Saturday, July 31, 2010

I'm Hungry...Where's a Cow When I Need One

"I'm so hungry I could eat a cow. If one wandered into my yard, it would be like a scene from a vampire movie." Those were my words Friday night. It didn't matter that I had had 2 recovery drinks, plenty of water, 2 big bowls of homemade chicken noodle soup, some birthday cake and ice cream and a steak chimichanga—I was withering on the vine. My body was craving more protein. This happens to me every time I have a long run over 10 miles and then it just gets incrementally more demanding the longer the distance. Friday's run put my body into full fledged protein binge mode.

I planned my route on Thursday so I could get my run in on Friday. I had a meeting at 8:30 am on Saturday morning and there was no way I was getting up to go run at 4:00 am although after Friday's run at 5:00 am I am considering the possibility of more runs at that time. My route called for 22.4 miles. I designed a course that would take me from my home to my parents home. They don't live 22 miles away, but with some creative mapping, I was able to get a route that would give me that distance.

Thursday night I put everything out where I could get to it. I stuck my hydration bottles in the freezer–one with Powerade and one with water. The Garmin and iPod were on the counter next to the hydration pack which contained a couple gels, a Larabar and some Shotblocks. I put a copy of the map of the route on the counter for my wife and gave her an estimated time to pick me up or recover my body in case I didn't show up in a reasonable amount of time.

The alarm went off at 4:20 am and surprisingly I was wide awake and ready to go. I fixed 1/2 PBJ sandwich and a super concentrated Instant Breakfast drink that has a good carb/protein mix. I was out the door by 5:00 am and on the road. My route took me away from the cities for the first 12 miles. I was hoping to average a 9 minute pace. I encountered a few road construction areas that caused me to detour, but for the most part I stayed on pace. At mile 13 I hit the hill...why I chose this hill is a mystery. I think I thought that after I got the hill conquered it would be a downhill stretch the rest of the way. The hill was quite a bit steeper than I thought it would be and by the time I was at the top, my energy was spent.

Miles 16-20 were a blur. The sun was up by then and starting to warm up. I was in the city and the traffic was distracting. At mile 22 I realized I was nowhere near the end of my run. The detours had added mileage to my plan. I stumbled into my parent's yard at 23.5 miles. My long run was over–I don't have another one before the marathon.

I threw on the recovery socks when I arrived home and spent the rest of the day doing work, assisting with my daughter's birthday party and EATING. Any cow that might wander into our yard today has about a 50/50 chance of surviving.