Today I hit the 20 mile mark, and have concluded the build-up for distance for next months race. It was hot (94F), and not the best conditions for running so long. Here’s a quick breakdown:
Miles 1-7: Feeling good. I’ve got a decent pace going, in hindsight it was too quick for the weather. I was going strong and enjoying the run.
Miles 8-9: Stomach issues. I had to go, and no place for it. I was struggling with the butt clinching until I hit Monkton Station and… RELIEF!
Miles 10-14: After a much needed potty break, things got back to normal. I was still going strong.
Miles 15-16: I started to bonk. I’d been hydrating well, and was eating a little something every 7.5-10 minutes. It was the heat that got me. I reduced my intervals to 1:00/1:00 but it didn’t hold the bonk at bay too long. I ended up taking a 10 minute break to let my legs recover, and to refuel.
Miles 17-20: After the break, I did ok for another 1.5 miles, slow but sure. The bonk continued despite my hydration/eating and I ended up mostly walking the last 3 miles.
I made it the 20 miles, and am home recovering fine, but I’m not happy with the bonk. I wish I could have held up the running better, but it just didn’t happen. Time to reflect and learn…
Here are what I believe were the failings of the run.
1) I didn’t start the run until 9:15. I knew it was going to be hot, and sure have forced myself to wake early to avoid as much of the heat as possible. I don’t know what it was when I started, but by the end, it was 94F, definitely NOT the best way to start a long run!
2) Yet again, I became too confident in my abilities early on, and was going at a quicker pace than I should have. This has gotten the better of me several times this training. I’ve got to force myself to go much slower than I feel I should go.
3) Possibly too little sodium? I took with me some homemade energy bars. The consisted of quinoa, chia seeds, flaxseeds, agave syrup, coconut, cacao nibs, and strawberries or blackberries. I also took with me a banana, that I had after the first mile, and a couple of Jason’s almond butters. I was well stocked with goodies, but I’m wondering if part of my problem was a lack of electrolytes. Time to look into electrolyte supplements.
Even with the bonk, I’m confident I’ll get through the marathon. It won’t be nearly as hot, and there will be aid stations with a ton of goodies. I just need to focus on hill work, and take my reflections to heart.