Sunday, October 9, 2011

Worst Long Run in Foreverrrr

Well, they can't all go well, right? Especially with all of the factors that played into my terrible 20 19.25 mile long run. Oh yeah, when I cut a long run short, you know it's for real.

So what was in my way of a successful run? Let's count the things:

  1. Hottest day in a long time (84 degrees, which is around 25 degrees hotter than last weekend's long run) and I started my run right when it was the hottest. 
  2. It was Yom Kippur yesterday, meaning I spent the day before this run mostly sans food and drink (was able to eat dinner last night). 
  3. Decided to eat meat sauce and pasta as my breakfast. Oh yeah, I'm really smart. Let's just say I didn't feel well for like 3 hours before my run as it was too heavy for a pre-run breakfast. 
  4. Lower GI issues later on the run; I'm very thankful there are porta-potties along the route!
  5. Side stitches on BOTH sides of my body. I've had issue with side stitches in the past (since XC in high school), but I've NEVER had two at the same time. Yeesh.
I wish I had seen this during my run.
Okay, so it just stunk. I was extremely tired and my legs felt heavy. I also started the run a bit too fast even with all of the reasons stacked up against me not to. After a PR in my half marathon a few weeks ago, I plugged my time into McMillan's calculator. You can plug in a time you have for a previous distance (in a race, ideally) and it will give you a guess as your future race times. It's not 100% on point, of course, but it's a nice way to see an idea how fast you can run. I did so with my half and it said I was on course to run a 3:40:34 marathon. Ummm, excuse me?! That's cutting 21 minutes from my marathon PR. I know that's too fast for me, but it gets me really excited since that's within a minute of my Boston Qualifying time (BQ) and it made me realize it may be possible sometime in the future. 

With all of that info, I was hoping to do the first half of the 20 miler at close to 9 minute miles, then do the second half at around 8:30 min/mile pace (close to the pace I'd need to hit for a BQ time). About 8 miles into the run, I realized this was not going to happen and was probably not smart to try to even do so. The last 6 or so miles were so difficult and I actually didn't finish the 20 miler; got back to my apartment with .75 miles left and knew doing them at the sloth-like pace I was only capable of was silly. 
Not half bad pace, even if I fell apart at the end!
Am I upset? Yes, because I don't like having bad runs, but it's one of the first ones I've had in this marathon training cycle and I'd rather struggle in training than in the actual races. I also averaged still a really decent pace, so it's not a total loss. Can't wait for next week's long run to redeem myself! 


  1. Breakfast pasta before running - not entirely without precedent!

  2. Ha! That is pretty much what happened. I usually am fine with what I eat before a run, but that was a stupid move to eat that. Lesson learned (you'd think I haven't been running for most of my life)!