This past weekend I did the Clarksburg Country Run 20 miler. The good news is, I finished and under the time allowed. The unfortunate things is it was really hard--harder than it should have been. At around 10 or 11 miles in, I started to get tired and slow down. However, even then we were still doing OK pace-wise until I started feeling nauseous around mile 15. My stomach wasn't upset, but I felt like I needed to throw up. This kept me from fueling like I needed to as well as forcing me to walk more, and I really lost my rhythm. I started the self-defeating self talk and it just spiraled downward from there. I even had a moment where I was staring at the shoulder of the road, which was raised a bit so if you stepped off the edge of the shoulder you'd fall a couple feet. I pictured myself tripping in my clumsy state and falling. I actually had the thought, "Well, if I fall, at least I can lie down for a while." It was not good. Kim and Dante pulled me through, though, and I got to the end. I cried a bit when I finally crossed the finish line.
There are several factors that probably led to this. First of all, I should have been carb loading and hydrating for two whole days before the event. I did some the first day, but ate for crap and drank hardly any water the day before the event. That will not happen again. I will be super diligent about that from now on! Secondly, the weather had cooled down and then was warm again on the day of the race. I don't do well in heat anyway, and I suspect I got a little acclimatized to the cooler weather. Finally, the nausea might have been because I ate a flavor of Gu I've never had before. That may be nothing, but you never know.
The final possibility, and a real one, is that I was just fatigued. I've asked a lot of my body in the past few months. It's responded to everything I've asked of it like a trooper, but I'm tired. I've also been cross training and dancing and it seems like there's just so much happening. I'm overwhelmed. Part of that will be when our dance studio's showcase that I've been practicing for happens this coming Sunday so I can stop thinking about that and take a break.
So we talked it over and decided to alter our training schedule. We were supposed to do 23 miles this weekend, but decided to start tapering now instead. Many people only run 20 miles before doing a marathon, so I know it can be done. I'm strong. I just need a chance to recover a bit and I'll come back even stronger and ready to go. Meanwhile, I'll work on my cardio while swimming and I'll still run of course. We'll do 6-8 miles on Monday with some hills, I have a half marathon next weekend, and the rest will be short runs.
I got this. I just need a break! I'm still sore from Sunday. It's never taken me this long to recover from a run. I'm getting there, though.
I'm glad I'm in such good hands!