Today I was scheduled to run a 14 mile long run. Since I had successfully done this a couple of weeks ago, I have been optimistic about being able to do this again. However, the circumstances for this weekend were a bit different.
After running my best 5K ever yesterday morning, I showered up and headed over to help a friend move. I got there around 11 am and worked until 10 pm. After getting to bed late the night before, getting up early for the race, and running like a crazy woman, I was, well, a bit tired. There were a few times during the day I was wondering if I was going to make it, kind of like being in a long run where you are really worn out and just want to stop. With the move, the last couple of hours were tough not only because we had been working all day, but because I did some of the heaviest lifting of the entire day during the last hour of work.
I got home around 10:30 pm and immediately climbed into a nice hot bubbly bath. I knew that I was going to be sore in a few muscle groups I was not accustomed to using. My lower back was already a bit sore. Getting up at 6 am to begin a 14 mile run seemed out of the question. I wasn't sure whether I was going to get to my long run the next day, but for that moment, I just needed to rest up.
My body naturally woke me up around 7 am, so I dragged my achy body to use the bathroom, popped some ibuprofen and climbed back into bed. I got up a little before 9 am and wrestled with the idea of my long run. My legs felt ok and I felt pretty ok. I realize that my long run is THE most important run of the week, and I really didn't want to skip it. My husband suggested, and I agreed, that I would probably feel ok once I got out there.
Now remember my previous post regarding the fact that it is still summer in Florida? Well today was no exception. The temperature was about 82 degrees, the humidity was around 43% and the sun was bright, with no clouds in the sky. I knew if I ran, it was going to be quite hot. So I resolved to go for an 11 mile run (to my office and back) and I could extend it to 14 if I felt up to it. I would take it easy, run slowly and take breaks when I needed.
So I put on the usual Icy Hot, and also a coating of Bull Frog sunscreen since I knew I would be in the sun for over 2 hours. Packed my water, gel packs, ipod and cell phone and took off.
In a nutshell, toward the end of my run, it would be better characterized as going out for a long walk with running breaks. My total time was 2 hours 33 minutes (just under 14 min mile pace) and I had an untimed stop at the office to cool down, refill my water bottles, and pop a couple more ibuprofen. I was glad I wore the heart rate monitor, because I used it to help me judge when I needed to take a walking break and when I could start running again. If my heart rate got over 160 I really kept an eye on it. Over 165 and I took a break, no matter how long it had been since my last break. It helped me to not overwork myself. By mile 8, I was having some labor with my breathing, even though my heart rate was ok, so I had to walk a bit more. By mile 10, I had to simply walk until my breathing felt normal. I started to feel some light headedness and noticed that I was not sweating nearly as much on my run back (the last 5.5 miles) as I had in the first half of my run. With that feeling I walked. I jogged a couple more segments (they were short) and arrived back to the house - exhausted.
Once I got into the house, breathing was still labored. I used a bit of Primatene to help open up my airways. Shortly after that I started to black out and had to lie down for about 5 minutes. After that, I got up to get a protein shake into me to replace some nutrition. I am icing my left heel and blogging as I rest up. I think I flirted with heat exhaustion today. I know hydration wasn't a problem - but it still got hot.
So I am glad I did a long run, and probably tested my body's endurance as much as I might have done with a early morning 14 miler. I think I will modify my training plan a bit so I work in the longer runs over the next few weeks without increasing the mileage too much (that old 10% rule).
It was a tough run, but a good learning experience. Until the weather cools down a bit more, its back to the early morning, in the dark, runs.