19 March 2012

A Son, A Missed Run, A Compromise (or An Uncooperative Body)

I need to get out of my chair and take a shower.  I'm scared to get out of my chair.  I think it might hurt.
                              --This blogger in an email to his training pals after today's run.

On Sunday at 12:09 a.m., my wife gave birth to our son.  (He has two older sisters.)  In The Netherlands, you can leave the hospital within a few hours of having a baby if all is well with mother and child.  All was indeed well with my wife and our son, so at 3:00 a.m. we left the hospital and came home.  I managed to capture about an hour and a half of sleep after arriving home and that lack of sleep combined with all that was going on yesterday caused me to miss my Sunday long run, which is rather unfortunate considering all the fuss I made about it on Friday.

In that Friday post, I mentioned that I was an all or nothing guy.  My run today provided evidence to the contrary.  I wanted to complete my Sunday long run on Monday.  I told my wife before leaving the house that I would run 20-28 miles.  I began the run with the intention of giving 28 miles a good try.  I felt light on my feet and somewhat fresh considering the lack of sleep I had over the last two nights and the five-pound hydration pack I was carrying on my back.

I took the trails through the dunes to Noordwijk, ran to the far side of the town, and turned around ten miles into my run.  I knew how I would tack on eight more miles on my way back, so at ten miles in I was going 28.  That's when I realized that the wind had been at my back the entire way out.  A headwind made the trip back miserable, and I did not take the route that would add eight more miles to my run.  Because I wanted to get in a longer long run today, but because my body spent the second ten miles of its run showing signs of completely breaking down, I added a couple of detours to get me to 23 and stopped there--almost three and a half hours after starting. Yes, I was moving slowly.

I'm sorry that I don't have the time to analyze this run in depth.  Needless to say, my lack of sleep affected my performance, as did my decision to only bring four gels with me.  (I could have used two more.)  What I am most proud of here, though, is that I did get this long run in.  I could have easily just skipped the run and tried to get my mileage in with a few medium-long runs.  Or I could have let my ego interfere and push myself to complete 28 miles on a day when my body wasn't reacting favorably to the pounding I was giving it.  (The hills through the dunes challenged me more than usual today.)

I don't think I'll run longer than this before Prague.  I want to give my legs time to recover.  I'll probably run one or two more 20 milers and a couple of ten to 15-mile marathon pace runs.

Today's Run Details: Guerrilla Race by scarbellyracer at Garmin Connect - Details

As always, if you have any comments or questions about my training or yours, please leave them below.  Thanks for reading.


  1. Hey, I do the same thing, too: Forget to check that maybe the reason I'm cruising along so well is that I'm rocking a great tailwind. Never seems to occur to me until the turnaround.

  2. And, as you know, a headwind is even worse on the bike.