Monday, March 7, 2011

Can I have a do-over???

This is the closet door in my sewing room...
Well, for those of you keeping track, Mondays are generally my long run days. I take Sundays off so I'm rested and ready to go the distance (pun intended) on Monday. After lo9king at my schedule, which I keep posted to the closet door in my sewing room, I realized I didn't have to 11 miles today, I was only scheduled to do 10.5 miles... yea! I was really dreading the idea of an 11 miler today. As it turns out, the dread was maybe self-fulfilling prophecy... even though I didn't have to do as much mileage as I had originally thought.

I started out not too bad this morning. I was planning on doing about a 50/50 (or thereabouts) split of street and treadmill running, knowing that I would need a bathroom and PowerBar break at about the halfway point anyway. My first couple of miles went pretty good, but things rapidly went downhill from there. By the time I was at around 4 miles, I HAD to go back inside... nature... 'nough said. But even by this point I wasn't feeling completely on my game... I was having one of those days where you look forward to every slight downhill, no matter how small so you can get a little break. Anyway, I decided that was close enough to halfway to finish up the remaining 6.5 inside.

I went inside to jump on the treadmill and I must confess that things did NOT improve once inside... Heather would tell you that things NEVER improve when she gets on the treadmill, but I'm not usually that way. Anyway, I did another hour or so of run/walking and by the time I reached 8.8 miles, I had reached the end of everything I had in the tank, both mentally and physically. I didn't think I had done really anything different as far as preparations go between this week and last week, but the results were drastically different... so in retrospect, I am wondering about a few things which may have been different.

  1. I ran completely indoors last week... normally that's not too big of a deal to me, my indoor and my outdoor runs generally are about the same. However, it was pretty cold out this morning and I'm wondering if it didn't take a little extra oomph just to keep warm (even though I thought I felt pretty warm through the whole thing, who knows what my body was really feeling).
  2. I'm not sure I was as hydrated before hand as I should have been. I haven't ever really monitored my hydration before a long run, but I'm getting enough mileage on long run days now that it might become more important.
  3. Did I drink my smoothie far enough in advance of my run for all the nutrients (carbs & proteins) to make their way into my system? I try to give it about an hour between smoothie and run time, but I'm not sure that I had given it a full 60+ minutes today.
  4. I may have set out at too fast of a pace initially. I was surprised when I calculated my pace that it wasn't really all that slow... and I walked a LOT during the 2nd half of the run today, which probably means that I had a fairly fast pace (for me) at the outset. 
  5. One of my meds changed... sort of. What I had been taking as a 2-meds-in-1-pill and was taken in the morning has, as of yesterday, changed to a 2-meds-in-2-pills with one taken in the morning and one in the evening. They are the exact same meds, just distributed slightly differently throughout the day. 
I'm not sure that any one of these is the reason or if my body is just feeling a little more physically weak for some reason... or it could be a combination of any of the above. I haven't been keeping a running journal, per se, but I'm thinking that it might be a good idea to start to see what is going on on good days vs. bad days.

Anyway, my plan is now, to make up the rest of my mileage (about 1.7 miles) with my other runs this week, but that's really not quite the same as building up the mileage during your long run. Fortunately, I still have a bit of time before the half marathon in May, so this shouldn't (knock on wood) be a huge setback. Although, I will confess that even if it's not huge physically, it was probably more of a psychological blow. I'm going to have to fight that much harder with myself, mentally, next week to have the confidence in myself needed to get through the distance. But I guess training the brain is part of the whole training process, isn't it? Setting these goals isn't just about getting the body in shape, it's about re-formulating the way I think as well. It's a good lesson to keep in mind... for all of us! :o)

Today's Run
Miles: 8.8 miles
Time: 1:48
Pace: 4.9 mph
Part Street / Part Treadmill Run

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