Sunday, January 10, 2016

My Worst Run To Date

The Prelim

I'm trying to do a blog post once a week, so I'm a little late on this blog entry. The usual excuses, work being crazy, etc.

This week's workouts were a little different. I was scheduled for an easy 2 mile run, a 4 mile tempo run and an 18 mile long run. Instead of the easy and tempo runs, I ended up doing a 15.5 mile hike at Fall Creek Falls. More on that in another post.

This post is about the horrible, terrible, slogging long run of 18 miles. Most definitely the worst run I've ever done, especially from a motivational standpoint.

Weather and clothes

It was cold. 28 at the start, maybe 38 at the finish. I went to Stones River Greenway, which is my current de facto run longer than 13 miles place to run.

I wore my lululemon tights over a pair of RaceReady capris, my UA half-zip and my UA hoodie jacket. I started with a face mask, but dropped it back at the car after the first mile warm-up and ended up just using an ear-covering head band and occasionally my hoodie up for the rest of the run. I also used my winter horse riding gloves and kept those on most of the run with my half-zip sleeves over my thumb.

Wearing the capris under the tights worked ok, but wasn't optimal. I think the capris are too big, so didn't stay in place like they should. Warmth-wise, I was quite comfortable for most of the run, although, I will admit to my legs being too warm by the last 2-3 miles. I managed to find a pair of size small in the capris, so hoping those will work better.

The Run

I have trouble running strong for the first 5-8 miles of a long run and then losing steam, momentum and speed in the later miles, so this time, I started out very slow (14:00/mi), hoping to at least be able to maintain the slow speed through the later miles. The only thing I learned is that when I start slow, I just get ever slower and slower and slower. By mile 14, I was shuffling along and doing about 17:00/mile and that was the rest of the run. I was walking a good bit during those last miles.

My HR was good though. I averaged around 153 for most of my mile splits. That was the other thing. I was determined to keep my HR down for the entire run instead of letting it creep up to the high end of the spectrum.

My motivation and enthusiasm for running was non-existent by the time I reached my truck. At this rate, I won't be fast enough to even finish the marathon in the generous 7 hour time limit. I'm still determined to try, but sticking with half marathons looks pretty tempting right now.

During the later miles of the run, my hip flexors were very tight and painful, which likely contributed to the slower speed and raised HR. I need to find some exercises to fix that. Any suggestions?

The Aftermath

The good news is that after I got home and showered, I really wasn't that sore the rest of the day or the following days. After such a horrible run, I expected recovery to be at least as painful, but strangely, this was one of my easiest recoveries.

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