Since the beginning of 2013 I’ve been on a fairly magical stretch of running. Minimal injuries. Three half marathons and one full marathon with a PR in both distances. I signed up for another round of e-coaching with Jeff Galloway. Overall things have been going well. Maybe too well…
This weekend was over-scheduled and crazy. Friday night was dinner in NYC with my work partner and her husband (and my husband). Early Saturday morning was my daughter’s ballet recital followed immediately by the elementary school carnival (including performances by 2 of my kids in the Talent Show) and finally we hosted a birthday party for our 9 year old (ok, his birthday was in February – don’t ask). Sunday morning my husband was off to the hospital was morning rounds after dropping my 9 year old off at Hebrew School. Not exactly a relaxing Mother’s Day morning. By the time I got to my schedule 13 mile run, it was 3PM. I was under-hydrated and tired. My weekend fueling had consistent of way too many restaurant meals to be considered healthy or ideal. And then sun was shining a comfortable 66F.
One advantage to e-coaching is that it’s hard to completely blow off a scheduled run. This is one reason why I pay Mr. Galloway my hard-earned money. Otherwise I can confess that I probably would have skipped this one. My husband was taking my kids to run the bases at Yankee Stadium and I was being given the gift of almost 5 hours to myself. I didn’t really want to spend it slogging through 13 tired miles.
As I geared up for my run, I realized that I had forgotten to charge my Garmin and the battery was teetering at 50%. Not an auspicious beginning. I tried to start slow with a 30/30 ratio. This was one of those runs that just felt sluggish from the start. My times weren’t bad. My long run pace is supposed to be 14 min/mile and my first mile was just below 13:30. The next mile was significantly faster. My legs felt heavy and sore so I decided to take a few laps around the track at the high school. I was definitely feeling the heat. My failure to hydrate all weekend was apparently.
About 6 miles into the run my low battery alert came on my Garmin. I made the smart decision to finish the run at home on the treadmill. One advantage to my basement is that the temperatures stay pretty cool, even in the summer. I found a movie to watch (Snow White and the Huntsman – violent but entertaining) and pushed myself to finish my miles. I fueled and hydrated but just felt dead. I knew I had overheated and overextended myself. And for the first time in a very, very long time I had to walk the last 1.5 miles.
Overall stats? 13 miles in 2:52:41 or 13:16 pace.
Once the movie was over and I had time to shower and reflect, I spent some time thinking about what had gone wrong. I felt that I was slowing down the run portion pretty well but my pace was still too fast. It’s been a cold spring and my body just isn’t ready for 13 miles in warmer weather. I need to hydrate better and eat better before my long runs. And next time I feel sluggish, I should start with a shorter run/walk ratio (maybe 20/20 or even 20/40 until I adjust to the warmer weather).
So while this was my worst run on 2013, I think there are lots of lessons to be learned. I know that I can overheat easily and I need to be more pro-active to prevent that. This will be especially true with training all summer for NYC Marathon in the fall. I need to be more vigilant about hydration and nutrition every day. And I need to be proud that I finished the bad run rather than giving up!

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