So a few weeks ago I got hit by a truck, not literally, but after 48 hours of the flu that’s what it felt like. I guess being around all those sick people caught up with me. I lost a week of training from it. The symptoms started over the weekend, and I missed a long run, then sprint day. By the day before my tempo day I was feeling much improved, but I decided to lay low and get back to 100 percent. That weekend, I had 15 miles planned, and back on the treadmill I went. Previously, I had run 17 miles for my longest run, and felt pretty good. But after a week of convalescing it turned out to be a bit of a battle. I completed the run, at the pace I had hoped for, but I was more fatigued than usual. It’s taken me awhile to recover completely from being under the weather. Getting back to my usual Tuesday-Thursday-Saturday routine has been tough.
But with the change in weather, there’s been the opportunity for snowmelt, and with snowmelt comes outside runs. Tuesday, I got in a few mile repeats outside, and man did it feel good to get some Vitamin D. This past week, my training schedule called for a 20-mile run. It’s the first of two of the longest runs planned through my training. I was excited for this run; I looked at it as a good gauge to see where I stood in my training regiment. I had planned to get out over the weekend, and tackle the run outside, though after looking at the weather report I made the executive decision to go out a day early. I was actually dressed and in the car headed to go skiing, when I turned the car around and came home, threw on my sneakers and GPS watch and hit the pavement.
This last minute decision to run was questionable decision making on my part. I probably should have prepared for a run of this length a bit more. Typically Thursday and Friday, I try to start pushing fluids before my longer runs. I also make sure when I wake up (since I usually run first thing in the morning) I eat a good breakfast. I did neither of these before my 20 miler. I packed three Gu energy gels, two 9oz bottles of water and headed west. I went down Washington St, past the Hospital, continued on Rte 16 to Rte 135 and went out to almost the Natick/Framingham line. I turned around at the 10-mile mark and started heading back. At around the 15-mile mark, I was pretty tired, and at 18 miles I was gassed. I trudged on, and finished the 20 miles. My pace was slower than it had been inside on the treadmill, as expected, but what I didn’t expect was how taxing those extra miles were physically.
Now, I’m not sure if it was the lack of preparation in the days before the run, or the change in running environment that made those last miles so much harder, or a combination of both, but I am trying to stay positive about the challenges I faced. In the end I finished the run, I survived. I know I can do it. I know I can push myself a few more miles.