Monday, February 20, 2012

Lessons learned the hard way

With age and experience come many things but unfortunately not the ability to avoid silly mistakes as I discovered after a long run this weekend. I set out early on Saturday to get a really long run under my belt and made a series of fundamental gaffes. By getting up early to fit the 3hour run into the day I didn't leave enough time to digest breakfast, and though I headed off armed with liquid refueling gels in my running belt I didn't take any water. As you might well imagine (or know if you are a runner) I was building a perfect storm, only I didn't realise at the time.

The run itself went very well for 10miles and then on top of the impending nutritional issues I felt my right calf 'squelch' - somewhere in my calf / Achilles a tear had happened. I ran on more slowly and found it eased, I am still feeling the ache a day or two later but its seems not too bad. After the run I popped some ibuprofen to treat the inflammation (another potential error). The run totalled 18.6miles and represents the biggest single distance I have ever run to date, and the after glow felt pretty good... until I went to bed and found my stomach felt incredibly unsettled... that is when I discovered runners runs! The lack of digestion of breakfast, the lack of thought about what I eat the day before, the lack of water during the run, the lack of consideration about how many gels I took (five in all), the lack of knowledge about the potential contribution of aspirin and ibuprofen to runners belly, all added up to a lesson learned the very hard way every hour all through the night!

In every other way I felt fine post run and was so please to have completed it and managed 37 miles for the week. I am now looking into and seeking much more nutrition advice as I don't want to run long again without having done everything I can to avoid runners runs. It was so disruptive that it ruined my weekend, and led to the worst meeting I can remember in work today. I am finding out that training for a marathon is the hard part and that perhaps the run itself will be straight forward by comparison. 

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