Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Read With Caution

How detailed should I describe today’s events? It depends how much I want to gross you out, I suppose.

After feeling very tired on Monday I made sure to run Tuesday’s recovery run extra easy, and was rewarded with another “lowest heart rate ever” run. This keeps happening, and is a reassurance that I’m not over-training. The legs felt better, and I wasn’t as tired any more. Oh, and I ran without eating breakfast before. I didn’t attempt to copy Mike with his depletion thing, but when the alarm went off at 6:40 I thought “breakfast or another 10 minutes of sleep?” and sleep won hands down.

Since I’m still planning on running the 5k in Killarney on Friday, I moved this week’s long run from Friday to Wednesday. 19 miles is quite long, but it didn’t look too daunting; all my recent long runs have gone very well, and the legs always held up to the end, so I wasn’t too worried.

Things started to fall apart after last night’s dinner. Niamh made some Mexican dish, and the problems are 1) it’s too delicious and I always end up eating too much and 2) the beans. Plus, it’s quite hot in the evenings these days (hot for Ireland that is. The guys and gals from Arizona would be freezing, I suppose), and sleeping at 21C/70F isn’t something I do easily, and I kept waking up. The alarm went off at 4:50, and despite being tempted to stay in bed I got up and got ready to go out. The stomach immediately gave notice that it wasn’t happy (which I blame on the beans), and I had to force the weetabix down my throat. I had to go to the toilet three times (I did warn you, remember?) before I felt brave enough to head out. The first two or three miles were awful, I battled my intestines and was constantly worried about losing it at both ends. Eventually my digestive system settled down and the rest of the initial 10 miles loop was ok, though I was running a tad slower than usual. I was rewarded with a stunning sunrise; the sun appeared to be bright red and illuminated the few clouds in amazing orange/pink/red shades. Anyway, I passed our driveway and picked up a water bottle that I had deposited there. As soon as I took a few swigs of water, my stomach woke up again, and this time it was worse. I tried to keep going, but two miles later I had to compromise and squat beside the road to get rid of the dead weight inside (you had been warned). After that I felt better for a few more miles, and until the 17.5 miles point it was ok. Then the stomach cramps returned with a vengeance, I nearly threw up once or twice, and the legs felt like lead all of a sudden. Of course at that stage I was on my return leg anyway, and all I could do was keep going, but it was a rather ugly death trot, until I finally made my way back home. Ugh.

I guess this happens to every runner at some stage, and the way I see it, it’s part of the initiation rites. Now all I need to do is lose a toenail, then I’ll finally be a fully paid member of the “real runners” club.

4 Jul: 5 miles, 49:17, 9:51 pace
5 Jul: 19 miles, 2:43, 8:34 pace

17 comments:

  1. If running a marathon was easy everyone would be doing it, right? Thing is, to do it well you have to do the training and that includes those long runs that don't go well. You finished the run though and made a big deposit into the marathon bank - well done!!

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  2. On the side of the road? No bushes to hide behind I guess... Good luck in your race. I think you'll find your strength will help in the last mile but hold back in the 1st bit.

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  3. That's called dedication, Thomas. But avoid that meal before the race :)

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  4. lovely.

    nice job on keeping going though. I hope I can still be a real runner without doing the squatting thing...I have lost many-a-toenail so I think I get points for that.

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  5. That actually happened to a friend of mine last week. But she runs in the City so . . . well, she's buying new shorts. I dub you both real runners! I hope never to be one.

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  6. That was not a pretty post. Guess you know what not to carbo load with.

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  7. Hope nobody saw you, ya lunatic! :-)

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  8. Wow, did you give someone a magnificent moon shot to go with the spectacular sunrise? ;)

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  9. Actually Thomas, I think you were quite circumspect in your descriptions of your problems. Not too gross at all, thank-you!

    Looks like you knocked out a pretty good pace despite the beans!

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  10. "real runner now" ha! good way to look at it.

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  11. That's happened to me twice in the last six months so I can sypathise with you on this one. Not much you can do about it apart from trying to salvage some dignity by not being spotted!!

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  12. Thomas you gotta stay away from Mexican food the night before a long run. I have those same problems every time I go and visit the in-laws. My mother-in-law makes wonderful food, but it is always fatty and greasy and really good until I try to run the next day.

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  13. What you haven't lost any toenails?? You must be still one of those hobby-joggers ;-)

    I think everyone goes through a "squat day" if they run long enough. Losing a toenail is preferable, believe me! Over time I think you get a good grasp on what you can eat or not. I have to stay away from spicy food, fresh berries and stone fruits (cherries, peaches etc.) during hot weather.

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  14. nice post!! you remind me of a time I had to make an emergency - and I mean EMERGENCY - pit stop at my local gym during a short run. squatting at the side of a busy road in Queens during rush hour was NOT an option!

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  15. We've all been there and used the T-Shirt (so to speak).

    I can lend you a few black toenails.

    Connemara Entries for next year are open - April 1st (no fooling!).

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  16. too bad you're not here in california. we have these california sycomore trees that have the most wonderful broad leaves and they're sorta fuzzy. they're PERFECT for unscheduled bathroom stops, and you never have to ruin your shirt or socks.

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  17. oh, i can beat that story! at least you had time to um, how can i say this delicately? drop your shorts! I didn't have that luxury and was surrounded by a million tourists. They got their money's worth i guess! ha! (of course i posted all about it. I'm all about the gory details.) Yeah, no beans the night before! and for me, no milk again--ever! :)

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