I ran 21.70 miles on Sunday as my long run. That was the longest training run I've ever run. It was GOOD, it was a little DISCONNECTED, and then it was a little SCARY.
First let's start out with the GOOD part of Sunday's run: Because no matter what you take from this long and random POST, that was a GOOD RUN. I tried out my marathon strategy, and honestly, if my race went as well as that training run, I would be SO HAPPY regardless of what finish time I achieved. It was the perfect day training run.
Then, let's look at the DISCONNECTED. Weeeell, if everything had gone according to plan, it would have been too easy. Right? TMB & Smiley were joining me for the first 10 miles... and 3L was connecting with DeNiece for the LAST 12 miles. SO. In theory. It should have worked.
But. It didn't execute. The short? Keys. Safely locked. In the car. But, I didn't know that. So, I left TMB on the side of a road, secure in the knowledge that she & 3L had already confirmed a plan...
Somehow, in all the disconnect, I managed to reconnect at the mile 10.something SAG with DeNiece. Which meant that I would get to run a few miles with 3L & DeNiece. Yeah!
A mile maybe? down the road we ran into SpeeDee, and it was fun to run with her for a short time. She came in after I had started the "pick it up for a few miles" part of my strategy, so I Stop'd and Go'd at the SAG... and... I didn't see her again until the end!
Around mile 16ish, DeNiece really fell off my pace. This is significant because my pace is usually a bit slower than her pace. I slowed down for a bit until she caught up, and she said, "Hey, if you feel good, you go ahead". So I hung with her for about a mile, and at the next SAG we picked up CoachE, and I thought we'd run it in together. Within a few minutes though, CoachE and DeNiece were far behind me & 3L. I knew DeNiece was in good hands, and so I just enjoyed my run. At less than two miles to go, my stomach completely ROLLED and I walked for a few steps, and I heard a voice behind me say, "Hey, we're not walking! C'mon!" It was another runner from the SNOT team. A tall, good looking, very male runner, and I'll admit to some vanity so I picked it up. 3L took herself home, and I ended up running with this guy.
The SCARY... We were talking a lot of theory. Like, how many miles and at what pace should I be training, versus him. He argued, quite logically, that he should be doing 22 milers, but I should only be doing 20 milers. Huh. I argued it was mental, and he argued that I should just get over that. We then started on a heart rate training convo, and suddenly, we were 3/4 mile from the end. How did that happen? I didn't even notice we were running. And then, this amazing athlete, who runs a 3:15ish marathon, threw his arms out and looked to me like he was going to hit the dirt... he lost his balance and almost fell out. I reached out to catch him, but I'm thinking to myself - he's too big. Thank god he grabbed a wall (we were in an underpass) and caught himself. I stopped and was relieved when he put his hands on his knees and he said in a very clear headed voice, "Go ahead."
Oh hell no. Sorry. No. I don't care how CLEAR headed you sound, I'm not leaving you here alone. What I actually said, was... "I'll wait.... I'm staying."
So I waited with him, he re-equalized... and then he picks up running and we finished the run like nothing had happened. Afterwards I checked in on him, and he said something like, "I ate a bunch just now, and I'm still hungry, but I feel much better." What's the point of this?
No matter WHO you are, no matter how much experience you have, or how fast you are, or what kind of athlete you are, you can't escape BIOLOGY. If you run out of Glucose, you will crash and burn.