Long Run Blunders

My scheduled run for today was a 24 mile run. I chose an out and back on the Neuse River Greenway. The section I chose wasn’t too bad, mostly flat with a few rollers.

I woke up on time, had a cup of coffee but didn’t really feel like eating anything. I had a second cup of coffee and quickly grabbed my gear for the day, not checking that I had everything I thought I did. I filled up my 2 liter Nathan hydration back with water and reminded myself that I preferred my (broken) CamelBak Lobo. The CamelBak just rides better in my opinion. Garmin on, bag in hand, off we go. 0 calories consumed.

On the ride out, I start considering my pace plan for the run and halfheartedly go with 9:30-10:00/mi. Oh wait, kick ass song on the radio so I turn it up and forget what I was thinking about.

Arrived at the trailhead, I unlock my Garmin and impatiently wait for it to find a satellite. Stomach reminds me I didn’t eat, so I open up some Sport Beans and eat them while waiting for my now infuriatingly slow Garmin to do its thing. Finally, 5 minutes (or 30 seconds) later, beep. I hit start and off we go.

Mile 1 starts off like they normally do with a little argument between my brain and legs. Everything eventually clicks after a few minutes and I look at my pace. 8:10/mi. I remind myself to slow down and miles 1-6 are mostly uneventful, and my pace averages out to around 9:45/mi. My stomach lets me know that the snack wasn’t enough so I dig through my bag to see what else I had. Another pack of Sports Beans, a pack of Clif Bloks and 1 Gu. Not much, but it is what I have. I open up the Bloks (Mountain Berry flavor) and kick them back.

Somewhere early in mile 7, I start feeling my IT band tighten up a bit. Ignoring it, I move on. Mile 8 it really starts to bother me, so I stop to stretch it out a bit. I get going again and its just nagging me to stop. I stop and stretch it again, and decide to walk a half mile on it. That just made me more aware of it so I turned back just past 9 miles out. I tried jogging a bit and then decided that a jog/walk would likely get me back to the car. I downed the GU just before mile 10 since I probably needed electrolytes. Miles 9-18.2 my pace averages to 13:20/mi.

Here is what I should have done differently. Eat real food before I left the house, 200-300 calories with at least some protein and fat to keep me from being immediately hungry. Made sure that I had at least 900 -1000 calories (I only had 500 on hand) to eat on the run. Stretch while waiting for my Garmin to boot (and maybe even a few minutes longer than that.) Stop ignoring my body when it is trying to tell me something. As many times as I say many of these things, I keep doing them.

Time to go use my foam roller to try to get the IT band happy again.

Train smart and run happy!

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