Sunday, September 26, 2010

1st 20mi Training Run of 3--Check!

Got a late start today.  The plan was to get to Paso Robles Airport to Mission San Miguel to run a fairly flat 20 miler so that Heidi and I can hit our pace. Weather has been a factor this week.  Today was very hot indeed. At 7:30 a.m. it was already 54 degrees and climbed between 8-10 degrees every hour.  By the time we were done running, my car read 87 degrees.  When you're running, you can easily add another 10 degrees to account for body heat, so 97 degrees is too hot for my liking.

A shot from our halfway point in San Miguel. 

We learned a lot today.  First we should have prepared for enough water.  I had my Nathan backpack/vest on me but I only had 40 oz. of water. I was running late and didn't think to fill it up. I had room for 70 oz. That's more than a gallon.  I ran out at mile 17.  Heidi planned to surprise me and planted 8 oz. of water bottles for each of us.  That was a godsend but, was not enough, we found out. Damage was already done and we were both already dehydrated.  At mile 18, we drank it all and planned to just walk jog the rest back to the car.   At the 18.5 mile point, I had to make a decision.  Do we really want to sacrifice doing this last mile and risk injury, cramps, and  put all our training in one basket and throw it all away?  This is one training run, we have 5 weeks left.  We'll have another shot next week since we have our second 20 miler then.  I was not sure how Heidi  would take it, I told her I am calling it at 19 and do the cool down for the last mile.  Afterall, we have done a good job today considering the heat element, we were supposed to be at 9:52 pace and at 19 miles, we were at 9:45 pace--way ahead of schedule. To my surprise, Heidi and I were on the same page. 

The second important lesson learned today is never be afraid to make the necessary adjustments to a workout.  Hitting the mileage is not as important if you're going to risk injury or heat exhaustion.  I know sometimes we push ourselves too hard to get to the next level. It is a fine line that we must teeter. Always err on the side of caution--That's Heidi's favorite saying. She's right; We are way too close to New York to make silly mistakes.  I am happy that we finished today in one piece.  Onward!
Along our training route, Heidi can't help it, she has to stop and say helo to her friend.


  1. How much water do you recommend carrying for a 20 miler? I have a one bottle Fuel Belt (16 Oz). Also what supplements do you take while running. I have ran 11 1/2's and I guess I would just have to double what I did for the Marathon.

  2. For my recent 20 milers, I've carried my vest(see my fave things page), which holds 2 liters. I've been paranoid with running out of water. The times before I purchased my Nathan vest, I wore the 4 bottle fuelbelt. I've ran out. Then my buddy and I got smart and "planted" some ice water along the route the morning of the training run. We just froze the regular water bottles and by the time we came around the ice melted and we had cool water or gatorade bottles. Sometimes when it is not that hot, the 4 fuelbelt is fine. I take those table salt packets and use 2 on a warm day. It's good for cramps. I tend to cramp up. You know you need them when for instance, like myself, after a run, I have white dried salt all over my face. If you don't want to use the regular table salt, they sell them in running stores called "salt stick", tablets of 30 for $10.

  3. That happens to me...I have white dried salt on my face after a run longer than 5 miles. Somebody recommended Endurolyte pills, my problem is I can't swallow capsules. I also use GU every 6th mile. Did you the salt during the NYC marathon. tks-

  4. For NY,I didn't need it the salt packet, but I had it just in case. I had eaten some pretzels the night before which had plenty of salt so I was okay. It turned out to be a cool day. Every 45 minutes, for nutrition, I take 6 Gu--at 45:00, 1:30, 2:15, 3:00, 3:45 and one on 24th mile. The only times I've hit the wall is when I didn't have my spaghetti. Both times I had Chinese food and the most recent bonk was for Oakland, where I had Korean BBQ. Learned my lesson: for sustained energy, pasta.

  5. HI Eileen- Thank you for the advice! :))