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.
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.