I went into my final long run thinking that I planned to do 33 miles, basically the short 3.2 mile loop followed by two long loops around the park. The plan was simple run in my Aether Trails, fine tune my fueling.
Good plan, poor execution. What went wrong was pretty much everything. To start with I realized I had failed to pick up more Clif Shot Bloks which was Problem #1, not planning out my run ahead of time, no problem I told myself as I had my Chocolate #9's, a PB sandwich, a package of sport beans, my clif shot electrolyte, some gummies along with a solo bar. Problem #2 came up right after I got to Murphy, I had failed to grab anymore #9's, oh well, I had one, it would have to do. Problem #3, I had forgotten my gaiters, hopefully it wasn't going to be too muddy.
The first short loop went fine, it took about 45 minutes. I had wanted to run it easy so the time seemed fine. On the 1st long loop I did run the first bonus loop, thanks Wayne and Kel for getting me the location. I liked it, I love tight singletrack and the hill that Kel mentioned (in her post on her training in Murphy) wasn't as bad as I thought (yes I do have longer legs so the footsteps worked ok). On around the loop I went, I decided to take my #9, which leads me to Problem #4, I normally eat something about 1 1/2 hour into my run, I took the #9 at just over 2 hours. I crossed over into the horse trail parking lot, thinking that besides my errors, I was doing ok. I meandered around the lake where I had to stop to get rocks out of my shoes, gaiters would have been nice. I made it out onto the open section of this loop where I remembered Problem #5, I failed to grab any warmer clothes and with just a short sleeve tech shirt and my light jacket, I was chilled from my sweat and a brisk breeze. A nice long sleeve tech shirt would have worked better. Where had that sun gone, finally I got out of the wind and I felt better. On around the loop I went. After crossing over the road, I realized I was getting hungry so I ate half of the pack of Sport beans. As I climbed the hill I came to the gate that I had not gone around last week and I decided to climb around the gate and see what the section was like. This section is not too bad, mostly runnable, a couple of uphills and some nice downhills. I moved on around the remainder of the loop and came into the main parking lot with a time of 4 1/2 hours, pretty much where I wanted to be, a 3 hour and 45 minute long loop added to the first short loop.
Now the plan was to run another long loop and finish out my final long run. I grabbed another bladder of electrolyte, the PB sandwich and the solo bar. I was still chilled but what the heck, I had to keep going. I decided to change shoes as my Aether trails only had about 15 miles coming into this run and I thought adding 33 more to them might be a mistake as my feet were starting to get sore, the good news was no toe damage and no blisters but then again I had only gone 18 miles. So I put on my Salomon's. This decision of course created Problem #6 but of course I didn't realize it right away so more on that shortly. I ate my sandwich which tasted really good, I realized I was very hungry. I proceeded around the loop and ran down the first hill, ouch, my shoes didn't feel too good and of course they only got worse as I went. I was not able to run down any hills and basic running was a problem as well. I went ahead and finished my sport beans, I needed energy. Between the shoes and the energy level I was out of gas. What to do? I decided to just continue to walk but it was slow going, when would that food hit home? On I went. Finally made it up the hills and went to the bathroom for the 5th time, which seems like yet another problem the fluids were just going right through me which may have been related to Problem #7, I ate pizza the night before, maybe not the best choice of fuel before a long run. I felt like quiting and couldn't imagine finishing the loop. I ate the solo bar, it was almost frozen. Still the energy seemed low, ok, time to work the mind. I ran down the hill into the horse camp and thought about calling it a day. If I did I would only get in 26 miles, which is where I figured out Problems #8 and 9. I had lost track of my S-Caps and I was struggling with figuring out where I was and how much distance it would give. Since I knew this was my final run, I decided to venture out into the southern section and proceeded to walk some sections that aren't part of the course. I finally was able to run (albeit not real fast) and had figured out how to run in my shoes without major pain, who knows maybe with 4 or 5 miles of mostly walking the swelling in my feet had gone down. I finally figured I had gone far enough and decided to head for home. Of course when I got back to the main parking lot, I looked at my Garmin and it was just short of 29 miles, I had miscalculated my distance and headed back out for one more mile. Of course I failed to restart my Garmin so I just went out a ways and then turned back after not quite 10 minutes and then I guesstimated that my total mileage was just under 30. Not what I wanted but all things considered good enough, since I felt toasted by mile 19 but went another 11 and if not for the thought of "do nothing fatal" probably could have gone farther.
I do have to admit that over those final 11 miles, I kept thinking to myself how the heck am I ever going to run 50 miles, well upon further review here is what came to mind.
1. Don't run 12 miles the day before
2. Buy whatever you think you will need the week before
3. Pack extra clothes
4. Don't run in your Salomon's no matter what for distances longer than 10 miles
5. Last I need to remember no matter how bad I feel, I still have 14 hours and based on Kel's and Wayne's conversation with Les, more if needed. That is not good as I don't want to be out there for 14 hours, longer I just can't imagine.
Final thought, if I am doing 30 miles in around 8 hours on tired legs that still gives me 6 hours to go 20 more miles (18 min/mile) which should be more than enough time, I think.
Time to taper, regroup and then get it done.