Friday, April 10, 2015

15 Mile Run: Problem Solving


Always look for the good - like lessons learned from tough runs and wild flowers in the woods.

It's humid here in Texas. I wanted to run 8 miles today, but I barely made it through 7. Maybe it's because I still hadn't recovered from yesterday when I had a hard time running 15 miles in the humidity. It's all part of my training for the 50 Mile Brazos Bend Trail Race on April 25.

Besides the humidity, I had three problems yesterday.
  1. There was the 55 oz. hydration pack that started a new annoying thing where it kept swinging off my shoulder. After 4 miles, I ran home and exchanged it for my handheld bottle. That felt so much better that I think I'll be carrying a 20 oz. handheld water bottle in the race. Fortunately, the race aid stations are only about 4 miles apart.
  2. After pushing into the constant wind for miles, I was hungry earlier than planned so I started eating early. I had 4 dates, a mini PBJ burrito and a fruit twist. Because it was a shorter long run, I didn't plan as well as usual and I could have used more carbs and electrolytes. I plan on carrying gels in the race and hope to supplement with the aid station gels if I don't have enough. 
  3. I was tired and even after a good taper, I will be tired during the race because it's so long. I'll need to work through that and to keep running until I finish, reminding myself just to run to the next aid station where I can stop to get more water. Hopefully, knowing I'm finishing my first 50 mile race will keep me moving forward.
Have you run a race that you weren't sure that you would be able to finish? How did it go? 

28 comments:

  1. I got a Camelbak for Christmas. I'm very skeptical. I don't see how people run with something like that. I will try it this summer - maybe it will surprise me. I live in the south and really struggle with humidity. Hopefully you'll have a drier air day on the 25th!

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    1. One thing I like about them is putting ice in it so that it starts out cool. If you have one that fits well, it could work really well and I hope yours does!

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  2. I've never taken on an ultra so I can't speak to that, but it sure sounds like you've paid great attention to your nutrition and training, doing all you can for success! I'll be cheering you on virtually and waiting to hear all about it! Enjoy your taper!

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    1. Thanks! I'm looking forward to resting up a bit during the taper so I'm not so tired.

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  3. For me it didn't go well but I think that it's all because I don't fuel:(
    You are going to do awesome!!

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    1. That's a good reminder to be sure to take in nutrition during the race. Thanks!

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  4. Since I've had these peri-menopausal hormone fluctuations, I've had lots of bad runs and races. It's frustrating but I'm hoping things will settle down sooner than later. All the best with your training and race. I loathe humidity.

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    1. This was my first longish humid run of this year. I forget just how much it zaps my energy until I run in it. And there's always those hormones!

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    2. It just got crazy humid here in SC and my long run was horrid because of it. I forget that it takes a bit of time to adjust to. So sorry this happened to you too.

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    3. After the first two humid runs of this year, I've felt much better out there. : )

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  5. I think most distance runners have that fleeting thought that they might not finish but just as quickly as those kind of negativities creep in, you have to scoot them right out of your head. Think how strong you are and how little time this race will take up in comparison to the amount of time spent celebrating your success. You can do this. All positives from here on in.

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    1. Thanks, Joanne! I hope everyone heads on over to your blog to read yesterday's post - a great read for anyone preparing for a challenging race - like you are in Boston!

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  6. 50 Miles! Wo! That's such a long distance! And I can only imagine what that's like if there is humidity! I admire your courage to undertake such a long run and all the training that goes with it! Good luck! Looking forward to reading about how it goes.

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    1. Thanks, I'm really excited about this new challenge!

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  7. It is easy to have a long run go poorly and start to feel like the race is going to be a disaster. I need to remember to do this the next time I am in that situation: evaluate what was difficult and how I should learn from it for next time.

    I'm looking forward to hearing how your race goes!

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    1. I just read an article that suggested that we train in less than desirable conditions to prepare for that on race day. Well, I guess I did that! Looking forward to reading about your 5K progress!

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  8. I have been worried about hydration for Brazos, I think I am going to go with my Camelbak but I am still debating whether or not to just go with a handheld. I agree, thankfully the aid stations are a manageable distance apart! We will have to pray the humidity takes a break that day! But even if not it sounds like you are doing everything you can to properly prepare! ;)

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    1. Thanks, I hope so! Today I ran 10 miles and even though I think it was humid again and I was running slowly, I felt better than I did last week. Little improvements make me hopeful!

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  9. I have the Orange Mud HydraQuiver Vest Pack 2 and I love it. I wore mine on my long run on Sunday to get used to the weight. The bottles are easy to reach and easy to put back. No bounce, chaffing or sweating. I like the fact that the bottles are easy to clean and I can have water and electrolyte (vs only one choice in a bladder).

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    1. My main concern would be the ease of reaching for the bottles and putting them back, but it sounds like that's not a problem. Thanks for sharing!

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  10. Always best to get things figured out during training. There have definitely been races that I wasn't sure I would be able to finish (both marathons, and the trail 25K from last year). But then again I always figure I'll still finish, even if I have to walk. But for an ultra it would be another story, I think.

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    1. Yeah, knowing that I finally finished that 50K last year even though I added 8 miles to it and walked at the end actually helps my confidence this time around!

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  11. Wearing something annoying while on a long run is so annoying! Lucky you were able to go home & swap it out. Do you think the humidity caused the problem? Like more sweat or something?

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    1. Maybe that had something to do with it! The best part of swapping it out was seeing how much lighter I felt after leaving it at home. Fortunately, I don't need to carry 55 oz. of water when the aid stations are so close together!

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  12. Humidity is tough! I have felt pretty bad in it at times. Last summer I tried the Galloway method (4x1) when it was extremely hot and it helped me quite a bit! I have a Nathan pack and as long as the chest strap is tight enough it stays in place, but carrying anything makes me a little crazy. Having something irritate you on a run is never fun.

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    1. I'm glad I've tried a number of hydration options out on my training runs. Sometimes, even gear that has worked before needs some tweaking.

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  13. Training runs are harder for hydration than actual races, I think! I'm sure you'll be fine with the water bottle.. But it would be nice to have a pack if you like to bring your own snacks or a camera, or have a place to stash clothes. I've seen photos of that race, and it should be fantastic!

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    1. From running the 25K last year, I feel better about having run a race on those trails before. We used to live near Brazos Bend State Park so I've visited often for other reasons like geocaching and bike riding. I can't wait to race there this Saturday!

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