I haven't been on here for a few weeks because I have only negative things to say about my ultramarathon training. I've had 3 awful long runs in a row and with 3 weeks left until my 24 hour race, I'm pretty bummed, freaked out, nervous, and worn out. Three weekends ago, I wanted to get in a long run at night, so my mother and I trekked to the National Mall to get in 20 miles. I was eager to get a long run with my headlamp, but Mother Nature had a different idea. 10 minutes into the run, it poured for 20 minutes straight. It being a scorching hot evening, it was such a relief at first. Then once it stopped, running in soaking wet clothing became more and more of an issue. After about 7.5 miles, I had to call it quits. Running in soaking wet clothing was going to lead to chafing, at a minimum, so we headed back home. I was really upset, but it was only one run.
Last weekend, while in Philadelphia for a friend's graduation party, I decided to do a 25 miler on the course of my 24 hour race. I didn't end up having enough time for the 25 miler, so I decided 20 would be sufficient. I really set myself up for failure on this one because 1) I didn't get enough sleep the night before, 2) It was 95 degrees and I only had one gel pack for the whole 20 miles, 3) I forgot my electrolyte pills, and 4) I was pushing myself kind of hard on the miles. I purchased a bag of peanut M&Ms halfway through so snack on throughout the second 10 miles. I guess it was the heat and my unbalanced electrolytes, but around mile 11, I felt so nauseous. I now realize I was starting to get a cold, but I could not stop coughing and I had to walk during the run a bit. I barely trudged through the run, but could only complete 17 miles.
With my internship FINALLY starting and my cold getting stronger, I didn't run much this past week. I only got in a 7.25 mile run on Thursday and thought running 26.2 miles would be a good idea this yesterday. I had my electrolytes, the right food, and my handheld water bottle, so I was set. It was a hot day, but I was mostly in the shade. Around the halfway point, I felt pretty tired, but knew I could finish it strong. As the miles added up, I felt more and more tired and slowed down a bit. Once I hit the 7 miles left mark, I felt so happy. For some reason, that mark is always a joy to see as it seems kind of like the final stretch. I had an initial high from that, but once I hit the 20 mile mark (6 miles left), the tiredness crept right back. I was just so beaten up mentally and it was such a struggle to push through. I had chafing issues, which of course just made me feel even more defeated. I was able to keep up running in my 10/2 cycle (10 min. running, 2 min. walking), but I ended up slowing down between 10-30 seconds/mile. My mother, who was biking with me, tried to cheer me up, but it was seriously a death march. I know that my 24 hour race will be hotter with much less shade, so I am starting to really feel like this race is going to be the toughest thing ever. I am sick, which I keep reminding myself definitely impacted my running capabilities. I'm just hoping in the next 3 weeks, I can get to a place mentally that has me positive and ready to take the race on.