Saturday, August 28, 2010

Note to self....

Hello blog-o-peers! First, to my very, very loyal fan(s?)....I'm so sorry for not writing lately. When I started this blog I told myself that I never wanted to feel pressured into writing....I didn't want another deadline. But seriously dudes, this is ridiculous. Unfortunately, I just haven't had much to write about lately. My training has really taken a hit these past couple of weeks......vacation and time in sick's been brutal. Unfortunately, I got sick on vacation so that was even more brutal!! I do hope to post a few pics of my vacation soon....

Anywho....this week I finally had a couple of great runs and after looking at a few of the training plans that I've been using, I decided that I was really due for some pain. Some serious pain. Sooo....I marked today as my first 20 miler day! But wait....before you begin to think about how much of a running stud I am.....I didn't quite make 20. :(

I started the run at around 8:00am (note to self: I will start much closer to 6am next time). I shoved off feeling good. It wasn't hot out and there was a nice cool breeze. I really wasn't sure what route to take and I wanted to stay somewhat local. So, I landed with doing one of my 10 mile routes twice (note to self: bad idea). You see, the 10 mile route that I landed on is very hilly. Very. Hilly. Got it? The first 4 miles or so are loaded with some pretty serious hills that just kick my booty. But, I drove on. Unfortunately, by mile 4, my water bottle was done driving on. I had a water bottle emergency folks. Out of nowhere, the cap completely popped off of my water bottle and fell to the road in multiple pieces. I still have no idea what happened, but I had to stop and pick up what was once my perfectly good method of much needed hydration. The stopping and the struggle of trying to drink through an open hole while running was bad news.....needless to say, my hydration strategy was not looking good.

But, I did press on and luckily, my 10 mile route took me past my hydration team was waiting for me with iced Gatorade and half of a granola bar. The Gatorade was a life was amazing.....but....I was so thirsty from not drinking enough during the first 10 that I sucked down the tasty beverage rather quickly. After another round of stinking hills and the blazing sun beating down on me, I was nearly out of the drink. by mile 14 I knew I was going to run out and I had to change my route in order to swing by my house again.

My hydration team obviously wasn't expecting me to stop by again, so I had to run inside.....I was hurting. My legs immediately started to cramp as I down a glass of ice water. My hydration team refilled my bottle and I was off.....but, my pace was probably just a little faster than a slow crawl. I knew there was no way that I would make it to 20. I was feeling dehydrated and my legs were completely dead. Finally, at mile body was telling me that if I didn't turn back I would pay a painful price. Running has certainly taught me to listen to my body more.....I've learned this the hard way....and I wasn't about to mess with it.....especially since I'm 6 weeks away from race day. So......I turned back. Or....limped back, rather. I made it to 17.17 miles.

Yeah, I'm a little disappointed....but, I know that 20 this weekend is ahead of many training plans, so I'm trying not to sweat it. I'll knock out 20 next weekend and I'll pick a better route (read: flat) and I'll have a better hydration strategy.

Note to self: 17.17 miles still ain't no joke. Here's to making 20 happen next weekend!!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Moving Along

I haven't updated my loyal fans since my last long (and painful) run, so I'm due for a post. Things are moving along with my Chicago training....I still have yet to find a training plan that I'm sticking with, but I think I'm on track with most plans.

After my 18 miler I scaled it back a bit during the week and then hit a decent 10 mile hill run the following weekend. Then, this past week I picked up the mileage and speed a bit more....had a couple of great runs during the week. I was considering doing a 20 miler yesterday.....even though I know that most training plans aren't calling for 20 for a few more weeks.....but, I woke up and just wasn't feeling it. Plus, we had some things to get done and I didn't exactly have management approval to be gone for 3 hours.

So I took off at around 0800 and told the wife to just head towards Normal in about 2.5 hours. I ended up running a 15 mile route that I've done before and I had time for an extra half mile. It was a great run....I did it at marathon race pace.....I definitely could have done more. I'm still kind of kicking myself for either not picking up the pace a bit or not running 20. Oh well, at least I have some confidence back after my miserable 18 miler.

I have determine that the hydration belt will be a no-go for future runs....and I need to figure something else out. I ended up carrying my water bottle bottle for the entire run. I'll either need to plant water along the route or arrange for someone to drop some off to me along the run.....

I'll be hitting it hard this week as we prepare to shove off for the eastern Caribbean next week!!!!