10 Good miles - Plus 3 hard ones

This past Sunday was my first half marathon distance long run of the marathon training.  I was looking forward to it, but anxious at the same time.  I was going to be running the first half with my daughters and a friend, and then finishing it off on my own.  My biggest concern was that I was going to go too fast the first 7 miles and then the last 6 miles was going to be brutal.

We walked out the door 6:10 Sunday morning and were walking to meet Sarah.  After a few moments we saw her appear in the dark and we were ready to go.  We started off slow as I always do..... especially on long runs.

After a couple miles Payton started to complain about her foot hurting.  She was playing around the night before running around the yard barefoot and had hurt it a little bit.  After assessing the situation we decided it was best to turn around and head home and let her call it a day.  It continued to hurt her, but started getting better the closer we got to home.  I still insisted that she stop at 4.5 miles and rest and ice her foot.

Ashlee, Sarah, and I kept going after Ashlee took a short stretching break.  While we were stopped, I was talking to Sarah about how my MyTach watch (Garmin wannabe) could not be paused and it was one of my complaints about it and so I just leave it running and make note of the time and subtract it when I get home. We got about a mile back into the run when I looked down at my watch to notice it was not running.  I think out of habit, when we started running again I hit the button to start it...... and instead it stopped it.  This messed up the stats from the first half of my run and I instead relied on Sarah's Garmin time and distance.

When we got back to the house it was right about 7.3 miles.  We hadn't run it too fast, in fact we ran it about 20-25 seconds slower than I wanted to.  I made a quick stop for some fluids and to pick up something to listen to and headed back out for the remainder of the 13 miles.  I needed 6 more miles so I decided to run a 10k loop instead of an out and back.

Everything was going great until I hit about 10 miles.  At the 10 mile mark the sun was well on it's way up, and you know what I think about running in the sun!  Give me 100% humidity any day over direct sunlight.  This day it was right around 90% humidity..... but I didn't want the sun too!  My body was telling me that it was all done.  I mentally was struggling, but was also completely out of energy.  Since I knew I was going to stop by the house mid-way I didn't carry any fluids with me.  I think this turned out to be a mistake given the humidity.

I walked about 2 steps and then forced myself to keep going.  I wasn't in any danger of heat exhaustion or anything, I was just tired and out of energy.  I had a great motivator.  I had only given myself just enough time to get the run done before showering, eating, and getting out the door to church on time.  There was no slack in my schedule at all, so if I walked at all I was not going to make it on time.  This was one of the key factors that kept me going, and at a decent finishing pace for a long run to boot!

I finished up the remaining 10k and walked inside exhausted!  I was dripping as much as I ever had before.  I drank, drank, and drank some more before heading to get a shower and get ready for church.  I have never before weighed myself after running, but was curious how much water weight I had lost.  I jumped on the scale and found that I was down 4.8 lbs from where I was at the start of the run. I hydrated like crazy the rest of the day including both water and electrolytes but still was not able to keep the headache at bay.  That is one of the biggest clues to me that I didn't hydrate good enough before and during a long run.

All in all I would consider the 13.5 mile run (view stats) a successful long run, however I wish I would have done a few things differently.  I will have to learn a bit from the long runs again and tweak them throughout the training.  This was the first time I have gone this distance since the marathon last November.

What do you or would you do differently than me given the circumstances?

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  1. It's possible not carrying water with you was a factor. I've taken to wearing a hydration pack, and this past Sunday on my 13-miler I also carried a hand-held bottle. Together they barely lasted the entire run, and I downed another bottle I had waiting in my car. Despite all that I, too, got a headache. I'm wondering if I needed to drink something besides water. Maybe I needed electrolytes? I'm not a big fan of Gatorade, but may resort to it this weekend.

  2. I have to agree with your friend, Drew...not sure if you had water or electrolytes with you but when its hot and you're sweating that much (4.8 lbs is a lot for 13 miles) then you need to be replacing your body with the minerals it's losing with the sweat. I'd totally bypass the water and just use an electrolyte (my favorite is Cytomax and Accelerade but Gatorade is fine if it agrees with your stomach - sometimes the sugars in Gatorade could be testy on stomachs). I'd also take a gel or sport beans or similar carbs around mile 8 or 9. Nevertheless, that's great you stuck out the run and got 'er done!! Yay!!

  3. I agree with Drew and Jill, I definitely think carrying hydration - more specifically hydration with electrolytes is crucial when you're running in that kind of heat.

    Also, when it's really hot, I hydrate like crazy the night before.

  4. Yikes! Careful with your fluids. Glad nothing happened and you were able to tough it out. 4.8 lbs sounds awfully high. Any way you can take water on your runs? Or fountains you can stop at? Be careful out in this heat & humidity!

  5. Thanks everyone for the comments and thoughts. I remember a lot of this from last years marathon training, but still need to get it tuned back in.

    I took all of your advice for this weeks run and with nearly 90% humidity it wasn't a whole lot different.

    I blogged about it earlier this afternoon here

  6. Yikes! Careful with your fluids. Glad nothing happened and you were able to tough it out. 4.8 lbs sounds awfully high. Any way you can take water on your runs? Or fountains you can stop at? Be careful out in this heat & humidity!