Sunday, September 11, 2011

Lessons Learned

It had to happen sooner or later.  Every training session I expect at least one and today was the day.  I had the worst run I've had in a very long time.  I knew from the first 5 minutes that it was probably going to be an ugly one.  My pace was slower than normal and my heart rate was higher than it should have been.

Craaaaaaap.

I tried to ignore it and just focus on my form.  My legs weren't feeling too hot either but I figured I just needed to warm up.   So I chugged along my normal route, knowing I was going to have to add on a bit at the bottom end to make up the 24km I had to do today.  I had a 10km race page segment I had to do in the middle of the run so I figured between 45-50 minutes in, I'd start my race pace.  My goal was to run 4:30's for 10km.

I kept checking my watch, noting my ever climbing heart rate and slower than normal pace.  I could feel the annoyance building.  Then I started to get a stitch that I couldn't get rid of.  I was starting to get cranky.  The negative thoughts started.  What if I'm overtrained?  What if I'm getting sick....I don't think I can get through this run....The race pace portion is going to suck.....

STOP.  I had to reframe the situation.  Ok, so I'm not having the best day.   What can I do about it?  Nothing except suck it up and keep moving.  I start having a mental dialogue with myself; "All you can do is do your best.  Yeah the race pace portion is not going to be pleasant, so just do what you can".   So, 50 minutes in I take off and my heart rate almost immediately spikes to 170.  And I'm not even running 4:45's.  Ugh.  Well, it is what it is.  All I can do at this point is keep pushing and see how long I can last.  I figured if I could hold on for 50 minutes, that would be at least 10km maybe more.  I managed 40 minutes and that was enough.  I actually had to stop and walk afterwards.  Something was definitely not right.  I was bonking hard.

I finally started running again and thinking about what the issue could be.  I started going over the last couple of days in my head when it dawned on me.  I spent a large portion of yesterday morning encased in black neoprene, in the sun, then swimming in some seriously rough water and I hardly drank anything.  Well d'uh!  That would explain the fatigue, the achey muscles, the elevated heart rate and the lack of sweat that I was starting to notice.  I was extremely dehydrated.  About 3km from home, I stopped to get some Gatorade.  I drank about half the bottle on the spot and topped up my 2 flasks.  I hobbled my way home and as soon as I walked in the door, I filled up my water bottle with the remainder of the Gatorade, more water & some BCAA's (to help my muscles recover).   I drank that down while stretching.   Post shower I downed another bottle and then took a bottle with me when I was out running errands.  Now I"m having another bottle of electrolyte drink.  Hopefully that will help get me back to normal.  I should know better than this by now.  But once and while, I forget.   Then something like this happens and smacks me back to reality.  Let's hope I've finally learned my lesson.
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