Saturday, June 18, 2011

The Last Long Run, Once Again

I've been here at least 20 times before. This weekend was the last long run, a 20 miler this time around, before heading for the Missoula Marathon.

Last Sunday, I'd run a moderately hilly trail race and then followed that up on Tuesday with hill repeats with the local running group, the Glendora Ridge Runners. I'd run speed work at the Azusa Pacific University track earlier in the season. The track work aggravated my already tenuous left arch, so I had to beg off the track work weeks before tackling Illinois and hadn't gone back. I felt bad having disappeared after only running 4 weeks with the group. As with most running groups, they were great folks to be around.

Two weeks ago the group found out that the APU track was closed for the summer to the Ridge Runners switched their Tuesday workouts to hill repeats. This seemed like the opportunity to rejoin the group. Last week we started with 4 repeats of a hill that is just a hair shy of 2 tenths of a mile. I made the rookie mistake of heading out too fast on the first one. The next four (we snuck in a 5th repeat) came in 1:36, 1:38, 1:38 and 1:37.

This week it was back to the hill repeats. This time the plan was 6. My quads were a bit tired from the trail race but I made it through the 6 repeats. My times were a bit slower this week from 1:38 to 1:41. Still pretty consistent I think.

My legs were still feeling a bit heavy on my Thursday afternoon run. The CA Cruisers had planned on running Powder Canyon. I really enjoy the trails there. The loop is about 8 miles. With the 20 miler staring in me the face, if I chose to run Powder Canyon I’d have to do two loops plus some more. I wasn’t too keen on that and there are a couple of leg burning hills. So as much as I wasn’t entirely happy about it I decided to run my long run on the safer Santa Ana River Trail.

My good friend Terry joined me for the first 1o miles and I was on my own for the second 10. The June Gloom this morning was much less severe than the last couple of days. On Thursday and Friday I had to use my windshield wipers to keep the June Gloom at bay. The first 10 miles were under cloudy skies. With Terry pacing we made decent time and pace at 9:50ish. After Terry departed the sun broke through the clouds much earlier that it had been. General fatigue set in and without my pacer, the inevitable slow down came into play. The entire 20 miles took 3:22:42 for a 10:08 pace.

This long run was plagued with the same issues I’ve battled in most of my long runs and marathons of late. About 4 miles into the run I really needed to visit the john. This has been a common occurrence lately. The panic situations are no doubt linked to my diet. I can no longer get away with eating as I please. I’ve got about 10 pounds to get rid of to get back to racing weight. Another unfortunate by product of my crappy diet is chafing like no other “down there.” That is never a fun experience.

Today’s run was also coupled with a very unwelcome light headed and queasy feeling once I’d finished up. This same thing happened to me at Champaign-Urbana. Leaving the stadium that day I had to sit down several times to keep from loosing my balance and collapsing. This never used to happen to me and it is not as though I’m just burning up the trail these days so I’m not sure what is causing this little issue, but it is a concern. Sitting for a few minutes, rehydrating and a few calories and all seems to be well.

Taper time, once again! Let’s see if I can eat a bit better for the next 21 days. Missoula here I come Anybody want to volunteer to bring me some fluid and a burger at the finish line just in case I decide to nearly pass out again?


Wes said...

dizzy spells due to dehydration? It's been really hot and humid this year...

Joe said...

OK...taper time. Sounds like your legs can use it.

The darn weight thing is an issue...funny how pernicious that can be. Pay attention to foods and portions the next three weeks as the mileage dials down.

I tend to agree with Wes on the dizzyness... hydration and electrolytes may contribute.

This is the target relax and enjoy the final prep!

David said...

I'm hoping the 4-mile interruption can be overcome. Get up earlier and eat earlier(?).
I've heard those same "weighty" complaints bang around in my own head. I am exercising portion control to manage it, plus a few less adult beverages. That is a problem insofar as it is soccer season and a good match must be accompanied by a few dark pints.
Good luck!