Training Recap – If Better is Possible

Training Recap – If Better is Possible

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Exhausted and in a little bit of pain, but so happy.

“7 relaxed miles, 5 strong miles, 2 hang-on-for-dear-life-miles, 1 wheels-fall-off-and-crawl/walk mile = 15 long miles dictated by pace targets.”

That’s how I described my run today. It was a major milestone run, both in terms of training mileage and my mental readiness. The run was both awesome and miserable and I learnt quite a few important things today.

Never ever run without water & electrolytes

I always run with water, even at 3-4 miles. In the flurry of late nights and early morning wake ups, I forgot my belt. It was a nice, cool morning and I didn’t realize the mistake until it was too late. The first 5 miles were without water and after that it was water at every 1.5 miles. 

Costly mistake as I (apparently) cramped up badly at the 3 hour mark. 

Learn to recognize pain vs. cramping

I was running without much effort until pain hit me in my upper legs. BAM! Or maybe I became aware of it at some particular point rather than a gradual feeling. Either way, I don’t push through intense pain. 

I was talking to Andrea in the afternoon and she pointed out that what I described was similar to dehydration and cramping. It was only then that it hit me – it probably was! I had not carried my water belt and that messed up hydration and electrolytes badly. 

It would’ve helped if I had known to recognize pain vs. cramping. Only me!! 

90% in my head

After 4+ months of HR based long runs that rarely went beyond 30 minutes of Z3, this was my first pace dictated run. The paces weren’t that scary (6 miles @ 13:30, 5 miles @ 13:00, 3 miles @ 12:30 with warm up) but I was nervous wondering if my legs would remember how to go at the pace they used to. 

And when the wheels came off just 1 mile from the “finish”, I couldn’t help wondering if it was really cramping/dehydration that stopped me or if it was my head that stopped me from going that that last mile. Should I have pushed through no matter how it hurt? I don’t know. I will always wonder.

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Inspite of that last derailed mile, I felt I had a good run and it did wonders for me to know that I could run at my “decent” pace for 12 miles or so (Even though I want to bring the average down by a whole minute(!!)).

Mike said the paces were a little slower than prescribed but it was a very good effort.
But …
I want more than a very good effort. If better is possible, very good is not good enough! 

Next week …

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