Sunday, August 23, 2009
The last time I ran over three hours was in March. This weekend I was able to push beyond that barrier once again but with some expense. In preparation for running the Lake of the Sky Marathon Relay with my brother in a couple weeks, I went to check out the section of the TRT that I would be racing. Starting from Tahoe City I went up and up, briefly down, and then a lot more up. This is one of the rougher stretches of the TRT, fairly rocky and lots of exposure. I started the run feeling like I had finally cleared out whatever bug was in my system earlier in the week. That being said, I also felt as if I was coming off a spell of not getting enough calories and a feeling of general weakness. In consideration of said fatigue, I thought today would be a good day to take a gu with me. I ran well to start and had stretches of perceived invincibility. I knew in the back of my head that this being my first long run in some time, that I would probably crash but it didn't seem likely for the first 2/3 of the run. I got on top of a summit or two on the way out, even stopped to take in the view and refuel. With the gu gone about 1/2 way through I was feeling pretty on top of calories and whatnot. Something I failed to consider though was how much water I would unconsciously go through washing down the gel. 6 miles to go I realized I was very thirsty and had very little water. The ridge I was on was bone dry so I started figuring out how I would use my final sips (don't ration your water, this proved to be psychological torture. Suffering through tiny mouthfuls was less relief then it was worth, next time I will just finish my bottle when its low so I can be free of the 40+ minutes of dread knowing that it was almost gone). Soon after I was so tired that I found myself walking a descent and not knowing when I was going to see my car and the precious full bottles living inside of it. Time draggggggged. I wanted to run but upon resuming to pick up my feet I would suddenly be walking again without having made the decision to. EPIC BONK. After much suffering I finally found myself back at the trailhead. Water brought me immediately back to life and I was quick to find the humor in my "predicament". Fortunately for me this was the kind of horrible run that I needed as opposed to a horrible run where you just end up getting hurt or mentally beaten up. I got a nice long day on my feet and hit some of the lowest lows that I have experienced, but all it amounted to was a pair of sore quads and perhaps a slight over-consumption of cold and sweet products from the store in Tahoe City. Additionally, the zombie like status of being I felt on Saturday was reversed completely on today's run up to the Summit of Mt. Rose. I ended the 10.6 mile summit and descent feeling as alive as you can feel upon completing a run in the ominous and powerfully windy morning weather. These back to back runs have me feeling pretty good about my general altitude fitness for the 13 miles I have to race coming up. The legs are tired but not sore, so I guess I will run up Peavine tomorrow before returning to Auburn.