The 22 miler was a mixed bag. Success in that I got it done (yipee!) and got my thinking/work done (yipee!). Fail in that it felt off from the beginning and the last 5 miles were really sucky (9:07, 9:23, 9:44, 9:31, 10:04). My finish, with the miles getting slower and slower and feeling suckier and suckier (is that a word?), reminded me of many marathons that I crashed and burned in the later miles.
So, in analyzing what went wrong (b/c you all know I like to analyze things), here’s what I figured:
- The weather didn’t help. It was cold and windy (23 with 18 mph winds) and light snow at times.
- The footing wasn’t the best. Slippery in spots. Not horrible, but enough that I had to concentrate on the road.
- Things just felt off right from the start. During the first 1/2 mile I felt like I was at a comfortable pace. I felt like it was about an 8:40 pace. When I looked at garmin it was 9:08 pace. Uh-oh, not a good sign that my pace was so much slower than what I thought it felt like. In retrospect, maybe I should have just stuck with that pace and then my run might have finished stronger. But, I tried picking it up a bit, so that for the first 10 miles it would average 8:58. Weird, but 8:58 felt hard.
- So for miles 10 – 20 coach had said to try to negative split it. So I did pick it up for miles 11 – 17 (8:42, 8:47, 8:46, 8:45, 8:51, 8:51, 8:47). But then I just completely died at mile 18. I felt dehydrated. I was shuffling more than running. My right hamstring was tight and I had to stop and stretch about 8 times. I was cold. I just wanted to be done.
- I was very close to quitting at 18. The only thing that kept me going is knowing that my schedule wouldn’t allow me to do a long run next week, so I needed to get it out of the way.
- In retrospect, I think my biggest problem was that I didn’t give this training run the respect that it deserves. 22 miles is a REALLY long way. It’s just about a marathon. And my fueling yesterday was sub-par. My sleep all week has been minimal (5 – 6 hours a night). My stress level has been high. I probably would have been better off sleeping in a couple extra hours instead of getting up early to work before my run.
Lessons learned! The important thing is, it’s done. Now my remaining 20 milers should feel easy after this!