Monday, April 30, 2012

A Tale of Two Long Runs

On Saturday the 21st of April I ran a 19 mile long run. Andrea was in London and it was just Anna and me at home. The day before I tried to prepare as much as possible. I drank plenty of liquids. I ate a carbohydrate rich diet. Anna and I went to Chilli’s for dinner and I got chicken pasta with marinara. I went to bed early. I should have been totally ready for the long run.

But the next morning I woke up ate some cereal, drank water and coffee, stretched, filled my pockets with gu s-caps and a half of a pb&j, grabbed my water bottle and headed out. From the first step I knew it was not going to be a good day. My legs felt shaky and running was a labor. I ran up Tanglin Road and the small hill felt like hiking in Nepal. I ran through the Botanic Gardens and almost turned around and headed home because it was nasty. There was no way I was going to be able to run 16 more miles. I filled up my water bottle and took an s-cap and ran on towards MacRitchie.

When I got to MacRitchie I was feeling better but I was running slower than normal. As I got on the trails I got a gift – it started to rain. The water felt good as it rained really hard. I made it home but the whole way was a struggle. On top of that I realized when I got home that my sleeveless shirt had chaffed the insides of my arms. Nine days later my right arm still burns.

This Saturday (the 28th) I ran 20 miles. My preparation was much the same. Andrea made chicken for dinner with steamed rice and corn. That was really the only difference.

I got up early Saturday morning and prepared the same as the previous Saturday. I got out to run and from the first step I could tell it was going to be a good day. I ran the Park Connector, through Botanic Gardens, on to MacRitchie, out to Rifle Range Road and back. It was hot but I was running one to one and a half minutes per mile faster than last week. I was not walking as much. And then as I left MacRitchie to run the last five miles home on the road I got a gift – more rain. The lightning was a bit scary but the rain was welcome. I even felt better after the run this week than I did the last.

What was different? I wish I knew. I would make every long run like the one on April 28 and I would never have another long run like April 21 again. I think it may be because Andrea was home...