So I did all the "right" things to prepare for today's 20 mile run. I carbo-loaded on both Friday and Saturday nights, and I rested most of the weekend. And then I drove along my route (10 miles out and back) on Saturday afternoon to stash water and Gatorade. I slept VERY late today (almost 11) and when I woke up I ate a peanut butter sandwich and a Luna bar. Half an hour later, I was off on my run. Within a mile, I knew it was going to be a tough run. I felt nauseous. And shaky. But onwards I went, thinking that I had 20 miles total so the feeling would go away.
By mile 5, I knew the feeling was not going to go away any time soon. In fact, I started walking a bit around mile 5.5. Somewhere between mile 7 and 8, I started to walk quite a bit. I had water and Gatorade stashed at mile 8. I decided at that point to turn around and make it a 16 miler. I also decided that I would have to walk most of the second half. (This was a VERY difficult decision for me, as I typically push myself to complete the full mileage even if I'm not feeling my best. However, I decided that it was crazy to keep going at that point.) Not only was I continuing to keep feeling nauseous, but my heart rate went sky high every time I ran. Obviously your heart rate goes up when you run, but it was uncomfortably high.
I dressed well for the cold and windy conditions, but I dressed to RUN. Once I started walking, I started getting cold. All of my clothing was soaked with sweat, and all of this sweat became like a sheet of ice against my skin. I pulled my sleeves down over my hands to keep them warm, and kept walking forward. I had walked about 3 miles when I heard an angel's voice. It turned out that my friend Wendy from my Massachusetts running club was getting gas and saw me walking by and called out my name. She asked if I was okay. I replied "no" and walked towards her. She told me to get in the car and she offered to drive me home from there. THANK YOU, WENDY! I had 5 more miles to go and honestly I think I would have frozen solid if I had had to walk those last 5 miles. It was FATE....and it worked in my favor...BIG TIME! Honestly, how long does it take to fill up a tank of gas? Maybe 5 minutes? How did I get lucky enough to be passing by Wendy at the right moment and how lucky was I that she saw me and recognized me? I was so grateful for that fateful moment.
So I'm going to try the 20 miles again on Tuesday; I'm taking the afternoon off from work. This time I will avoid any food within a few hours of the run! We'll see how it goes. Just to be safe, I'm going to start from home, run out 5 miles then back, returning to my condo at mile 10. Then I'll do it all over again. This way, I'll never be more than 5 miles away from home.
Cross your fingers... My marathon is 3 weeks away and I need to complete this final long run!