Saturday, January 23, 2010

January Long Run

I had set a goal this year to run a marathon distance or further every month of the year. Today was my attempt to run 26+ miles for January. It was really the only chance I would have considering I am busy next week with work and then scout camp on the weekend. So I went after it this morning.
I didn't prepare very well, I'll admit that right up front. I didn't eat before going out and didn't drink enough water the day before. At mile 2 I stopped at the store to purchase some goodies for the run and to eat a donut. Because I do a lot of adventure runs and ultras I have learned to eat while I run. I can also pretty much eat anything I want without it adversely affecting my condition (while I run). I won't go into the details of most of the run. If you want to read about the details you can go to my running workout blog where I track all of workouts at What I will address on this blog is the end of the run and my reflection on how I did and my look to the future.
I fought energy issues the entire run and at mile 18 I was just out of steam. My cardio was still good and I felt like I had energy, but it wasn't transitioning down into my legs; they were just dead. I was also running out of the alotted time I had to spend this morning and knew I had to be home soon. Finally, I was closer to home than I had intended at this point in the run, so I was kind of having to improvise on my route. I really felt like I could push to at least 22 or 23 miles before having to call it quites, but I wasn't even sure my legs would let me. Because I love running uphill and I generally feel better doing it I headed up towards Mt Olympus through the neighborhoods in my town of Holladay. As I wound upward to a few streets above my house my calves started to cramp (not enough salt even though I had been taking pills) and my legs were just through. I figured it was time to turn west and head home. I was able to complete 21.87 miles in just under 3 1/2 hours.

There are some important take-aways from this run.
1. Even as a 'training run' I need to make sure I am better prepared.
2. I had some serious mental battles out there today and I overcame them all.
3. My biggest concern was whether my IT Band would get inflamed. I am happy to report that I ran for 3 1/2 hours without any knee pain, whatsoever.
4. This was a really hilly route. I probably gained and lost over 2,000 vertical feet in the nearly 22 miles. If this were a normal Utah downhill marathon I would have completed it, no problem.
5. Even though I didn't complete 26+ miles I did make some major progress. I haven't run over 13 miles in a single outing since my 50 miler in October. My legs are a little out of shape. Knowing I wouldn't hit my goal today I simply pushed as far as I could, to the point where I simply couldn't run any more. This will make my legs stronger and next time I'll be able to push even farther.

Overall I am very pleased with how it went today. It was definitely one of the toughest outings I've had in a my running career and I learned a lot today. Next month will be even better!


Enoch Davies said...

I can just see you at your next organized marathon. "Don't you guys have any donuts? I really want one of the cream filled ones." HA HA. I imagine you would get some dirty looks. Sorry you didn't quite make the distance you had intended but I am happy for you that you learned from this outing.

jun said...

Thanks Enoch. Yeah, many people I've found don't understand my ability to chow just about anything right in the middle of a run. Mmmmm, donuts.