Lessons from a Long Run

“People think I'm crazy to put myself through such torture, though I would argue otherwise. Somewhere along the line we seem to have confused comfort with happiness. Dostoyevsky had it right: 'Suffering is the sole origin of consciousness.' Never are my senses more engaged than when the pain sets in. There is a magic in misery. Just ask any runner.” 
― Dean KarnazesUltramarathon Man: Confessions of an All-Night Runner

Okay - maybe I don't get that much from pain and suffering, but sometimes you need a little discomfort to remind yourself that long distance running does take some preparation.  This past weekend I was "reminded" about that preparation...

For some reason, if a run does not have a 2 in front of it I tend to take it lighter than I should.  So my 18 mile run this past weekend just did not seem that big of a deal.  I thought about it a little, I mapped out the route, ate okay the day before and I picked out some running clothes the night before; but that was where the preparation ended.

Here is where it started to go down hill.  I stayed up late the night before and I overslept the next morning (I had 15 minutes to get up, get dressed and meet my running group).  I didn't eat anything for breakfast.  When I met up with the group I had to run to the restroom before we started and then I felt rushed to get going.  To top off the morning, after about two miles I realized that I had forgotten half of my gels  in my car.

I was using Clif Shot Blocks for gels and they come six blocks per package.  I usually eat three blocks every four miles (4, 8, 12, 16).  With only one package I had to spread it out.  I ended up taking two blocks every five miles (5, 10, 15).

I was fine for most of the run, but at mile twelve we sped up to marathon pace.  After two miles I knew I was losing steam.  At mile fifteen I knew there was no losing steam, it was all gone!

Lucky for me, my running partners LA and CSR had not fueled well either.  Although we kept up a good pace, we all dragged in the last three miles and then collapsed on the sidewalk.

It's a strange feeling knowing that you have run a lot further and a lot faster, but at that moment you have spent everything.  It's like having a nice fire going and then cutting off the air flow.  It just won't burn.  That's how it goes with no sugar in your body.  You can have everything else, but it just won't burn.

It's funny, there are articles about fuel and nutrition every month in all the running magazines I get.

We looked a lot better than we felt
I guess I just needed some pain and suffering to remind me...

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