Today was set out to be my longest run to date, a nice 20 miler around my local area. The weather was perfect for it & it was the first time I have ventured out without my hat or gloves, is spring finally on the way..........
After dropping the kids at school I returned home, set up my Garmin for 8.40 p/m, drank my High 5 electrolyte drink, as advised by Ali, got my SIS gels ready & I was off.
As I started the watch & turned on my Marathon Talk podcast for the long journey ahead I knew this was going to be a hard run. Not hard as I was going to push myself, but hard because my legs didn't want to play ball today, they were tired & wanted a rest, but I wasn't about to let them win.
The first few miles were really tough as my legs felt like lead. I found this frustrating & just wanted to enjoy the run, without the constant worry. Why were my legs hurting, it's not like they have been overworked lately?
Anyway I pressed on through Spalding Town Centre, taking on my first gel around mile 7. I didn't need it but I have been experimenting as to what works best for me. After my first gel I wanted to get into a routine of having one every 3 miles or half an hour which ever came first, as there is a great report in this months Runners World Magazine about fueling on long runs, so I wanted to give it a try.
As I was approaching 13 miles my legs really didn't want to work anymore. It was hard to get into any sort of rhythm & my quads & calfs were getting in on the act. I was becoming angry & talking to myself as to what I have done wrong, why are my legs heavy?, why does it feel like I have already just run the whole marathon distance & i'm only half way?!!!
From 13 to 18 it was a real effort to get home, every lamp post I past I wanted to stop, every sign I past I wanted to stop, my pace was getting slower & I wasn't enjoying this at all now. At mile 17 I had a stabbing pain go up my right quad, this stopped me in my tracks. I walked for a minute & stretched, this seemed to help, but then other muscles wanted in on the act & they started to cramp up too. My nemesis is never to far away.
I did an 18 miler a few weeks back with no discomfort or cramp issues at all, so why now, nothing has changed. I was so close to home & I knew I only had two miles to go to hit my 20 mile goal, but I couldn't go any further, my legs just would not move, I walked the rest of the way home, limping as my quads, hamstrings & calfs were all screaming at me. I didn't want to cause any injury with the marathon so close.
Once home, feeling deflated, I had an ice bath to try & ease the pain, then a nice hot shower. I stretched which felt sore, & I am now sitting here reflecting on what went wrong.
I am experienced enough to know that this was just a bad day in the office & we all get these bad runs from time to time, so I will just reflect on it today then move on. I still managed 18 miles in 2:35 ish so I am still on course for my sub 4 hours. As long as I get to 20 miles in under 3 hours I know i'm in with a great chance of my goal.
My run is here in more detail if you want to check it out.
With all these long runs we are all doing & the massive amounts of calories we are burning off, how do you guys go about refuelling afterwards? I always find it hard to digest anything except my protein shake after a long run, due to amount of gels in my stomach, I never seem to have an appitite. I always feel very tired as well, is this normal?
Enjoy the rest of your week guys & let's keep that momentum going. My thoughts are with all of you who are injured & I pray for your speedy recovery.
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