Sunday, November 4, 2007

What went wrong? Advice anyone?

Phase II - Regressive Count - Week Four
10/29/07 - 11/04/07
Week Total: 21

20 miles were waiting for me on Saturday. I was a little bit scared as my knees, especially the right, seemed to feel loose. In addition, I did not run enough during the week because traveling from Washington State to California. Friday night was not so restful as I woke up every hour to finally get up at 4:30 am PDT to follow the Men Olympics Trials. Great race to watch and witness Ryan Hall, my favorite, breaking the Olympic Trials record. At mile 16, he "incredibly relaxed, dusted the field", and got 14 seconds of advantage. Some miles later he was 29 seconds ahead, for a final 2 minutes 5 seconds difference with the second qualifier. His stride was beautiful and his last mile was encouraging. At 6:45 am, with the excitement of seeing an Olympic Trial record broken, I went to bed to get some sleep for a couple of hours before my long run of the day.

9:00 am, with shoes on, music ready, monitor in place, & fuel belt in waist, I left to the beach to do my 20-miler. Told my hubby to have his cell handy because I didn't know what could happen with my knees.

The route was "Lizzie's Long Beach/Naples by the water" of 14.6 miles and I would repeat 5.4 miles to complete the task of 20. The temperature was perfect, 62F/17C, the sea mist was magical and the breeze was soft.

My first 8-9 miles were just fine. Actually, I pushed a little bit and I ran them faster than normal (not much, but a little bit faster).
By mile 11 I started to feel depleted. By mile 12 I needed to walk for 4 minutes. By half-marathon distance I had a 12:59 min/mile. I was destroyed, my knees hurt and my insteps were worst. The next 3.5 miles were done at 15:26 min/mile. I was dragging my feet. At 16.6 I stopped. My legs could not go any further. I barely could walk and it took me 1 hr 30 minutes to walk 2 miles back home, a walk pace of 45 min/mile. Did I hit the wall?

What went wrong?
  • I had for breakfast the same breakfast I've had since I started the long runs: a cup of coffee and 2 slices of oat & nut bread with butter and jelly.
  • I had my GU every 45 minutes as I usually do.
  • The weather was good and even though got hot (75F/24C) at noon, it was manageable and there was plenty of water along the route.
  • Same good shoes with same insoles (green superfeet, which really bother me but have been worn in every long run).
  • I have run in nine occasions during this training distances greater than 12 miles. Only once I've hit the wall and was in my first long run more than 2 months ago.
  • All the long runs have been hard, things hurt, but I am always ok.
  • My 20-miler in DC, 2 weeks ago was really good. My 15-miler last week was decent.
I am concerned. The marathon is in 3 weeks from today and the taper begins. Will I make it? Am I ready? What happened? What went wrong? Advice anyone?


Susan said...

You WILL make it. You ARE ready. I promise.

I, also, had a horrific run today. 18 became 10. Bleh!

The only advice I have is this: All days are not good ones. If this is the first time you have EVER hit the wall -- whoa baby! I'd say you have an excellent track record.

My husband has a theory about me. Sadly, it holds pretty true. As I bonked today, he proclaimed that I somehow have a problem with miles in the mid-to-upper teens. 22 miles, no problem. 16-19 miles - always issues. Very, very strange. Good thing the marathon is 26.2 miles long! :)

Hang in there. You are going to do an amazing job!

And did you see that Katie Holmes did NYC today? Impressive.

Petraruns said...

Hey LizzieLee - looking through your post I don't think there is anything major you did "wrong" today. The only thing I would say is maybe you went out too fast? It happens to me and really affects my long runs. Bear this in mind for the race because the adrenalin and the pace of the people around you will juice you up and the temptation to go out fast will really be very strong. Decide on your pace and stick to it - at least in the beginning. If you have more juice in the jar at 20M then go for it.

But otherwise honey - this happens. Really bad runs. It just happens to everyone. Runs where you think "what?" "how did this happen?" "I thought I could do this?". It's all part of the program unfortunately and it sounds like your great runs far outnumber your bad runs. So don't think this is a marathon foreboding because it isn't. Your marathon is going to be run on a base that was built up over many months during many runs - not just this one. You are going to do GREAT! You are ready.

ShirleyPerly said...

Though it's certainly possible that you just had a bad day (we all have them!) or did not fuel up enough (say, eat enough carbs the previous couple days) or get enough rest, probably the biggest reason is that you went out too fast at the start. And rather than thinking you failed, you really should be happy that it happened in training so that you can avoid doing so on race day.

I like to think of running a marathon as a 20 mile warm-up with a 10K race at the end. With one 20-miler already under your belt, there is no doubt in my mind that you're ready for your marathon. Go ahead and begin your taper and get those knees as healthy as possible for race day.

robtherunner said...

Sometimes it's best to get a run like that out of the way before the big day. They are bound to happen from time to time and it is often hard to figure out what went wrong. Analyze the situation and have faith in your abilities and you will do just fine come race day. I hope the next run is a good one.

Carrie said...

Trust your training up to this point and just take this taper time to rest those knees. I agree with another comment that maybe you went out too fast. Maybe your sleep was not sufficient. Who knows?! There's no right or wrong and no absolute guarantee for a "good run" no matter how much training and preparation you've done. This is the main reason why marathoning is so beautiful and challenging all at the same time.

Instead of wondering what went wrong, think about what you will do in the marathon if that happens again? Will you give up? Will you walk a few miles in hopes of a second wind? Will you hydrate differently. The past is the past. Know that where you're at right now is where you're supposed to be.

Backofpack said...

You've already recieved great advice from every one - and I agree. There are good days and bad days.

Here's some taper advice. Run easy, run short. You will develop mysterious aches and pains and worries - all part of taper madness. Hang in there. In the week before the race, get plenty of sleep and eat healthy, drink lots. You probably won't sleep a lot the night before the race, so be sure to get that sleep in for a few nights before. Most of all, as everyone else said, start slow and easy!

Lora said...

Not sure you want to try something new now that you're tapering, but...I think you need more calories for breakfast and more on the run. Try adding a can of Ensure to what you're already eating 2-3 hours before.

You need more calories during the run too--100 calories from GU is not enough. Will you take in Gatorade at the race? Maybe carry some Sport Beans also. Shoot for 200 calories an hour.

Think Positive!! You're going to do great!!

Anonymous said...

No advice here. But I'm looking forward to reading your report of the race in about 16 days.

MarathonChris said...

There is really nothing I can add to everyone else's great advice. You ARE ready - don't let those words of doubt creep in. You have done the work and prepared. This is just one run of many - and as other folks have said, sometimes you have a tough run (you know I do if you read my blog).

I can't believe you were running in Long Beach. I was in Huntington Beach just this week, and go back again next week. One of these days you and I will be in the same town and we will have to get together for a run (I am pretty slow :-).

You are going to totally rock your marathon. Enjoy your shorter runs over the next few weeks, get lots of rest and know that you have already done the work!

MarathonChris said...

Hey Lizzie Lee - Sorry I will miss you in CA. I don't have any trips to DC (that I know of) before next year.

Send me your email and I will keep in touch with travel. We will run sometime! :-)