I was among the unfortunate population of northeastern Fall marathoners that had a 20 mile run scheduled for this past Sunday. My first 20 miler of this cycle was two weeks ago, and I felt like I could probably have run another six when I finished – this past Sunday, uh, not so much. According to my SportTracks software, the temperature got up into the mid 70’s at least, although the real killer was the humidity. I don’t quite have a handle on that number but a solid scientific guess puts it somewhere around 1000% (humidity, one of the few reasons I hate New Jersey).
I MappedMyRun to put me by a water fountain at 4.5 miles and 15.5 miles to replenish my handheld bottle, as well as dropping 20oz of gatorade at mile 11. This is a strategy that has been uber successful in the last couple of weeks but fell way short on Sunday. In addition to the hydration plan falling apart, I had changed up my route to add a little variety, which inadvertantly gave me a bunch of unexpected hills (funny how it all looks flat from the driver’s seat of your car). I still managed to finish a little over 20 relatively strong, just a hair under my prescribed pace, but was definitely pretty dehydrated. If I had to do another 6.2 I would have been medical tent fodder for sure. That kind of gave me a whole new respect for anyone who was at Chicago 2007, be it a finisher or DNF’er. One good thing that came from Sunday was the successful maiden voyage of the SpiBelt I picked up to hold my BlackBerry (yeah, I had to do a sweaty 20 miles while on-call). Never even noticed this thing on me, pretty cool.
So this weekend is the Philadelphia Distance Run – a nice break from the increasing mileage and my only scheduled tune up race for the Philly Marathon. Still on the fence as to how to pace it – after this past weekend’s debacle I may just cruise at marathon pace and enjoy the bands (one at every mile!), but we’ll see, game day decision.