Last week’s long run did not go well. I just crashed around mile 8. I slowed significantly and couldn’t regain my momentum or energy. My planned 18 miler ended up being only 13. I ate 1/2 a Picky Bar around mile 7 and within 5 minutes felt terrible. I felt sluggish and needed a bathroom break…like REALLY needed a bathroom break. I don’t know if it was the Picky Bar or if it was a number of other factors and the Picky Bar was just the straw that broke the runner’s back.
There are a number of things I look at when evaluating a crappy long run.
Here’s how this particular run shaped up against the checklist:
- I hadn’t slept well the 4 nights leading up to the run. There were two nights that I barely got 4 hours of sleep.
- I hadn’t been feeling well since I got home from Utah. Not sure if it was jet lag or if I got a little bug from all the kiddos I was around.
- The morning of my long run I had a big protein-filled breakfast. I had tons of bacon and scrambled eggs and hash browns.
- I didn’t each lunch – I ate breakfast at 10:30 and then ran at 2:00 so my typically eating schedule was off.
- I drank a big thing of juice – beet/apple/carrot/ginger – just before heading out the door after realizing I hadn’t had lunch.
- I saw a 2+ foot long snake on my run.
- I got stung by a bee at mile 4. Seriously THAT happened. Ugh.
Rather than struggle through, I finally decided to pack it in early and head home. (Although to be honest I don’t think I could have even kept going. I was just beat and felt terrible.) And then I had stomach problems all night and the next day.
My game plan for my next long run:
- I’ll stick with carbs only before my run since I know that works.
- Try fueling with a banana. The Picky Bar tasted amazing but I’m just not sure I can stomach it to try again….literally and figuratively. I’m so disappointed because my farmer’s market friends raved about them! I may give them a try on a shorter run sometime since there were so many other factors that may have caused the stomach reaction I had.
- Eliminate coffee this week. Coffee certainly doesn’t help with my digestive tract issues so I’m slowly weaning off of it and plan to only have it on “special occasions” or after my long runs. Sigh.
- SLEEP. I’ve started a new evening routine I’ll share with you soon to help address my not-enough-sleep habit.
- Not get stung by a bee. 😉
Any other advice for me? What is on your troubleshooting checklist? How do you handle long runs that just don’t go well – tough it out or end it early?