2nd Attempt of 20 Miles

Good evening everyone! How’s your long weekend going? Mine’s going good but it’s not a long weekend for me. In the summer I work my normal schedule as it’s usually easier to keep everyone on the same days. Starting at Thanksgiving I take the holidays off as it’s slower and easier to change the runs around. Here’s today’s report on my 2nd attempt of running 20 miles:

Last Sunday’s attempt at running 20 miles didn’t go well. Right from the first step my left heel was squawking at me a bit. It never stopped and at 11.34 miles in it took over my body and I came to a screeching stop. I tried to get going again after a 1/10 mile walk but after running another 1/3 of a mile I was done for the day. My body didn’t want to go and my brain agreed it would be foolish to go any further. My heel wasn’t killing me but it wasn’t good either.

After thinking about my heel for a few hours I decided to skip my Tuesday and Thursday runs this week.I also bought new shoes and socks with cushioning built-in. I was hoping my heel would heal enough for me to attempt 20 miles the following Sunday. That Sunday was today. So this morning I headed out for a triple out and back. The first 15 miles went well but after walking 1/10 of a mile 16 miles in my calves started giving me hell when I started running again. I lasted about 1/3 of a mile and I had to walk. At this point I had given up. I grabbed a Gatorade and water at a gas station and then sat on the grass beside them. I must have sat there 10 minutes and then decided to walk home.

It turned out to be a good thing to sit and rest as my calves stopped bothering me. When my Garmin hit 17 miles I started running again. I managed to run/walk the last 3 miles to hit my 20 mile goal. It wasn’t as fast as I wanted but it was just fast enough that I’d have a shot to finish my marathon in less than the 5 hour cut off time. My calves on the 1.5 mile walk home started killing me again but overall I felt pretty good for having run 20 miles.

After plugging my Garmin in at home I discovered my total run time including breaks and that “give up” period was 3:50:17. That means if it was marathon day today I’d have 1:09:43 to run the last 6.2 miles which is a 11:15/mile pace. It seems very doable when you read it here however I feel I better run that first 20 miles a little better. I’d like a little more wiggle room if I have another not so good run.

So why did my calves hate me so much? Was it just the mileage I was asking them to run? I’m thinking it was possible one of 2 other factors or combination of both. First lack of hydration? I tried to go as far as I could without. When I hit home 13 miles in I drank roughly 1/2L of water and 1/2L of chocolate soy milk. This was the first fluids I took in but I didn’t even feel I needed it. Mainly did it because I was stopping for a washroom break and might as well. When I thought I was done for the day I drank 1.25L of Gatorade and .33L of water. After this and/or the rest my calves were good again. So was it hydration? Possibly but during my marathon I won’t be so bad as they will have water stations. I just hate wearing my Camelbak as I bought the wrong one I think.

My second mistake maybe? Counting on the weather forecast from the day before?! Yesterday they were predicting a high of 18C/64F. So my thinking is starting with a temp of 5C/41 a shirt and shorts were fine as it was suppose to warm up quite a bit. Well enough anyways. However over 4 hours after I started it had only reached 10C/50F. So could only having been out running for a little over 3 hours in shorts and a cooler than expected temp. been the problem or just a contributing factor? I’m not really sure but if it’s similar weather for my marathon I’ll be wearing these shell pants I have that I wore last spring before the nice shorts weather hit.

Ok so how do I feel after the run and cool down walk? Pretty well actually! My calves are fine and haven’t threatened cramping since my cool down walk. They never did today but boy did they hurt at times. My left heel was sore the last 5-6 miles but not like last weekend. It’s also doing much better post run than it usually does. It was either the new shoes,socks,better form or a combination of the three. I really tried to keep good form today so hard to say what the biggest factor for a better heel was today. Oh yeah fourth thing possibly was taking a week off running to let my heel heal.

In short I was feeling good enough to go golfing just 1.5 hours after I got home. To be sure to not overdo things and let my heel and calves recover we took a cart today. It was a nice way to end the day as I played well and won πŸ™‚ When I turned back to the cart on the 18th hole this is what I saw(see pic below)…nice way to end the day!

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10 Responses to 2nd Attempt of 20 Miles

  1. Pingback: Starting Your Own Small Business in 2010? Do It In Style With a New York Virtual Office! | Business, Money, Benefit in the World

  2. Astrid says:

    You are amazing for finishing the 20 miles. Your mental strength is truly incredible. That rainbow is gorgeous, I bet you had an awesome time playing golf.

    • John says:

      My mental strength has been there for the running but not for my eating. It was a great day on the links as I played well and haven’t too much over the last 6 weeks or so.

  3. Jessie says:

    I’m sorry to hear about your calves and heel – there’s nothing that can ruin a run faster 😦 I’m glad they didn’t give you much trouble afterward, though.

    Beautiful picture!

  4. April says:

    What a great picture! Did you go and see if you could find any leprechauns?

    I love it when you comment on my blog πŸ™‚ It gives me a chuckle.

  5. Wes says:

    More than likely, you are using your calves too much when you run. After a while, they get overloaded and start to cramp. Been there. Done that. The good news is, you will either figure out your form to minimize the impact on your calves, or they will get stronger after a couple of more twenty milers πŸ™‚ Either way, you are in a great position to meet your goal. The pot of gold is there at the end of the rainbow!

    • John says:

      Thought my form was good that day but maybe not so much. Was trying to save my heel though so maybe that’s why my calves felt it more.
      Nice tie in with the rainbow pic!!

  6. weighty says:

    gonna send this to my mom

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