One Must Be Prepared for Long Runs

My running plan this year included running my first 20-miler. Tomorrow I am going to run my third so far 🙂

I wrote about my first 20-miler back in June. That run was a slog, despite the fact that I was excellently prepared: I had run 14-, 16-, and 18-miles respectively in the weeks prior to it. Also, I had fueled up beforehand, waking up early in the morning to drink a smoothie, and I brought water and plenty of gel-like consumables for quick energy during the trip. All this preparation helped, yet there was no way around the fact that in the latter part of the trip, I simply got tired and had to push through the last few miles.

In the end, that run went excellently and I was on a gigantic high for hours afterward. By completing my first 20-miler, I broke through a barrier that was as much (or more!) psychological as it was physical. As a result, that day I experienced an expanded and elated state that was truly amazing.

My second 20-miler, in August, was technically more successful than the first, but my approach was problematic. I decided to run this on a whim: in fact, I didn’t even know I was going to do 20 miles until probably about 7 or 8 miles into the run! Happily, I did finish, and 2 minutes faster than the first time. However, as I hadn’t planned ahead, I didn’t fuel before the run. Though I did have some water and some gels with me, I didn’t have enough, which became apparent when I nearly passed out outside our house afterward, presumably from low blood sugar. My vision started to go, I held onto the railing to stay up, and my wife got me a chair to sit on before I collapsed on the front lawn (!).

That was a scary moment, partly because I thought about what it would have been like if something like that had happened while I was running. The light-headedness was quickly solved with adequate nutrition, yet it showed me why one must be prepared for long runs 🙂

I plan to put it all together and have a great run tomorrow.

I will report back!

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