That 27-mile run was hard – a lot harder than I thought it would be. I expected it to be really tough, but for some reason I wasn’t as mentally prepared for it as I thought I was. Maybe it was just that kind of day. I tried to run it super slow since I was just wanting to cover the distance regardless of time, but there were several occasions where I almost opted out of doing the whole 27 miles. It took me a lot of effort to simply cover 18 miles that day. I knew if I didn’t hang in there and finish it, I’d beat myself up forever over it. I can’t stand the thought of committing to something and then giving up. It’s just so bothersome for me. The fact that it was gusty on and off didn’t help the situation much either.
There were definitely some major positives about this run other than covering the distance. I found that I could actually run much longer on a lot less carbs than I had imagined possible. I only consumed 1 GU gel, a couple handfuls of trail mix, and a liter of Gatorade. Normally, I down a GU every 45 minutes on runs over an hour. It is possible or even likely that my nutrition affected my run, but I really never felt low or out of energy. It was more like I was just mentally not into it. It’ll take some more experimenting with low-carb distance running to really see what the story is. I plan to run 20 miles this weekend. If I decide against doing a tempo run, I’ll run it low carb.
Any plans to run a 28 miler? Nah, not yet! I had almost no aches or pains the day of and after the run, but it took me 2 days to crawl out of a kind of mental fog and fatigue. My body and mind were just tired. Injury-wise, I felt tip-top, but I’m not ready to go through another couple days of recovery like I just did. Not yet anyway. And maybe changing up my fueling would have made a difference, though I had somewhat similar effects post my 26-mile run. So the plan of the moment is to stick to 20-23 miles. I think the 20-mile runs will be a sweet spot for building my endurance up more before attempting 27+ miles again. I do plan to eventually work up to a 30-mile run…. but I’m definitely not ready yet.
Oh, yeah, that’s the other thing I learned, I’m not ready to go over 27 miles yet!