Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Bloody Pain of a 24km Run

Man, oh Man! That was not easy in any sense. After a night out on the town to watch one of my good friends perform with his band as part of Canada Music Week, not enough sleep, and way too much coffee over the course of yesterday I guess I should have known this would be a mental battle. It was more difficult and painful than I ever expected, but I got through it.

I set off a little later than I wanted to, right around 9am, and within a couple of kilometres I realized that I had overdressed. It was about -1C when I left and I wore a technical t-shirt (more on that later!), a moisture wicking long-sleeve T, and a light fleece. I should have left the fleece at home. Anyway, that may have contributed to the whole end of the run issues, but I think the night out and all that stuff was probably more instrumental in my breakdown.

The first half of the run was fine and I managed to hold a pretty steady and slow pace. The heart rate was a bit higher than it should have been for that intensity and I figured this was a result of those things already mentioned. Never did I consider that I would crash as hard as I did though! Right before I crossed the 21k mark, and my first half-marathon distance ever, my left calf felt like it had been punched real hard and I had to stop to give it a stretch and some rest. The stretching was not really possible since the muscle was tightening up a lot, but I think the minute or two of rest helped. I hobbled the rest of the run very slowly as a result, not wanting to cause more damage.

I had been running with one bottle full of Gatorade and another of water, but I really think that I simply ran out of gas, especially in the lower leg muscles. I hit that wall pretty hard, and it did not feel good. I managed the 24km in 2:17:05 for an average pace of 5:42/km (9:11/mile). The last three kilometres were all over 6:00/km pace on account of the calf. My average heart rate ended up being 154bpm, way higher than it should have been. No going out two days before the Around the Bay in two weeks, that's for damned sure! I checked to see that I went through the half-marathon in about 1:57, which was pretty cool to see on the ole Garmin I must admit.

Tomorrow I have another massage appointment, and I think that will be very timely indeed. I am stiff as all hell right now, and will require much "stripping", even though it's going to hurt like crazy and I know it. Perhaps biking to work again will help get some of the post-run stiffness out?

And lastly, the other thing that happened on this milestone of a run is that I finally got to experience the infamous bloody nipple that runners apparently suffer on a frequent basis! I didn't even notice it until my wife pointed it out: "What's that?"

Me: "That would be blood, dear. My blood. I also have some sweat, and give it a few more minutes and I just might cry from the pain, giving the complete triumvirate of blood, sweat, and tears. No spinning wheel though..."

Here's the shirt with the evidence clearly visible so I don't even need to point it out:

Garmin don't lie.

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Blogger Melanie said...

yikes, the post-run shower won't feel good on that bloody nipple either! congrats on the mileage milestone... just take care of the body!

March 15, 2009 at 4:13 PM  
Blogger Lily on the Road said...

Whoa, hold up here! Why are you running a race pace two weeks before the event?

Holy Yikes man...settle down, LOL....okay, I just yelled at you...sorry, but take it easy, try nip guards (yes, that's what they are called) and please, take it easy and race on race day! Okay, I'm off my soap box now! LMAO!

March 15, 2009 at 7:35 PM  
Blogger FLYERS26 said...

Ouch! I use the body glide everytime I run.. never had the bloody nip yet.

Not a bad pace you kept! Keep up the good work!

March 15, 2009 at 8:04 PM  
Blogger Arcane said...

Watch out for that first shower. Sensitive. Shopper's sells Life brand circular bandages that are supposed to be used for needle pricks but they perfectly cover the nipple. They work great.

March 15, 2009 at 9:18 PM  
Blogger Marci said...

Ouch! Great job on the 24K, hope you survived your first shower post nipple chafing!

March 15, 2009 at 9:40 PM  
Blogger aron said...

OUCH!!! awesome job on your long run!!!!

March 16, 2009 at 1:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice job on the long run. The calf issue doesn't sounds like fun. It could have been a hydration issue? I am sure the massage will help.

March 16, 2009 at 7:14 AM  
Blogger Ace said...

Bloody Nipple Power Unite! Grats on pushing through on the run and breaking two hours for the half. You are working it hardcore!

March 16, 2009 at 12:15 PM  
Blogger Chad in the AZ Desert said...

I'm sure the combination of the lack of good rest and the new, longer distance is what caused such a steep crash. Now you need to focus on recovery with only two weeks before your 30k.

March 16, 2009 at 3:31 PM  
Blogger Andrew is getting fit said...

That's still a reasonably quick time for a training run!

March 16, 2009 at 3:35 PM  
Blogger Bert said...

That nipple chafing thing can stay with you for several days after a run... The nipple guards they sell in running stores are no good; best method is to cut out little circles from Bandaid & stick them on. Looks a little weird when you run shirtless (if it becomes warm enough) but who cares.

March 20, 2009 at 12:50 PM  
Blogger Jude said...

Two of my marathon pals have battled brutal calf cramps late in our long runs and both were at their wits end trying to figure out what caused them. I finally suggested that they might be "salty sweaters" and not replacing enough electrolytes even with sports drinks. They supplemented their runs with salt tablets and *presto* no more cramps. Might be worth a shot. Just Google "Electrolyte tabs."

March 31, 2009 at 2:03 AM  

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