It's hard to know where to begin. I guess I'll start from when I knew things were going wrong. It seems like such a strong word though, it wasn't really going "wrong" I just knew things weren't quite right.
Thursday, I finally put together a training plan for the Ragnar Relay. It's only 5 weeks away! I have been just trying to get in the habit of running, running to lose the weight, and to increase my pace. I went to the Ragnar Relay suggested training plan for intermediate runners and decided to pull from that basic idea to create my own plan. (The subject of my next post.)
First thing I noticed was twice daily runs so yesterday I did a 4M/4M. At 7 a.m. I ran a nice 4 mile in beautiful weather then ran it again at 6 p.m. in hot, humid, overcast weather. Amazingly I ran them almost exactly the same with a comfortable 12:11 min/mile and 12:13 min/mile average moving pace respectively.
Trouble began after the second 4 miler. I was in a rush to get out the door on time so directly after my run I jumped in the shower, dressed, put my hair up (wet) and went out the door. Note: Stretching was NOT on that list. I made it on time and had a good time but when I stepped out of my truck I had trouble putting pressure on my ankle, Mishap No. 1. OUCH! After an evening of continuous stretching and rubbing it out my ankle felt much better. The only success of the "The Run (Walk) of Mishaps". Mishap No. 2: My hip...again.
I've had a sore hip before and actually this week it finally did not hurt at all any more. I had finally stretched it out properly and built up my endurance and the strength in my hip, so I thought. Then the 4M/4M and lack of stretching and it hurt more than ever. I have been stretching and stretching but it even hurt when I slept. I had a difficult time finding a position I could sleep in without pain. I so hoped it would just be fine by morning. It was not. I also went to bed hungry Mishap No. 3.
I was so hungry when I went to sleep but it was so late, Mishap No. 4, I did not want to eat that late and I knew I had to be up to run in the morning early so I went to bed. I knew the lack of nourishment was going to be a problem. I had a 10 mile run planned and I was going to need energy and eating in the morning before an early run, unless I get up 2 hours before I run, is not a good idea either so I just hoped for the best.
Morning came early and after only 6 hours of sleep I felt awake and ready to go even though I had my doubts. I started with my nutritional Reliv shake (I've taken since 2001) and had a mini Luna bar. I didn't want to eat too much for fear of nausea and cramps. I got ready, grabbed all my gear, sucked down an orange GU Energy Gel and headed out to stretch and wait for my running partner.
Today was the first time I've ran with anyone. I already felt like I was going to be a disappointment of a partner with my hip, my hunger, and my lack of sleep but I was determined to still give it a try. I was all ready to go. I stretched and concentrated on stretching my hip as much as possible. I started my Garmin, or so I thought, Mishap No. 5, and off we went.
I thought the run started OK but after 1.2 miles I realized my Garmin was not recording. What I now know is that I hit start and instead of locking the bezel, I hit stop. So I have my total time but no data was recorded from the first 1 s. until 1.2 miles and 12:48 min later. I looked at my Garmin because I knew my pace was starting to slow, in fact my entire run so far was slow. I could feel it and I was loosing energy fast. I quickly attributed to, Mishap No. 6, talking. I popped in a Margarita 3X sodium Clif Shot Blok but at this point it sadly didn't help much.
I was chatty and it was sapping my energy. I apparently can't talk and run a decent pace. How pathetic is that? I knew I was running a pathetic pace and actually kept apologizing. I will say it was gorgeous route. I will definitely run it gain but without talking, after a decent nights sleep and well nourished.
I kept plugging along with min/mile paces of 13:20, 15:21, 15:15, 12:49, 14:27, 17:07 and 16:37. These paces are after the first unrecorded 1.2 miles. The first three times are at best a jog/walk UP the hill (some rolling). The fourth time a run/walk DOWN the hill followed by an even slower run/walk after which I told my partner to just run ahead, I had it and I couldn't pullout any more miles and I refused to keep holding her back. I finished "The Run (Walk) of Mishaps" a 2 mile walk home.
I also I ran out of water, Mishap No. 7. I was sapped of energy, hungry, and now waterless. My left arm was also hurting, for the first time I experienced chaffing, Mishap No. 8. I definitely need to prioritize the "buy Body Glide" item on my to-do list. I could have cried right then but necessity kept me going and I made it home, showered and then cried.
I was so disappointed with myself. I sat down to type this entry actually crying, determined to learn something from today. After about 15 minutes I grabbed a Gatorade recovery drink and I actually started to feel better. Then I grabbed a hand full of almonds and gained my sanity all together.
I knew before I even started I was going to have problems. The energy sap of talking was a surprise but it shouldn't have been. I could have just stopped talking but that just isn't like me. Had friend, will talk! Overall with walking several miles I had a 14:15 min/mile avg pace. I'm determined to do this run again alone, without the temptation of the blab, and record a pace I can actually be proud of.
And you know what? I just ran 16 miles in a Ragnar time frame. And I learned a TON of lessons. Better now than during the actual event. Aside from the technical problems, I learned some important, can't miss, lessons. 1. Always nourish properly, 2. Stretch, time crunched or not, stretch, 3. Focus on the task and conserve energy, 4. Buy and use Body Glide!
In the end, this run was a actually HUGE success. I can't wait to run this route again.