July 26 – Still hot and still humid but I needed to get a long run in so I packed up my gear and went to the trails. I tried a few different things on this run: new shoes and new fuels.
First the shoes. Brand new fresh out of the box Altra Olympus. I’ve ready been using the Lone Peak 2.5 but these are slightly heavier with a slightly thicker sole so I thought I would give them a shot. I was hoping a little extra cushioning might help delay, if not prevent, the foot soreness.
Next the fuel. I decided to try Hammer Perpeteum and baby food. Now I have a few thoughts about both of them. Perpeteum did not bother my stomach too much but the taste leaves much to be desired. Heck I’ll be blunt: GROSS!
Then there’s the baby food. I want to get away from gels and other heavily processed foods especially for long runs. I just can’t imagine sucking back gels for a 12 hour race and I like the idea of being able to make my own fuel. Now with the heat and last week’s disaster of a work week, I didn’t really feel like going shopping and doing research on goods. However, I had heard about pouches of baby food so I decided to give that a try. It did feel a little strange shopping the baby food section for myself.
I live near Uxbridge, Ontario which is known as the Trail Capitol of Canada and so in less than 30 minutes, I have tons of trails to run. I started slow and tried to keep an even pace which is hard given the rolling hills and somewhat new-found distance running. With a race strategy of “walk the ups and run everything else” I stuck to that for most of the run. There were a few spots that I had to walk as some trails were almost over taken by poison ivy that I had to pick my way through as I just kept repeating “Think thin” to avoid brushing up against those shiny green leaves.
Then the heat set in. After about 20 kms, I started feeling off. Not confused or other obvious signs of dehydration just…off. So I drank more water and ended up with a sloshy tummy. I ate some of the dates and almonds that I had packed for something solid and walked for a bit. The sweat stung all the fresh scratches on my legs and deer flies were buzzing around my head even with the copious amounts of bug spray that I must have sweat off and OH LOOK BLACKBERRIES! I had found a stand of blackberries taller than I am and the canes were heavy with ripe berries glistening in the shade. I left with stained fingers and a few new scratches but I felt much better. Then I ran through a section of forest that for some reason gave me the creeps. I kept thinking I saw movement among the trees, kind of like the knights who say nee from Monty Python.
After a bit of a walk to collect myself, I set back off in a run. I felt tired but not drained. And even though I hate walk, it seemed that my body felt almost refreshed and I ran the rest of the distance feeling strong.
It may have been the onset of heat exhaustion because I was not as sweaty as I had been when I first started. But then again, it had started to cool off slightly.
30 kms (4:15.22)