Sunday, February 1, 2009

Pop Quiz!

I am a glutton for (a) punishment or (b) food?

So I had to switch my long run from Sunday to Saturday which meant that rest day took the reverse switch (Saturday to Sunday) no biggie thought I. I had planned to go back to Boney Mountain where I raced in January and run the first 13 then add a 5 mile loop on, estimated time three and half hours. My wife was also running Saturday morning; she has a half marathon in March, and so we bumbled around in the early hours finally leaving around 7:20am. I was at the trail head 20 minutes later on and up and running by 7:50am; already running behind the curve.

If you’ve read my race report you’ll know that the course has an immediate downhill to a valley floor and from there you work you way up a small peak and back to the valley floor then up a larger one; Boney Mountain itself topping out at 1800’ with an elevation gain of about 1500’ on the second one. I was making pretty good process up with some walk breaks on the steeper section I reached to top and went to step it up a gear on the downhill and there was nothing, nada, nix! The tank was empty! At this point I was a bit worried as I was only just over half way through. I made my way down and reached the bottom and the 12.5 mile mark with five an half miles left to cover I was feeling, to be honest, like crap, heavy legs, couldn’t catch my breath, I just couldn’t find my rhythm. I started negotiating with myself that I should get to 16.2 miles; 90% of the planned distance, I checked my watch and I was really behind schedule so I agreed with me on reaching 15 miles, so I tacked on a short loop, I hesitate to say quick, headed back to to parking lot which I circled for the final quarter mile and called it quits!

So what went wrong, well I was trying a new gel; First Endurance’s Liquid Shot; this is 4 shot bottle; 400 calories and electrolytes, and I wasn’t feeling the recharged feeling that I normally get with Hammer Gels, it's the second bottle I have used now and I have one left but I don't think it will be replacing my Hammer Gels anytime soon. I also had a hand bottle of Perpetuem (260 calories) and another with Amino Vital (90 calories) (750 calories over three hours is right in the middle of my 200-300 per hour target range) so I wasn’t really underfueling while running. With hindsight I think what was the larger contributing factor was that I hadn’t refueled properly from the night before. The previous night I had run 9 miles at a reasonable pace (average 8:28) had had a lightish dinner, watched some TV and gone to bed, for breakfast I had a bagel and coffee, so I think I was running low when I stated and just ran out.

When I got back to the car I grabbed a couple of bottles of Ensure and drank them, by the time I was in the car driving I could feel my body coming out of the red. Also I hadn’t consciously noticed it but it had got pretty warm and the thermometer in the car said 90f!

So not the best of runs but certainly one to learn from, and it's always better to learn while training rather than on race day.

Here’s the MotionBased data and the photos, not too many as the batteries were going.

Oh and the answer the question is (c) both, but apparently not at the right time or in the right order!


  1. at least you're able to take something away from it :) enjoy the rest of the weekend!

  2. The worst runs are the best ones to learn from! If we didn't have them... oh boy would the sport be boring!

  3. You're def a glutton for punishment ;-) Sounds brutal.

    Great pics as usual! Nice little Ensure cocktail at the end hehe.

  4. It's great that you realized you need HG though, and not to change things up.

    What ever happened to pasta the night before?? LOL

    Great job on finishing, and taking care of yourself.

  5. Sounds tough dude. And thanks for providing the answer to the quiz!

  6. Half way done on a hilly run is NOT a good time to bonk :-) perfect time to be experimenting though!!


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