One week ago I bonked at mile-12 of a planned 16-mile long run, because I didn’t take in enough fluid and carbs on a hot and humid morning. This morning I made sure that didn’t happen again. Before the run I had a Honey Stinger Waffle, 16 ounces of water, 10 ounces of coffee, and 8 ounces of Gatorade. During the run I drank approximately 40 ounces of Gatorade, 32+ ounces of water, and had a gel at the 10-mile mark. The difference turned out to be significant.
Today my schedule called for 18-miles at easy pace, and it just so happened that our planned group run, organized by Ed, was exactly 18-miles. We started at Percy Priest Dam on the east side of town and took the Stones River Greenway all the way out to Wave Country before heading back to the dam. The conditions this morning were tough with temps at 6am around 78º, and humidity well over 90%.
Our first few miles were pretty chill with regard to pace, and then we settled into a nice rhythm in the mid 8:00s for much of the remaining distance. On the way out we stopped briefly at Kohl’s parking lot to grab some fluids, and then Nathan and I slowly pulled away from the rest of the group on our way to Wave Country, and even stayed fairly steady up the monster hill at mile-8, just before Two Rivers Middle School. I’ve run this route many, many times, but I always seem to forget just how hilly it is. In 18-miles, we had over 2,300 ft of cumulative elevation gain…
We stopped briefly at Wave Country to grab some fluid and catch up with the rest of the group before turning back for our return trip. We all stayed together for a couple of miles, and then Nathan and I broke away from the rest of the group all the way back to Kohl’s parking lot. I was actually surprised at how good I felt throughout the run today. It was hot, humid, and nasty, but everything just seemed to be clicking this morning.
After grabbing some more fluid at Kohl’s we started the final 3-miles back to the dam. I hung with the group briefly, and then broke away as we began a steady climb along Stones River. I dropped my pace down a bit for the final 3-miles with splits of 7:57, 7:41, and 7:54. Even at the slightly quicker pace I still felt very comfortable. When I reached the dam I was .4-miles short of 18, so I ran back to meet up with Nathan who was only a short bit behind. We finished off the 18 in the greenway parking lot.
Overall I’m ecstatic with how I felt today. I was honestly a little nervous about the run because of my fail last week, but it ended up being really, really good. In total I finished 18-miles at an average pace of 8:27 per mile.
Since we were so far away from our normal breakfast spot, Bread & Company, we decided to hit the local Waffle House on Stewart’s Ferry Pike. Being on a training diet I don’t spend much time eating at Waffle House, but I really enjoyed the change of pace this morning, even if it is like “A gas station bathroom that sells waffles,” as comedian Jim Gaffigan would say…