I had a horrible run yesterday. I set out to do 11 miles and ended up walking almost the entire last 3 miles of it. It would be easy to blame it on the heat (already past 80 degrees when we started at 7:30 am) but that wasn't it. The Greenway was packed with runners, each pushing forward through air so thick it literally felt like it was pushing you back. No, for me, if was a combination of factors that included:
- Barely drinking any water the day before the run
- Not eating a proper meal the night before the run
- Heading out too fast in the initial miles
I'll address the last bullet point first. We ran the first 5 miles at just under an 8-minute pace. That is not my LSD (long slow distance) speed. Pat, Jim, Sam, and Will - I blame you. You are all very bad men.
As far as not eating a proper meal... I'm at the point where 11 miles isn't all that far and I can get away with not eating great before a run of that length. However, when combined with the lack of proper hydration, I think that's what did me in.
I try to drink one of these water jugs a day - 64 oz. However, I get lazy on the weekends and tend not to pull the jug out of fridge. Friday was one of those days where I was running around and just didn't think to stop and drink some water every now and again. I probably only had 16 oz the entire day. And boy, did I feel it.
First came some on and off again light stomach cramps. Then, even though it was 85 degrees and humid, I broke out in goosebumps and a cold sweat. I felt a little lightheaded and my tongue felt thick and swollen. It took almost a mile of walking before I started to feel better. Then the only thing bothering me was that my legs felt the way they do after a really long, hard run. As if the bones themselves ached.
I'm usually pretty hard on myself if I don't complete a run, but I surprised myself by enjoying yesterday's long walk break. I fell in stride with a retired gentleman and we talked about running and walking and diet and the struggle to stay in shape as we age. I watched a couple of chipmunks dart in and out among the leaves. I watched the play of shadows on the Greenway as the sun bore through the leaves. I was alone with my thoughts. In short, I had a nice time.
And more important, I learned my lesson. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Training for the Savannah Marathon officially begins tomorrow. I'm going to make sure I polish off the water in that jug each day so I can make each run count.
But I wouldn't mind also fitting in some walks, now and again.