I was determined to get my 32kms. Hell, I've earned it through the weeks and weeks of increased mileage dammit!!
Saturday morning is long run day. Saturday was surprisingly sweltering hot. The wall of humidity even at 5:00am when I stuck my head out the front door was deadly. Yet because it was Saturday, and long run day, I persevered. And failed. I was okay with that. Pissed, but okay.
As soon as I started I knew it would be bad news. The humidity was messing up my guts (I blame it on the humidity). I went before I left the house. Then I nearly shat myself as I ran for the bushes at the parking lot. I hadn't even started running yet! Oh and then again at about 8km in.
My tummy was nervous. I was afraid of the sun coming up. I turned around at 13km. I was taking way too many walk breaks and cursed the whole time I was moving. I wasn't feeling all that great and everything was going wrong. I know my typical sweat patters which are basically a lot and all over. But when my shorts start dripping onto my legs, that's when I know it might be too hot. I walked so much on the way back I only got 20.5km in. And the whole thing sucked.
Later that day I felt pretty sick. I spent the evening laying down. I was nauseous and just generally feeling ill and shaky. And as if I hadn't "purged" enough earlier in the day I spent a portion of my night sitting on the can in pain. Something felt wrong that day and the run made it worse.
Thankful for the long weekend, I planned a re-con mission to claim my 32km stake! This is a milestone of a long run day and I'll be damned if I wasn't going to get it under my belt. I did the same things all over again. This time, only 2 days later, there was virtually no heat. It was surprisingly chilly. Nice cool, windy and cloudy day. Actually, when I stopped to fill my water the wind was so strong and I was so soaked in sweat that it chilled me right to my core. I was a bit anxious as the first few km kind of hurt but once I got all loose it was a DREAM run. I normally take a number of walk breaks during long runs. Probably more than I should. But I ran the first 10km straight through with no need to break. Then I ran the next almost 13km with no real burning desire to break. I felt..... pretty fucking amazing. Finally, I ran the last 9km with only one break mid-way through to fill up my bottle. Granted the last 2km were rather difficult but I didn't stop running. The soles of my feet were starting to ache more than anything else.
This was, by far, my best run EVER. Not for time or pace but feeling.
I smiled a lot and I enjoyed myself. When I finished I threw my hands up in the air and gave myself a silent "YESSSSS!". I drove home unable to erase that smile off my sweaty salty face. It just made me feel.... like a real runner!. I've had a lot of difficulty over the past month with my long runs. It's been wearing hard on my mental capacity to keep motivated and believe in myself. I've been struggling with negative thoughts and lack of confidence. Today's run renewed so much of my faith in my abilities. I can't possibly summarize how it makes me feel. The pessimistic side of me is freaking out thinking this was a fluke. Dang the pouty half of me.
I stashed water in two different places with bananas. My blood sugars stayed between 8-9 mmol/l which was surprising. I had a banana at 10km and another one at 23km with no bolus and finished with a 6.7 mmol/l which made me even more happy. I didn't feel the need to have any gels or fruit chews which I sometimes enjoy avoiding.
Also? in 3.5hours of running I only drank 1.75L of water! :) I know this may sound weird but that makes me quite happy. It meant I wasn't dying of thirst and over-hydrating like I have been doing for months now. I have been averaging twice that amount of water in a shorter time and still feeling like I'm constantly dying of thirst. It means I did something right. I have been using the electrolyte tablets at regular intervals which must be helping to replenish what I am loosing. Most importantly, the sodium.
Oh and I only had one visit to the bush in the first 300m.
Lastly, I tried not to over obsess about the garmin. I paid extra attention to just going with the flow and managing my pace based on breathing. I checked every now and again to see if it matched how I felt but for the most part I didn't look. It took some energy to keep reminding myself to try and go off feel more than the numbers.
My re-con mission:
- no pain
- mostly continuous non-stop run
- beauty blood sugars
- no over-hydrating
- co-operative digestive system
Saturday's crappy run
Distance: 20.45 km
Avg. pace: 6:50 min/km
Avg. HR: 166 bpm
Cal. burned: 1424 cal
Monday's redemption run
Distance: 32.06 km
Avg. pace: 6:45 min/km
Avg. HR: 169 bpm
Cal. burned: 2246 cal
It was so super perfect. It was exactly what I needed and I'm even happier to share some good news for a change. And I ran over 50km this weekend.