Epicfail: How not to Prepare for a Big Race

This week feels like epicfail of grand proportions.

On Sunday, I dragged my sorry backside around the woods for a little less than three hours, consuming nearly three liters of water.  On Saturday, I bailed out of a hard rollerski interval session after only two repeats.  My heart rate refused to nudge up to where I needed it to be.  Yet I didn’t feel like I could ski any faster, couldn’t ramp up the tempo.

One possibility might be that I’ve outgrown Lake Denmark Road.  Although I still train there a lot, I think I’ve outgrown the place as an intervals venue.  From the little gully up to the Navy Hill Gate measures about 1.5 k, with 140 feet of vertical gain.  By contrast, the section of Green Pond Road that I periodically use for intervals is just shy of a kilometer, with 180 feet of vertical.  Decidedly steeper.  And the Snow Bowl? Forget about it, 300 feet of vertical in about a half mile.

The other possibility is that I’m just dehydrated after a week of oppressively hot, humid weather  we’ve suffered in the northeast.  Ordinarily I don’t believe in complaining about weather.  Heat, rain… just bring it.  But this is the second summer with a heat wave where temperatures exceed 100 degrees on consecutive days.

For example, I brought my car to my garage  on Friday for service.  They needed it for the day, so I ran home.  Even at 10 AM, Morristown was over 90 degrees.  It’s nine or ten miles, with 1200 feet of vertical gain.  With shade, it was tolerable, but there was only so much shade.  And the last mile along Center Grove Road is exposed.  I finished a hydration pack loaded with 80 ounces of water a mile from my house – twice as much as I’d ordinarily bring for a two-hour run.

That’s just one example; but during the whole week, I drank way more liquid than I normally would for each workout.

Unfortunately, it took most of the week to figure out that I was dehydrated.  With the Escarpment Race right around the corner, I’m focusing on recovery.  My idea of being properly hydrated for a long race is, you have to get up two or three times in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom.  That’s what I’m working on now.