I could have run forever until..... I deviated from my plan. In getting ready to run 18 miles on Monday, I was a little worried after the Sat. running on the Coast.(my hat is off to all of you coastal runners - I felt much better running 18 miles than the 8.5 miles on the coast. Part of that was because I was running a 5k, but the extra humidity is a killer). Also, when I checked the weather (accuweather.com) it said the real feel temp. for 6:00am was already 80 degrees. That's pretty crazy for an 18 mile run. On Sat. I made the decision that my Monday run would be a slow one, an LSD run (long slow distance). I am not really good at LSD runs, but during my marathon training this time, I have decided to TRY do some LSD runs. So with my 16 miler being a marathon pace run, it was appropriate for this one to be LSD, also the crazy heat and humidity quickly led me to LSD also. So I decided to start the run at 6:00 am. I know, I know - you are asking, why didn't you start at 5:00am? Number 1 - I am lazy these days, Number 2 - the 18 miler would roughly be around 3 hours, so if I started at 6:00, I would finish running around 9:00, do a little walking, which would get me to 9:15 or 9:30, and that will be good prep for the Tupelo Marathon, which starts at 5:00am, but I will not be finishing until around 9:30 because I will be running this one as a training run, and will be running slow, around 10:00 miles. So I do have reasons for my insanity, ya see?
6:00 am and I'm off, thanks to the Garmin, I can monitor my pace, and continuously tell myself to slow down, probably about 100 times, slow down, slow down. Not very good at solo LSD runs. If I run with someone who is running slow, the LSD is not a problem, but solo, I just want to pick up the pace, but today, I know picking up the pace would be a BIG mistake. So I stay just under 10:00 min miles. At mile 10 - I really thought to myself - I could run forever. Running, running, running - so I made a deal with myself - if I still feel good later in the run, I can pick up the pace and finish the run. So, at 14, can't take it any longer, still feeling really good. The plan - maybe I'll just try to do 3 pace miles and then finish the last mile as a cool down, back to 10:00 miles. So I did pick it up and ran 3 miles around 9:00, but the feeling of being able to run forever quickly went away. I felt ok, but now the temp is even higher and I just want to finish. Overall, a great run, especially in this heat. No longer a member of the infinity running club, but ended this 18 miler in good shape. I ended up running 9:37 pace for the 18 miles. Let me say - I did stop my Garmin for my hydration stops, so the 9:37 pace is just my running time. Also, let me say, I probably go overboard with hydration, BUT my summer long runs are usually tolerable and I hear some horror stories out there, that I typically do not have, so I would rather go overboard with the hydration to be comfy as possible. So do I stop to much for water, maybe so, but for me, it's worth it.
To give you an idea about my hydration/gu/gatorade for this run, below is what I did today. Normally, I would not have this many stops, but with the extreme heat more hydration is better for me. (I consider 80 degree heat index at 6:00 am extreme, especially when the goal is to finish 18 miles without a heat stroke)
At mile 3 stop for about 4 ounces of water, poor a little down my arms.
At mile 5 (this water stop was for my return trip, but decided to stop and take a swig.
Just before mile 6, while running, Gu (chocolate for me - I'm the only one I know that uses the chocolate) at mile 6, 4-5 ounces of water and poor the rest down my arms.
Mile 8 - 4-5 ounces of water, the rest poured down the arms.
Mile 10 - just before 10, another Gu, at 10 4-5 ounces of water - the rest down the arms
Mile 12.5 - 4-5 ounces of water, the rest down the arms.
Mile 14.5 - another Gu and 4-5 ounces of water.
Mile 16 - 5-6 ounces of Gatorade and 3-4 ounces of water.
Mile 18 - finished - stashed another water and walked for 1/2 mile and then my honey came to check on me. He gave me a Gatorade 8- ounces and I rode the last half mile home.
Not sure about all of this - sometimes I think it's too much, sometimes I think it's just about right. I am a HEAVY sweater (shoe sloshing sweater on long runs, gross but true) so I would rather err on the side of too much than not enough. I can tell you, thankfully, that I haven't had very many visits with "the wall" so I think I am on target. Maybe a little too much, but if I can run relatively comfortable on my long runs, it's well worth the extra effort to go and drop the waters before my runs and take the time to stop to hydrate. After the run, yes, an ice bath. Helps SO MUCH with recovery. By Monday evening, yes, I was tired, but not really like 18 miler, in a sauna, tired. Also, many times when I run long, for whatever reason, I do not sleep well that night, too tired or something. Monday night, sleep like a baby. Tues. am - can't even tell I ran the 18. Awesome! Easy day today, probably 30 min. of biking or walking this evening, and maybe some weights.
Would love to hear what you guys do on your long runs. And, as always, opinions are welcome.
Note to self - still need to do the sweat rate test. You know the one where you weigh before you run,run for 1 hour, and then weigh after you finish to get an idea of what you need for hydration and replacement.
So many notes to myself, I forget about them. It's hard to keep this chic straight.