Updated: Mar 16
For my weekend long run, I was planning to run 17 or 18 miles. I like to start early and have the rest of the day. This day, I was getting a late start, since it was about 28 degrees warming to about 40 degree by lunch time. It made sense to let it get warmer before the run.
I originally planned to improve my time on my 18.5 mile loop from my house. However, I didn't want to deal with traffic, as it was getting later in the morning, and there are some tight locations on the road where even two cars have a hard time making it through. At certain locations where visibility is also poor, I will switch to the opposite side of the road. I typically run facing traffic for safety. That thinking is overruled when I cannot see cars and they cannot see me.
Instead of my 18.5 mile loop, I decided to run the bike path in Milford - The Upper Charles Trail section. It is relatively flat and scenic. It would not be crowded at this time of day or at this temperature. It is 9 plus miles out from Fino Field in Milford.
I was not looking forward to this run. It was cold and I did not feel my best. My Training Peaks app indicated that I was a little bit drained to start the day. However, I had a good breakfast, waited a couple of hours for breakfast to clear out, and then headed out for the run.
I decided to commit to the Jeff Galloway run-walk method during my long runs in preparation for when I do the Providence Marathon in May. That method worked excellent for me during the Mayflower Wind Cape Cod Marathon. I was able to hit my gaol time exactly.
I felt pretty good to start and had to pace somewhere near 8 minutes and 30 seconds. However, along the way, it felt like the food that I had brought with me may not have been the best choice. I brought my usual figs and dates. I was also trying some smoothie and orange slices to replace gels which have not been sitting well on my stomach.
For entertainment, I settled into the run with Joe Friel's Fast After 50 audiobook. It is a good read and builds on my knowledge of training in my fifties, interval training, and high intensity work. I have been lacking, especially, in the high intensity work. I need to be reaching closer to my maximum heart rate 1 to 3 times per week to keep increasing my VO2 max. Later in the run, I switched to my music playlist. It did not help my performance, since I was not feeling well. So, I switched back to the book.
For my hydration, I brought water with my Nuun tablet. Not realizing that the tablet was providing citric acid, I added a lemon and a half of natural lemon juice. I think all of the citrus may have been too much. My body was craving plain water around the time that I started to struggle.
By mile 15, my stomach and my legs did not feel great. I had to walk much more. This changed my run ratio from the 4 to 1 ratio to running short intervals. I would pick a tree to start and a different tree to end at. Or, I would select telephone pole to telephone pole.
When I reached Fino Field near the end, I had over 19 miles. So, I decided at that point that I would run until I had 20 miles complete. At 19.8 miles, I almost felt like I was going to collapse in the parking lot or maybe vomit. I told myself that I couldn't end the run at 19.8. I had to finish the 20.
When I was finished, I got into my car nice and easy and made sure the heat was on since I was very cold and my body temperature typically drops quite a bit when I finish a long run in cold weather. However, I should have cooled down more by walking the parking lot. I had made that mistake before during the Carlsbad Marathon.
I then stopped for a hot drink at Dunkin' Donuts and bought my usual almond milk latte. But my stomach still did not feel very well and I was only able to take a couple of sips of the latte. Then, I focused on driving home and looked forward to seeing my wife and two dogs.
For recovery, I took my usual long hot shower to combat my body temperature dropping and then I put on some warm sweatpants and socks and tried to warm up in the bed. I felt like my chest was spasming a little bit and my body was shivering. I was able to get an hour of two of rest and then when I woke up I felt pretty - good well enough to function. I started gradually eating and drinking a lot of ice water to re-hydrate. The rest of my day was low key and felt pretty good. By the following day, I felt great.
It is great that I finished another 20 mile run. I am disappointed in my time, since I had to do a lot of walking. I had some good lessons learned. But 20 miles is 20 miles and it was still good training. It will help build towards the marathon in May.