to fear my capability of completing long runs and my training. But they only thing I can do is get back on the horse. And so I will.
The weekend also included some weekend shenanigans with some of my favorite people…plus, seeing Tosh.O live!
Day 33: 18 miles
Day 34: Rest
Day 35: 5 miles