Last night, I took a ride over to Astoria Park to run for a few hours at the 6 hour race. I never intended to race it, but I hoped to get at least 3 hours in before my body had enough. I had gotten up at 4:30 am Saturday morning and ran 15.5 miles of trails. Once I got home, I did some stuff, like maintain my garden, clean the bathroom, play with my dog, etc... before taking off for Queens at 3:15 pm.
I wanted to test out a few things. First I wanted to see how long I could run after running far in the morning. I know that dehydration is hard for me to detect and I tried my best to drink after my 15 miler but I just don't feel like I was able to replenish enough fluid. Although race temps were cooler than they could have been and I was drinking often, I still lost a lot of weight. Sunday morning I woke up at 113 lbs which is the lightest I have been lately.
I was very pleased to have been able to run as far as I did when starting out so tired. At one point about 2:30 hours into the run, I felt like I had a shot at staying in it for the whole 6 hours, but by 2:50, I crashed hard and my legs were toast. The fatigue hit me like a ton of bricks. I am sure I could have fought harder to stay in this race had the race been more of a goal race for me. However, I hit 20.3 miles in under 3 hours and decided that distance, plus the 15.5 from the morning, was enough for me for the day. I really just did not want to pummel myself beyond repair for no great reason.
Another thing I wanted to test out was some new shorts. I bought some new shorts from Brooks which were more like bike shorts (spandex and mid-thigh length) rather than the looser fitting shorter running shorts I normally wear. Sometimes thigh chaffing is an issue with regular shorts because I have thick thighs, especially in humid summer month. These shorts resolved this issue completely. I also have a lot of trouble with waist bands putting pressure on my abdomen, which makes me feel crampy during long runs. These shorts, which I bought one size bigger than I really should, put no pressure on my stomach. The real truth is I first bought these shorts because I like the plaid print, but they feel so good I already ordered 2 more pairs.
I wasn't sure what shoes to wear. My Launch are my training shoes and I reserve them for longer ultras. Running for 3 hours, 6 hours max, was short enough for racing flats for me. However, going in beat up a bit made me decide to not waste mileage on my T7. My T7's are my go-to racing flat and their life span is not terrible long. It makes no sense for me to pound out 20 miles on this super light shoe when I can save them for a better race and give them a chance to shine :).
Instead, I pulled out a new pair of Pure Connect 2. No way! New shorts AND New shoes on race day... isn't there some type of "rule" against this! :) I still brought my Launch and left them at the side of the race course with my cooler bag. The Connect 2 were really the perfect shoe for this distance and the were problem-free for me the entire time I was out there. Since the T7's are my marathon to 5k shoe and my Launch are my 24 hour shoe, I am feeling that the Connects are going to work out well for me for the 6 hour to 50 mile distance, although I have worn T7's for those distance without much trouble.
This was also the first long race in over a year I decided to try without taping my feet. I have been taking my feet since early 2012 for plantar fasciitis. I have had PF so bad that fibroma (scar tissue nodules) formed in my arches. The tape was one thing that helped me the most. I found the preventative taping helped keep my PF at bay. However, lately I have been very pain free and this month I stopped taping for training. My feet actually felt fine without the tape after 36 miles today.
I ran the first few miles with Cherie Y. and the next 12 or so with Tim. It felt great to have company and I was more chatty than I would ever be if I was taking the race more seriously. Like I mentioned, I was not sure I was actually going to drop out at 3 hours until just minutes before. I started to track first place chick, who had about 8-10 minutes on me and pondered whether I could stay in this and be competitive. But after 1-2 more laps, my legs felt heavy and dead and I knew it was because of all the running I did early and I just needed to rest. There was nothing in me to dig for, so I decided to call it a day.
I wanted to be smart about doing something a bit extreme. I could have slowed way down to a walk/run and logged a bunch more miles, but I just did not want to risk injury for no real good reason. Instead, I stopped to chat with Trishul, who has a long history as talented multi-day runner and he is also a massage therapist. He found another therapist who had a table, they set it up, and Trishul was able to give me a massage that really helped to revive my muscles. In fact, I felt better after the massage than I had before the run. My quads had not fully recovered from Running with the Devil last weekend and only after he worked on my muscles did they finally feel pain-free again.
So after the massage, rather than stick around I decided that Sleep was really something I needed. I headed home to try to get settled in bed as early as possible. I knew it was going to be rough to fall asleep after a night run. True to form, I was tossing and turning for hours. However, at least I was off my feet.
As for Stats, all I know is:
- I ran 20.3 miles in about 2:56
- After a slow pace 15.5 mile trail run in the AM
- Giving me close to 6 hours of running and almost 36 miles for the day.
- The shorts were awesome,
- The Connects felt great,
- My plantar fasciitis was ok without tape and
- Swedish Massages by Multi-day runners are the best!