The most common question I get from runners is
"How does one train for a 50 mile or 100 mile race?"
One can search and find a ton of info, data, reports, etc. But my favorite answer is from the ultra community;
"You train for them by doing them"
There is no substitute for experience.
The 2 lines above were my saving grace yesterday. I went out to Afton State Park for a "Get as many miles in as possible" run. I figured I could do 50k no problem, and hoped I had the mojo to tack on a few extra miles.
No dice. At around mile 25 I found myself laying on a bench almost going to sleep. I just have not run enough of these tough long runs.
But.... that always happens with me. I was in the same spot 4 years ago with the Superior 50 mile. I started running in August after taking 2 months off, and put together a pretty good race. I remember the exact same training run at the exact same place, time, etc. That training run left me thinking "what am I doing? I need month... not weeks"
Here is where experience comes into play. I have been at that spot so many times, it doesn't even phase me anymore. I am behind the gun, and have about 2 more weeks of hard work (yes, that means a 2 week taper.... although tapering requires building up a lot of miles).
Instead I look at the positive of where I am today as opposed to 6 months ago, 2 years ago, etc.
1 - 168 lbs this morning (I know I was 180 or above 6 months ago)
2 - Less body fat = less water retention = less demand for water = less chance of dehydration (this is my own anecdotal theory)
3 - Less bod fat = less weight = easier to run
4 - 80% Paleo Diet compliance = Body burning fat as a primary fuel source instead of glycogen
5 - I ran with no sports drink and consumed no carbohydrates yesterday, and never had the mental crash
6 - I held off my stomach dry heaves a lot longer than normal yesterday even with the muggy conditions.
All in all..... I have the building blocks, the foundation, I just don't quite have the actual building.
I arrived at Afton at 5am yesterday to find Wayne N, Karen G, and Anjeanette taking shelter from a 2 hour downpour. Bill P was waiting for me.
We took off, and I immediately started commenting on my sweating. My fingers were swelling within the hour, so I took it extra slow.
The rain from the night before created an Amazon effect in the canyons on the "Back 40", and any low lying area. We had some relief up high with a slight, cool breeze but my body was pumping out bucket of sweat.
We comfortably did a 3 hr loop, and I actually felt fine. I consumed about 90 ounces of water, 6 S-Caps, and a hard boiled egg. The egg was perfect food at 2 hrs.
I switched from my hydro pack to a double 20 oz bottle hip pack for the second loop. I soon felt the oncoming of full dehydration. I am not sure if the pack water quantity would have kept it at bay. I was HARD for a good hour, and even with significant walking, I could not keep it at bay.
So I bailed after Campground hill. I was very sleepy and just out of gas.
I had some strawberries and cherries in the car which I SHOULD HAVE consumed while running. I am experimenting with getting my carbs from stuff like that instead of liquids which I just do not like (I can't stand the taste of Heed).
Next weekend I will try the fruit. But I am not worried. As long as it is not muggy at Sawtooth, and there is no torrential rain, I put my chances at "good"