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5ksandcabernets: I am so hard-headed


Sunday, November 23, 2008

I am so hard-headed

On two fronts this past week, I did things that I KNEW could get me in trouble with my running: not watch what I eat, and try a new pair of shoes.

On the shoe front: On Nov. 18, I wrote that I was chucking my old reliable Brooks Adrenalines to wear a sleeker, faster Brooks Infiniti. I said that I knew it was taboo to change shoes so late in marathon training, but the Infinitis looked so good and seemed to fit my feet better. I should have known better, though, because every time I've changed shoes, I've had problems. And at the very least, I should have listened to my SF Bay-area trail running friend, who commented;

I am an unabashed devotee of ONE brand of shoes. I have no idea what other ones are out there because I know what works for me and I do not want to mess with it. So stay with whatever works for you. That's my 2 cents.

Well, I put 50 miles on those Infinitis last week, which included a 22-miler Saturday. And let me just say this: I'm going back to the Adrenalines. The Infinitis are good if you are running 4 to 6 miles, but they don't give me the support I need for a long run. My left knee was really stiff after Saturday's run, and worse so when I got up for a short run this morning. It had never been like that with the Adrenalines. Also, I had the worst blister on my right foot. I thought I had fixed the blister problem by using my Adrenaline insoles in the Infiniti. Apparently not. I felt ok until Mile 10, and then my foot started rubbing and it was basically on fire until I stopped running.

On the second front, I know better than to eat dairy products close to a long run (especially cheeses and milk). I know better than to overeat the night before and day of a long run. But there I was Thursday night, scarfing down pizza - the first time Id eaten pizza this late in the week in I don't know how long. And there I was Friday morning, gulping down a glass of rice milk. Now, I know what you are saying: Rice milk? That's not dairy. My response? Any kind of milk screws my system up if I've got a run in the upcoming 24 to 36 hours; non-fat milk, soy milk, and yes, rice milk.
I tried pushing the envelope with my pre-run fueling as well, and that didn't work. I didn't eat a lot Friday night, but I did get up at 3 am Saturday to eat granola and a banana _ trying to practice what I might do the day of the marathon: eat a small meal 3 hours before the race. I also had a handful of pretzels 15 minutes before Saturday's run. And I should have known better. I've written often that I run better on an empty-, or near-empty stomach. So it should come as no surprise that I never "felt right" Saturday. My digestive system was off - running when you have to potty (Nos. 1 & 2) is not a good thing.

I also know that a big spaghetti meal for lunch Thursday works best for me because by Saturday morning, whatever is in spaghetti has worked its way into my fuel tank. But there I was Thursday for lunch, eating Pad Thai with chicken, knowing that Thai food does not have the staying power that spaghetti does. So it should come as no surprise to me that I hit a wall during Saturdays run. Ive usually had enough in thank to run my last four miles of my previous 3 20-milers in 8:00 mile pace. But I couldn't turn it on Saturday. Miles 19-21 were in the 8:45 range. Granted, most of the last 11 miles were against a decent headwind, but I couldn't even muster the effort to try to run hard. I gave an all out effort in the last mile and that was only good enough for an 8:29 pace.


Despite all those problems, I still finished the 22-miler in 3:05:20, which is a pace of 8:25 a mile. And that folks, was my fastest of four 20-plus milers during this marathon training.

And thank God, it's the last.



Blogger rodney said...

I have to agree with you friend. I'm not the seasoned runner you guys are, but I'd say stick with what works on the shoe issue. I run on New Balance 992's. They don't bother me, so I don't even look at different shoes.

November 23, 2008 at 2:52 PM  
Blogger Mark said...

Hey, nothing ventured, nothing gained. Better to experiment during a training run than on race day. I recently changed my longtime road shoes (from Reebok to Asics) and found a much better fit for me.

Besides, sounds like you had a solid run anyway. Especially running into a headwind.

November 23, 2008 at 8:52 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Great job on the 22! And I agree with Mark that this was a very good time to experiment. I just hope your knee issues ease up before the marathon, but you have three weeks so I'm sure I'm worrying for nothing.

November 23, 2008 at 9:12 PM  
Blogger Victoria said...

I got quoted! I got quoted! I feel so special!

Um, yeah-- about that whole dairy thing? It's not my friend anymore...

Remember: what is your greatest strength is also your achilles' heel. Hard-headed in a race= perseverance when things are tough. Hard-headed outside of a race= dairy disasters. All part of the same thing. Good run anyway, though!

November 24, 2008 at 12:45 AM  

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