There is something to be said about mentally preparing for a race vs preparing for a training run. As I have a 50 Mile race in early December, my training schedule called for a 50K ‘training run’. It’s funny that two months ago running the 50K was THE race. And the difference in the two race days couldn’t have been bigger.
I felt great during the first 20 km but soon after that I just started feeling sluggish. I was tired. I wanted to just curl up next to a tree and sleep. I hadn’t gotten much sleep during the past week and it was catching up to me big time. It didn’t help that the race was basically two loops which makes the mental aspect even more challenging. Finish it once and oh by the way, go out and run the same course again. Not fun.
It wasn’t all bad though. The weather was ridiculously nice especially for November. Sunny and blue skies, albeit a bit cold for large portions of the race as we were under the cover of big trees above.
My goal for this run was to see where my body and nutrition began breaking down over longer mileage and I’d say I achieved that. I was very diligent with my salt, my protein and my gels. Nutrition was spot on, it was just my body was so fatigued. Note to self, get plenty of rest before the 50 miler.
My left knee and in particular my left IT band has been sore to painful this past month so yesterday I made sure to take it easy on the downhills. While the knee did tighten up and sometimes threatened to break down into full pain mode, it held up very well. This morning I noticed it was extending out to the left quite a bit. Not the prettiest site but at least it doesn’t hurt much.
The worst injury and probably the biggest lesson of the day was around mile 10 I felt a little pebble under my right heel. Not wanting to lose time because…absolutely no idea why I was worried about time but anyway, so not wanting to lose time I didn’t take the 2 minutes to remove my shoe and the rock. I could feel the blister with each step and when I was finished and finally removed my shoe, I had a nice solid blister from the middle of my foot to the heel! It hurts a bit this morning but it’s temporary.
In general I feel in better shape than I did after my first 50k. I finished in 7:55, a full day in the office without the lunch break. Not the funnest race I’ve ever done by any stretch of the imagination, but I feel like there were lots of valuable lessons from the day. Now to recover and then start preparing for the 50 miler. Only 20 days to go!
Oh and I also learned my watch lasts 8 hours before the low battery light comes on. Need to figure out that situation before the next race too.
Here are the details from the race http://www.mapmyrun.com/routes/view/153000771