This run was disappointing and discouraging on so many levels. I don't even know how far I ran because my watch stopped working at almost 22 miles, and what makes me really angry about it is that there was still 36% battery power left when I came back and put it on the charger. So my data ends at 21.85 miles.
What a disappointing run. I got lost several times, having to double back and add lots of time to the run. The first 12 miles or so pacing was okay, but I really got slower towards the second half. Mile 13 was slow because I stopped at Emma Carlin to refill my water bottles and take off my jacket. Mile 14 I ran into another runner and we talked for a while, so I was doing more walking during that mile than I normally would have. I'm quite worried about the race, because my pace was slower than 14:00 minutes a mile and that would get me pulled for not making the cutoff times at the race.
I'm not sure what to attribute the slow pace to. My road long run pace is 10:30. I really don't think my trail pace should have been 14 or 15 minutes per mile. There are several variables that could have affected this so I'm going to try to work through them here. I really wish I could have had my watch working the last half of the run. I did quite a bit more running towards the end, and I'm really curious what my pace was.
I wonder if any of this had to do with fueling. I probably should have fueled more often. I stuck with my normal 6 mile plan, and I'm thinking that wasn't enough. I probably should have fueled twice as often. "They" say every 45 minutes of activity. I usually make it more like an hour, but with the pace I was running, 6 miles took well over an hour and a half, so I think I should have fueled more often. Hydration was an issue, too. I ran out of water at the end of the run. I was lucky and got to refill my water bottles at Emma Carlin, which was about 12-13 miles into the run. But there was no more water for the rest of the run and I ran out.
The trail conditions were fairly poor, as well. There was a lot of snow, ice and mud. It was hard to run through, and actually, a lot of my walking can be contributed to poor trail conditions. But there was a lot of terrain issues too that caused me to walk, lots of inclines and towards the second half of the run I even had to walk the downhills. The rocks and roots were just too hard for me to avoid.
I don't know how reasonable it is for me to run faster during the race. Even with trail conditions better, which I hope they are, can I run faster without burning out and hitting a wall?
I have to say, all that running at the end of my run did come after a Gu Roctane. And a little before that I'd had an FRS Energy shot. Maybe it was just a matter of fueling why I walked so much in the middle. During the race, most aid stations are going to have food. I think I'm just going to eat at every aid station. It might be easier to break the race down, too. Just get to the next aid station (which is only 2-4 miles away). Might prompt more running, knowing my next mini goal is not that far off.
With trail conditions as bad as they were, I was often off to the side of the trail trying to get around big puddles or ice patches. I got pretty scratched up and cut up from thorns and branches.
I fell on one patch of ice pretty hard on my way North. I scraped up my hands and forearms and elbow pretty good, and my butt. A little stinging and a sore elbow, but I was able to keep running after a minute. I almost fell twice more, sliding on mud and then tripping over a rock. I was pretty beat up after this run.
I really have to figure out why my watch turned off. That just pisses me off. I got lost on the way back to Nordic, where I started. I think I turned onto the wrong horse trail, but I didn't know the exact mileage where I should be looking for it, so I think I turned too early and ended up on Bluff road completely lost. I had to call Mike in tears for him to come and get me. At this point it was 6:00 pm, I had already been out for two hours longer than I thought I'd be. I couldn't get ahold of Mike, so I tried his dad, knowing they were working on the house together. He didn't answer either, so I called home and talked to my Dad. He was on his way out the door to get me when I finally got a hold of Mike. Mike was only five minutes down the road, so he came and got me and saved my Dad a 45 minute drive out. And then I lectured him about turning his ringer on so that he'd hear the phone when I tried to call him.
So in general, I don't know why this was so slow. I did have to stop and try to figure out where I was several times, and that made those miles slower, and the trail conditions were very poor for running in many areas. But is that enough to justify such a slow pace? I don't know. More fueling? I am discouraged. I'm worried about the race because if I can't stay ahead of the cutoff I will be pulled from the race and I won't finish. I thought a 14 minute mile would be easy to stay ahead of. Not sure now.
I can chalk this up to a learning experience, but I'm not sure what I learned. I think I just need more practice out on the trails. And I can't get negative. At the end of the run yesterday I didn't want to go back out again, and I almost considered switching from the 50 mile to the 50K for the race. I don't even know if I can switch. I just want to finish the race. That's all I want. If I do it in 11:59 I would be thrilled. But right now I'm worried that I won't be able to finish under the time limit.