Longest run before the marathon this week - 20 milesToday I did my last really long run prior to the marathon, and it turned out to be much like the ill-fated Allied invasion of Germany covered in the book and movie A Bridge Too Far.
|Good Movie, but a Bad Idea|
On the surface this looks like a very good outing; I finished the 20 miles that Coach Amanda had set as the original goal, I kept up a pretty good pace over that distance (faster than my 13.1-mile race last year) and I didn't injure myself. However, the observant reader will notice that the green blob indicating where I started is not at the same location as the red blob indicating where I stopped.
Amanda had been following my progress so far and suggested that I might want to try doing 22 miles this week, so I'd set out a course that was 21.5, since that was what fit nicely with the roads around here. However, by about mile 15 (the second time past my house, heading on the last leg) I was starting to have really sore legs and was having a difficult time getting going after each of my rest periods, which were starting to exceed the 1-minute scheduled time.
However, I attempted to plow on and see if I could make the distance, but ultimately it wasn't going to happen. The spot where I finally shut off my watch was at the 20-mile mark, and at the bottom of a pretty good sized hill. I'd pushed myself to run that far, but at that point my legs gave up and I had to walk the rest of the way home quite slowly.
I think that the main problem was that I wasn't keeping my salt levels up. By the time I finished the run my black leggings were covered with white salt patches, and I was on the edge of major cramps. When I finally got home I first had some salt straight out of the bowl, and then a large dill pickle followed by some of the pickle juice. That helped a fair amount, but I'm still not moving too fast. The last time I ran 20 miles I had taken some pretzels with me for the last leg, and today I forgot them; I should have run back home to get some rather than attempting to forge ahead without them.