With less than 5 weeks remaining until our Grand Canyon adventure, I was beginning to get a little worried that my training wasn’t sufficient – especially after WEEKS of 38 and 28 miles. Looking at the calendar, I really only have two big weekends of training left, so figured I’d better get serious.
Saturday we had a group of nearly a dozen runners meet at 5:30 AM. We all basically ran the first 20 mile somewhat “together”. After refueling, Scott and I ended up adding on another 10 miles on the flat path out to Hopkins. Overall, we covered 30 miles in a total time of 4:37, which includes bathroom and refueling breaks.
While 30 miles is great, it’s nowhere near the 44 miles needed to cover the Canyon. Plus, I was feeling a little guilty about running the last 10 miles on Saturday over pancake-flat terrain. With all that running around in my head, I decided to head out Sunday for a hilly 20-mile run. I immediately cursed the fact that our “spring” weather (or lack thereof) relegated Saturday’s run to the roads and bike paths – rather than the nice soft trails. As a result, my legs were much more sore than I would have liked. I just adjusted by slowing the pace way down and just focusing on time on my feet. In the end, the 20 miles took me 3:17, including about 5.5 miles of climbing.
So that weekend’s training gives me a lot more confidence that I can cover the distance. Now I can turn my attention to worrying about the altitude, heat, hills, fueling, etc.
Here are a few things I’ve learned from some of my recent long runs. 1) Just because the manufacturer says that you can double the recommended strength of their sports drink, doesn’t make it a good idea – especially if it’s the first time you ever use their product. I learned that a week ago after walking the last 3 miles of a 20 miler because my stomach was upset. 2) When drinking gels from a flask, take twice as much as you think. I learned this on Sunday when I took 3 gels, only to find out later than I only consumed 1.5 gels. 3) There’s definitely something wrong with my left foot, namely the nerves running through the middle toe. I’ve known this for probably a couple of years. After the Canyon I may have to have it checked out.
Quote of the Day;
“She’ll come in handy when I need knee replacements.” – Keith Brantly on his marriage to an orthopedic surgeon