Sunday, January 26, 2014

Sunshine Solo

With a stellar forecast for Saturday - and 20k on the calendar - I pretty much HAD to swap my long run day this weekend.  One can never allow a really nice day to be wasted during winter training.   In fact - I even decided to go a little later to see if it might make for less ice.  So I headed to Eau Claire at close to noon.

How many tragic errors in judgement can you count in paragraph?

My car was telling me it was 13C when I pulled into Eau Claire.   I was seriously questioning my choice of full tights and long sleeve top.  But I mentally bitchslapped myself and said "It's a light top and a January 13 is waaaay colder than a June 13 - especially near the river"

It was so awesome to have the UltrAspire on.  MUCH more comfortable than my belt.  My plan was to head toward Edworthy and see where I ended up.   I plugged in my music (something I rarely do anymore) and planned to just let the playlist carry me.  10k out, 10k back.  Done it a million times before.

And it started out great.  I was in shade for the first couple of kilometers.  And dressed perfectly.  But when I came into the sun - it was WARM.  So warm.  I pulled my thumbs out of their thumbholes and that helped a bit, but I couldn't roll my sleeves up.

The pathway was dry for the most part, but where the sun hit the wet patches, it was hard to tell if they were water or ice.

Add to that - my head started to pound. I had had a cup of coffee at home and brought one for the road as a backup so it shouldn't have been a caffeine headache.   My best guess was that it was my body telling me should have had lunch first.

When I hit Crowchild - a kayaker passed in the river below.  Not your usual Calgary Fare for January.

But I forged on.  I altered my strict out and back plan.  I decided to stop at 5k at Tri-it - use their washroom and buy myself a couple of gels with caffeine in them.  Then - I would turn back and got 5k out on the other side of Eau Claire to make up the 20 in chunks.  I was happy with this idea.  It would also give me more bathroom opportunities since my bladder decided to shrink for the run!

Freshly armed with a caffeinated Gu - I turned back.

and steeled myself for the next 15k. (this was my determined face...even if it looks a bit angry)

I downed the Gu and waited for the headache to subside.

No such luck.

I had pretty much decided to take a longer pause at Eau Claire and eat a sandwich or something, but the path was icier on the North side of the river and I was taking more and more walk breaks, which only demoralized me more.  The headache was starting to make me feel nauseous and I was starting to worry that I might end up out with a migraine if it kept progressing like this.

I was also overheating pretty severely.  I had plenty of water, but I came close to peeling my shirt off.  Anyone who knows me will understand that THAT is not a sight I would have willingly graced Calgary's pathways with.  You can all thank me for not doing it.  I just overheated in silence.

I did find $5 on the path though - so that made me smile through the pain.

When I reached Eau Claire - I hadn't completely sold myself on quitting quite yet, but I was feeling dejected and really just wanted the run to be over so I could go home and kill the headache.

So I ended it.  Shut off my Garmin and headed to my car.

10k.  on my 20k day of my Half Training.

I suck.  But I refuse to beat myself up too badly over it.    I will make up the other half of the run tomorrow (maybe I'll even go a bit further than 10k to really make it up)  I read a great article a while back about the merits of splitting up a long run (worth reading - click the link...especially if you have a marathon coming up).  I know that as long as I get the distance in this weekend - I will still be in ok shape for the half.

I am not going into Hypo with high hopes for performance.  Hell - if I end up walking it, they will still give me my medal.  This has been a hellish winter for motivation and training.  The whole point of registering for Hypo was to keep me moving through the winter and it has kind of done that.  I am focussing instead on finishing it safely without hurting myself as I head into marathon training, which I will need to take much more seriously than this.

So, let's review all the ways I screwed up my long run this week, shall we?

  • Starting much later in the day than I usually would - knocked my rhythm right off
  • Waiting too long after breakfast and not eating lunch before
  • Caffeine withdrawal?
  • Overdressed (I seriously thought I'd be ok)
What I did right:
  • adjusting the plan to fit the run
  • bringing my debit card so I was able to buy a caffeine Gu even if it didn't solve the problem.
  • Listening to my body and stopping when I needed to
  • Walking wherever the path was sketchy
  • Not killing myself for the mental exercise when I knew I stood a better chance of succeeding another day.
  • I found $5.  That's like almost being paid to run...
Now, tomorrow...I think I'll be making up the other 10k with the Doctor.  That sounds quite lovely.  Now if only I had a Tardis here that could just deliver me to a km before the finish line on race day...


  1. Well, that doesn't sound like any fun at all. That's too bad because it was such a nice day out. But that's the problem in Calgary, you never really quite know how a temperature will actually feel. Look on the bright side, you worked the problem, and adjusted as best you could. Hope today's run is better.

  2. Sorry to hear about the headache Cori. At least you got out there and had a few things on your "right" list. OK, after reading this finally have the motivation to head out for my long run. I have put it off until noon Sunday so I'm doing some of the things on your "wrong" list. Finding $5 was fun! Fingers crossed.

  3. I cut my Sat 18k down to a miserable 4 after falling on ice. At this point I think treadmill it is. You're right - safety comes first. Hypo will have to be a training run especially if pathways are slippy. We're still getting out there though! That has to be good.

  4. Oh no, I'm sorry Cori! Having a poopy run sucks. It sounds like you did the right thing by calling it early. Probably nutrition did come into play if you hadn't hydrated as well before the run, or if it had been awhile since you had eaten breakfast. Were you taking gels along the way or did you only have the one that you bought? I've found that 20K is an awfully long run sans nutrition.

    But hey, you were able to get out and enjoy the sunshine, and you listened to your body!


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