I went for a 9-plus mile run this morning with Jesse Scott (who's new blog includes his tear-inducing inspirational story about his journey to becoming a runner... check it out and become a follower of his!). The run was supposed to be my last fast trail run before Burning River. My goal was to run at a sub-8:00 minute pace and hope to break 7:30. We ended up with an 8:11 pace.
The first two miles felt great! According to the Garmin, we were routinely breaking 7:00s. At about the three mile mark, I started feeling some fatigue. We stopped at about mile five before beginning our second loop. I was more tired than I should have been at that point. Still, we proceeded to the second loop.
By mile eight, I was spent. Our pace had slowed to about 9:30 or so as I fought to maintain some momentum. At mile nine, I had to stop and walk a few hundred yards. I felt worse than I do after 30 mile runs. I had little energy to continue running. Per my request, we skipped a small loop that would have brought our mileage to ten. We eventually started running and finished the last quarter mile.
I am always concerned when runs go bad. I will analyze all the variables in an attempt to ascertain the cause. This particular run had a few possible culprits, including:
- Inadequate rest from the 68 miler we ran last Friday. One week probably is not enough time to recover from a run of that distance.
- Adjusting to the paleo diet. I recently began experimenting with a paleo diet to see what effect it would have on my running. The diet really didn't change much other than cutting out grain-based products and processed sugary snacks. The result has been a decrease in carbohydrate consumption due to the sheer volume of fruits and veggies I have to consume. This decrease in carbs surely played a role in my fatigue.
- Heat and slight dehydration. The temps were approaching 82° with pretty high humidity. This normally wouldn't be an issue, but I was slightly dehydrated from the previous day.
Any one of these factors could be the primary cause. In all likelihood, each played at least some role. Lesson to be learned... don't mess with more than one variable at a time. If something goes wrong, it will be difficult to correct.
In unrelated news, my Sport Kilt arrived today. I've been lounging around the house for a few hours... it's quite liberating! I'm psyched to actually try it on a run... perhaps tomorrow.