On Sunday I got up bright and early for my new running group's first group run of marathon training. The runs start at 6:30 and it takes me about 20 or so minutes to drive there and go along a path.
I've documented on my blog many times before that I need a lot of sleep, making 6:30 runs something that never happen for me. I think it was the earliest I've ever ran before. I love to run in the late afternoon/early evening.
I set my alarm for 5:30, groggily rolled out of bed, and checked the weather. When I run or race, I typically get up at least 3 hours before and have breakfast, making sure the majority of my bolus insulin is gone when I start my run because I have bad experiences with "insulin on board" while running. I didn't feel like getting up at 3:30 to have breakfast, so I decided to fore go my normal routine. This turned out to be a really bad move.
I'm a creature of habit, and always eat the same thing for breakfast. Yes, the same thing every single day. The only exception is if I go out for breakfast, which I don't do often and really don't like to do. However, on Sunday, my normal breakfast didn't sound very good at 6:00. I knew that I'd be running 9 miles and needed to eat, though. I decided to have a Clif Builder's Bar. I drank a few sips of water and then went out to drive the meet-up location.
I felt great the first three miles of the run. The pace was easy, my legs felt good, and the humidity wasn't too bad yet. At mile 3 we stopped for a Gatorade break. I drank a small glass, didn't bolus, and continued on. We ran 3 more miles and stopped again for Gatorade. At this point, I felt tired. I had no energy. The last mile we did was 8:20, but seemed like 7:20 to my legs. We started again for the last 3 miles of the run....and they were the longest miles. I continued to run with the group until mile 7.5, when I realized that I physically could not do it. I jogged the remaining mile and a half at an incredibly slow pace. As I ran along, I began to think about what went wrong on this run:
Improper fueling is a way to guarantee failure on a long run.
According to our marathon training schedule, this week is a cut-back week, where our long run in only 6 miles. I can't make it on Sunday because I'm competing in a duathlon. I'll just do the 6 mile run on Monday...I'm not too concerned, especially since I don't view 6 miles as very far.
How do you fuel for long runs in the early morning? I'm glad I had this wake-up call early on in my training. It reminds me that I'm still a novice.