With the Monumental Marathon just under three weeks away, I figured I had better get some long runs in. I also figured I should have actually trained for this event. Last Sunday I ran 14 and change, at an easy 8:30 pace. I could have easily run longer, and though I wanted to, had to be back to help get the kids up and ready. Today I had planned an easy 18 miles. I put a water bottle drop at a point roughly 7.5 miles, knowing I would need it. I never carry water, and don't even bother with a drop, unless I'm going longer than 14. Since I drink about 1.5 gallons of water every day, hydration issues are generally not a concern. I had planned on running about 4:30 am, but by the time I got back from dropping the water, I didn't really have enough time. I decided to go after church.
The weather was really nice: about 71 or so, very low humidity, and a beautiful cloudless sky. I felt great the first few miles, but started to feel a bit off. What's this? I was running 7:50s, then 8:30s, and still slowing down. My HR was higher than it should have been, and before long I was have=ing to make an effort to slow down to keep my HR in zone 3. This continued until I was running a 9 minute plus pace, with my HR in zone 4. What the heck? I drank the water at my drop, and had a gel and some shot blocks on the way, but couldn't wait to finish this run. Something wasn't right, and I ended up cutting out a loop near the end, so I could finish at 16.25 miles.
We I got home I was drained, and confused as to what had happened. I had a drink, walked for a few minutes, and went into the house. The scale told the story. I was really dehydrated, as I was down to 150.4 lbs. That's pretty low for me. The part I don't get is why. I have been drinking plenty, and it wasn't hot out. The air was very dry, and the fact I started feeling it early in the run tells me I was not hydrated well to start. But why? I have been drinking about the same amount of water as usual, and I don't think I am eating more poorly than usual. The weather change? The amoxicillin I have been taking for the sinus thing I had? I don't know.
What I do know is had I not felt fine on my longer run last week, I would be more stressed about the race than ever. I'll take it as a bad running day, but a good lesson. Next weekend I'm planning on a 20 miler, as it will be my last long run before a short taper. I'll be out of time. I'll prepare a bit for this one, and it should tell me a little more about what I can expect on the Monumental Marathon.