The last big one

Split speeds and HR

Gotta post the “lows” as well as the “highs”. I set out today to run 3 hours, the second hour at goal pace and the third hour was supposed to be faster than goal pace. I tried to do it when it was hot out. It was really hot out. I made a route that looped past my house twice so I could drink and reload on fuel, and I selected a course that was hilly for the middle third, just like the race-course in Penticton. There were some successes despite the obvious discrepancy between reality and where the “goal line” is indicating what my average pace should have done if I would have been running exactly 5:00min/kms after the first hour.

Successes on an unsuccessful day:

  • I ran my second longest run of my life. (34.3kms)
  • I had zero cramping whatsoever.
  • I had a totally overwhelming urge to quit and lay down at 26.5kms. I had been really pushing it for the first 20 minutes of that third hour and was holding my splits under a 5:10 pace, which was already not on track for what I was supposed to be doing, but was at least relatively close. My HR was rising though and I was getting pretty close to total detonation. I am pretty proud to announce that I didn’t stop and lay down under a tree. I was able to negotiate myself into slowing down a bit, getting my HR back down closer to 160bpm for 2kms and feeling much better about my situation. The miracle here was that even though I felt like I was totally throwing the run out the window it was only costing me about 10 seconds per 500m split. From there I got back on track a bit better and did what I’d consider acceptable running through to the end. Giving up some time during that mini recovery section made all the difference and I got back on the bandwagon before the end of the run.
  • DeSoto Coolwings work well when you can keep them wet, especially with cool water. They are a liability if you can’t keep them wet. And they’re about equivalent to having nothing if you’re pouring warm water on them. Luckily in the race, I have essentially unlimited access to water and ice to tuck into them.
  • I was able to tell my body to run fast on the downhills during the middle hilly section. Despite not hitting pace on the uphills I was making up for it by cruising the downhills with good speed, these sections of the run probably are contributing the most to my post-run aches and pains, but I have the confidence to run fast downhill when I can, I don’t think I need to prove this to myself anymore before the race, but it was good to do so today. I suffer a lot lugging my 85kgs up the hills so I need to capitalize where I can use that weight to my advantage. I attribute this to putting a lot of focus on fast turnover this past year and often brick running at 0% gradient on the treadmill during the winter when I was forced to be inside.
  • I could eat whatever I wanted despite the hot temperatures and high heart rates. I also noted that I can drink about 500mls in one go without making the stomach contents slosh beyond what is an acceptable level of uncomfortable. I didn’t run out of energy at all, or at least I was so preoccupied with being hot, and the high effort level to keep going that I felt like I had lots of energy.
  • My hip flexors and quads were not phased at all by this run… historically they did the most complaining when I did big runs. This time it was the hamstrings that led the revolt after I wrapped it up.
  • My racing shoes felt good up to 34kms so I’ll use them at Ironman instead of my more robust daily training shoes to loose a hundred grams off each foot. The longest I’d run in them had been 21kms previously so I wasn’t sure if I’d want the extra padding or not: I don’t.
  • My chin wasn’t hot at all and I’m not cutting my goatee. I do need a haircut because my head was baking though.
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