Monday, July 25, 2011

Longest Training Run

There was cause for celebration yesterday. I completed a 26.7 mile training run in four hours. I have never run this far nor have I ever run for 4 hours. Unofficially I completed an ultramarathon. I say unofficial because it was not officially measured. Any run over 26.2, a marathon, is ultra. This was also my first long run in the Kinvaras.
I was up before the alarm at 3:40 am. Because I have a projection clock, I rolled over in bed like usual, looking at the ceiling with one eye closed to see...
what the temperature was, hoping for it to be at least in the 60s. Oh yuck! 79 degrees and of course the humidity is higher in the morning. That was not what was forecasted. Oh well, stop moaning. Get a cup of joe and begin eating and stretching. The pre-run food included two slices of toast, two Fiber One toaster pastries, and a Clif Bar. Clif Bars have 44 grams of carbohydrates per bar. I consumed 160 grams of carbs before running.
Because of its complete unreliability like my favorite baseball team, the NY Mets, I was expecting my Garmin GPS to act up or fail altogether. In anticipation of this, I took my trusty Timex. Wearing two watches was bizarre, but necessary. The contingency plan was this: If my Garmin died, I would run based on total time. I decided on four hours because in two weeks I’ll need to run three hours on Saturday then four hours on Sunday.
For supplies, I took a 64 ounce hydration pack, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and two GU Chomp packs. Sometimes I can run with 40 ounces water, but not on this one; too long and warm. I’m really sick of the GU gel, so now is a good time to try something new. One pack of the GU Chomps provides two servings, so I took the equivalent of four GU gels, which was usual for over 20 miles. This time instead of running and eating the PB&J sandwich, I will walk or slow jog to avoid choking. I didn’t want to spend the rest of my Sunday dead.

So out the door into the thick air; thankfully there was no sun. Well, guess what? Less than a mile into it, the Garmin started beeping. I tried rebooting it as I ran, but to no avail. Thanks Timex.
As I sweated, I became a gnat magnet. Those vial little black bugs that, for some gross reason, are attracted to sweat began swarming around my head. Gosh, it was really irritating to have them buzzing around my face. I just kept swatting and running. I could not outrun the little beggars so I ate some for protein. Not intentionally, of course. I’m so looking forward to the cooler mornings by the end of August. Hey, maybe there’s a market for runner bubbles so we are protected from the elements.

In the end, other than the gnats, I ate three servings of GU Chomps and half of the PB&J sandwich. The Kinvaras were excellent. Whatever calve soreness I had went away. It’s nearly impossible to feel normal for the rest of the day. Fortunately if I eat enough, I only feel tired and not physically depleted as the day wears on.
Today is a rest day. Tomorrow I’ll do some hill work. If I'm quiet enough the gnats won't know I'm out and about.

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