Oh, if only my Saturday long run with Jenn ended up as beautfiul as the weather was.
We were blessed with glorious weather, and we got a bit of an earlier start than normal (although it would have been earlier, had we not decided to have a little "bagel party" at Jenn's house before we left.)
The Burnt Bridge Creek Trail in Vancover is gorgeous - it was Jenn's idea and it was a great one! The run started out fantastic - not too hot, not too cold, and mostly overcast. The hills were gentle and most of the scenery very much worth the drive. We got a great start, and I did pretty well up until about the time we hit 7 miles and the planned turnaround - by then, I was starting to feel a few bits and pieces really start to complain and I silently wondered at that point how well I was going to finish.
Somewhere between 9 and 10 miles was where it started getting iffy, and the walk breaks grew more frequent and lengthy. I was plagued with leg cramps - not the kind (at least) that were completely incapacitating, but ones that traveled to different spots - quads to shins to calves to hamstrings and then back around again. I managed to stretch a bit a couple times but it really didn't do any good at all.
By mile 12, I was in serious pain and about a half-mile later, I was completely finished with any and all running and gimped my way back towards the car. Jenn had gone on ahead at mile 12, which was perfectly ok with me, because I was feeling bad that I was holding her back...she's training for the Vancouver Marathon which is only 5 short weeks away, and she really needed to get in a solid run. She came back for me when I was about a quarter mile from the car; I was glad she did because I needed a big distraction from my muscle woes.
So, I got back to the car, and we stretched out as best we could, but I was just trashed. I am pretty sure that the main problem in this case was dehydration, and of all things, too-tight shoelaces. If I'd been smart about it, I would have stopped at least at the halfway mark to loosen them up, because I did the entire run with that niggling little thought in the back of my head that they were too tight. Jenn suggested this might have contributed to the cramping because of circulation issues, and she's probably right.
And for the Love of Pete - H Y D R A T E!
Here's what hydration *should* look like: steady, serious fluid intake every single day. Not drinking much for two or three days, and then slugging it down like a drunken sailor the afternoon/evening before the run just doesn't cut it.
Anyway, lesson learned.
Next Sunday I've signed up to do Run Like A Mother. Only a 5K, which seems a bit anti-climatic consdering the distances I've been putting in for the last several weeks, but Jenn is doing the Cinco de Mayo half - I would do it too, but I refuse to pay $100 (WITHOUT a shirt, for crying out loud!!) for the registration....and I really want to do *something* other than run by myself this weekend, and it's appropriate for Mother's Day...so.....off we go!
Besides, I'm thinking it's time to really pull out the stops for a race. Normally, I treat races like training runs - I never go into them with a "racing" mindset. I'd like to see what I can do if I really push the envelope speed-wise, and a 5K is the perfect way to test those waters.
We shall see how that goes.