A story of going from being a non-runner to planning for a marathon in three years...

Monday, November 7, 2011

Salty Sixteen

Sunday was one of those weird days. Warm but overcast and windy. I slept in but of course got an extra hour back due to changing the clock.

I had a sixteen mile run on the training plan but no one to run it with. Most of my running buddies (Kim included) were either running the New York Marathon, in New York to spectate at the marathon, ran on Saturday, or are wrapping up their running season. So, I knew I had sixteen solo miles.

I ate an English muffin with egg and cheese, drank some water and decaf tea, and drove over to the Salt Creek bike path around 11:30 AM. When I got out of the car the wind was blowing across the empty field and I immediately regretted wearing shorts and a tank top. Especially when I saw someone run by with their dog wearing pants, a jacket, and a stocking cap. I decided I'd wear my jacket and then tie it around my waist if I got too warm.

My body had other plans, though. I got about three-quarters of a mile from the trail head when I started to get that familiar feeling of impending GI tract doom. Overheating, stomach cramps, cold sweats. I tried to figure out how far it was until the next port-a-potty but decided it would be better to turn around and use the one at the trail head.

Let's just say I'm really glad there was no one already using it when I got there.

I took the opportunity to ditch my jacket at my car and stand there assessing the situation. My stomach felt slightly better but not 100%. I was feeling a little dizzy but I wondered if that was due to lack of fuel. I drank some Gatorade and decided I'd keep going.

I still felt a little ridiculous in my tank and shorts when everyone else I saw on the path at least had on long sleeves. Perhaps I could have gone with short sleeves but long sleeves was obviously too much for me.

My pace was all over the place as I tried to keep it between 10:00 and 10:30 minutes per mile. I kept looking down at my Garmin, though, and seeing 9:20 or 9:30. And that was WITHOUT walk breaks.

Yes, the only breaks I took were for traffic. I wanted to see if I could do it. Turns out I can but that I don't think I could have gone another 10 miles. When I finally hit 16 I was still just over a quarter mile from my car but I immediately started walking. Except I got cold. So I tried to run the rest of the way to the car. I made it another tenth of a mile before I just felt too worn out.

However, I'm pretty pleased with my run. Poorly fueled I still averaged a good pace without walk breaks. Imagine if I was properly fueled!

And how else did I know my nutrition was off? I had so much salt on my face and neck I looked like I'd stuck my face in powdered sugar. From a past running group meeting I knew this was a bad sign since I noticed it forming while I was running. Of course, the wind was probably evaporating the sweat off my face and leaving the salt behind, but I also think the fact that I was craving potato chips is telling.

Salt Creek Sixteen by snmnstrz21 at Garmin Connect - Details