Monday, March 30, 2009

20 Mile Run --(Almost)


I was away for three days with no running so when I returned I thought what better time to push a bit and do a long run with the intent to hold fueling back to the "bonk point" My thought was to experiment with my capability to run fatigued and see how well I can adapt and or come back after the fact.

Usually I fuel between 45 minutes and one hour. This seems to work well for me but I have never tried to push the envelope at all and have no idea how well I would do if pushed to the edge.

My plan was to run 3- 3.5 hours and about 20 miles. I figured I would fuel at about 1.5 hours and see how I felt. I planned to keep my heart rate aveage around 138-140 and my peak (on hills) at 145 with no walking during the first half of the run. Then see what happened on the second half.

The first problem this morning was the rain, it was fairly heavy at times and quite cold. At about 4 miles into the run, I gave up on my glasses and just stuck them in my pocket. I ran mostly on the sides of the road to simulate uneven ground of trails and found them to be very soft which eventually took it's toll on my legs.

I was fairly consistant on during the first loop and felt quite settled into the 10-ish pace. I didn't feel like stopping at the 1.5 hour mark and decided to push it longer at this point I had not walked at all.

At 9.5 miles,I was still feeling very consistant and contemplated not stopping. By 10 miles I had slowed to 11:30 pace. I was at 1:44:00 at this point. I was feeling
totally different and knew it was time to fuel. I slowed to a walk and drank 8oz (half) of the perpetuem, 1 gel pack, 3 antifatigue pills and 2 edurelytes.

The transition from walking back to running really sucked, I felt tired, spongy legged and out of sorts. I struggled through 11 with a mile pace 11:40. By mile 12 I started feeling better and sped up to 10:14 pace but also noticed my heart rate was going up.

mile 13, 14 and 15 went extremely well with negative splits as my paces went 10:05, 9:52 and 9:53 with heart rates hugging the 150s now. I felt things were really going well and thought for certain that 20 miles would be an easy goal for me.....until I hit the big long hill of this course and totally bonked again.

I guess I should have stayed with the 10 minute pace and now had no choice but to walk part of this hill pushing my mile 16 pace down to 11:42. Once I crested the hill, I knew that my legs were done. I could feel the heavy fatigue in every step.

It was about 1.5 miles to return home and felt it was wise to head there. Of course knowing that I had less than 2 miles helped me push things a bit and actually had pretty good splits considering how I felt. 17 and 18 (.34 miles) were 9:18 and 8:06.

I finished at 3 hours covering 17.34 miles. Judging by the good finish, I feel now that I could have pushed the 20 miles but let my negative thinking get the best of me. I always tell myself not to make any decisions while working a hill instead to wait until I recover from the hill work. This time I didn't listen and my decision as I crested the hill was a bit premature.

At least I know now that I can come back from bonking and still run pretty good though I am sure I would have felt much better and finished stronger if I fueled at my normal time. Perhaps it would have been better for my training to fuel properly and get the twenty miles in but hindsite is 20/20 and besides, I wasn't wearing my glasses.

By Sunday afternoon heavy lameness had settled into my legs and my core. I think the core was deeply affected by the soft sand on the shoulder of the road. I wish I felt better as I am only halfway there timewise as the 50k will be be who knows how long but about 6 hours if I do well.

I don't know if I am anyway near ready for that length of trail running judging by the way I felt after 3 hours of road running. I ran so strong on Wednesday running a 10k, I think it was the best I felt since last year.....but now, after running Sunday,I don't feel so strong as I am walking around lame and tired.

I guess I am pretty disapointed as I feel I should be able to bang out a pretty easy 20 miles with some energy to spare. I only have 8 weeks until the 50k Trail race, that is not much time when one can't even finish a 20 mile training run.

17.34 miles 3:01:41 (ended the week with a second 30 mile total)
10:28 pace (first 10 miles 10:24 pace, last 7.24 miles @ 10:34 pace)
141 av HR 159 max.


Laurel said...

I tell myself the same thing about not making any decisions about my run until I get to the top of the hill! I learned this from a high school cross country coach. Isn't it funny that it sticks with me to this day? He wanted me to stay tough and not give up my position or my pace just because the hill was wearing on me. He said if you still feel like you can't hold on when you get to the top of the hill, THEN you can make some tactical decisions. So I still use this rule in training runs- never change the plan just because the hill is tough!

pathfinder said...

I wish I had the running background then perhaps I would do better at these types of things. I honestly thought it sounded really stupid to run through the woods for three didn't make sense until I started running in the woods....boy was I blind!

Dan said...

Don't be discouraged. We all have bad days when running seems more difficult than it should be. Keep training and you'll be fine. I wouldn't worry about the miles so much. Just get some good solid time on your feet. Remenber, it's ok to walk. I assume you'll do some walking at Pineland so doing some in training is helpful.