Saturday, April 7, 2012

Eleven miles at Bethpage, without fuel nor water

Today's run (Bethpage State Park): 11.2 miles

I had plans to run with my buddy Dave today, but he had a scheduling issue and needed to postpone. The plan was for Dave to accompany me on his bike while I ran. Last February, I wrote a post about Dave's racing nightmare when he suffered a heart attack during a 10 mile race. Since then he has responded well and has been cleared for runs in the 2-3 mile range. It shows that even if you suffer a heart attack, being otherwise fit will certainly accelerate your recovery.

The temperature was in the high 30's when I went out at at 8:30 AM, and I'd purposely under dressed knowing I'd be generating heat over my long run. I wasn't that uncomfortable, even at the beginning, and by mile two I was glad to be in running shorts.

I wore the Spiras thinking they would minimize the possibility of foot problems, but I detected the slight pain in my left foot that I'd assumed was specific to the Kinvara 3's. After a few miles the pain decreased and I thought I had it licked. Turned out it wasn't so simple. By the end my feet were very uncomfortable.

The only nutrition I took for the entirety of my run was a GU gel that I had prior to the start. I took along a GU Roctane for refueling later in the run, but I didn't feel as though I needed it. I also brought a water bottle but didn't take a sip during the run. I wasn't being macho by denying myself nutrition and hydration, I just wanted to test whether I needed it. Did my body use fat as an energy source after glycogen depletion?

After many weeks running the Bethpage bike trail, I've become familiar enough with the route that I know how far I've gone without looking at my Garmin. I also separate the course into stages, based on landmarks. That helps me psychologically, especially as I increase my distance each week. Today I ventured within a mile of the bottom of the trail, located in Massapequa Preserve. I may end up doing an end to end run next time.

On my way back I was happily surprised that my energy level never fell too far and when it dropped a little, I quickly rebounded. I saw many runners, walkers and cyclists today and one sap who was walking along the trail, smoking a cigarette. Why do something healthy like that and smoke?

I did experience a drop in energy with about 2 miles to go. I knew I was facing the toughest part of the route and resigned myself to the work. Running the penultimate hill was easier than I thought it would be, but the final hill was a bear. Still, I finished 11.2 miles feeling in better shape than I did when I ran 9 miles a few weeks ago.

I'm on vacation this week and next weekend is the Marcie Mazzola 5K (on Sunday). Due to that, I'll skip my base run as I taper. From now until then, speed will be my focus. I'm curious to see if all this base building will help me push the pace over a decidedly shorter distance.

2 comments:

  1. All the best. Looking good.

    After reading your post & the NY Times story about a 153 Ultra Marathon runner in the Sahara desert, I popped some Aleve & went for my morning run.

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  2. That's the spirit! When are going to run again?

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