Monday, 27 May 2013

Karen writes: The LSD run

LSD run. Long Slow Distance.  Long Sadistic Drag.  Leg Shuffling Disorder. Lacking Some Discipline.  Oh, and some other descriptions too.

Strange though it sounds, I've gotten used to a few of these seemingly unreasonable distances at the business end of marathon training, to head off for 24km, 28km, 30+km doesn't fill me with anxiety bordering on terror like it did. I couldn't have imagined ever feeling that before, it's weird what you can get used to. Being on a 7 week programme since the Rotorua Marathon means I had at least 4 of these bigger distances to deal with, but already I have done two and now there are just two more to do before the Wellington Marathon on the 23rd.  But...I have learned to treat each LSD run like an event itself. I do this by taking it a bit easier with any running earlier in the week, taking Friday-Saturday off training prior to a Sunday run, eating more of the easy to digest good-for-me stuff the day immediately before followed by an early light dinner. Race breakfast 2-3 hours before I set out for the LSD, extra drink and a caffeinated energy gel just before I go, half hourly gel/sportsbeans and water while running and 1-2 hourly saltstick capsules.

Clothes are always a problem, some people can thrash out a long run in a couple of hours, I'm out there for...well, lots more than that, long enough that weather can go from one extreme to another.  Like yesterday, rainy, cool, overcast at the start so I left home dressed for cold and wet, antichafe everywhere. Then it was clear, hot, and dry to finish, and it turns into a case of hoping that the sunscreen you optimistically applied hasn't washed off and you realise that what you stop wearing you have to carry.  Light layers that you can take off and strap round your waist or tuck into your fuelbelt are the trick.

Yesterday I did 30km, some of that was around the fields at Te Puru Park, I was keeping one of the other Te Puru runners company while she did her planned torture...sorry strengthening exercises which she interspersed with running. I just kept on dawdling laps and every so often she would join me. Then when she had finished I kept going, round Beachlands, out onto the main road and into the forestry.  What had started off a miserable sort of day brightened and dried out into one of those beautiful clear winter stunners that make you feel lucky to be outside.  By 25km I was feeling lethargic though, the outside of my hips and my ankles felt sore. Aha, it could be because on Saturday instead of taking it easy me and the girls had done our Tai Chi at the local school, lots of standing with feet flat on the floor and the body moving around using the ankles as pivots.

Anyway, the run itself felt pretty ok, by that I mean there was no point where I really, really wanted to give up. Nutrition wise I managed relatively regular energy gels, I was short on water but fortunately it was only hot for the last part. I was a little disappointed with myself for the last stretch, it was more of a walk/saunter than a run. Finally I crested the hill above Maraetai, hobbled that long 1km to home and dragged up the driveway. After food, ice to the sore ankles, shower, stretching and rest I felt much better. I had my recovery smoothie (milk, banana, frozen berries, protein powder) which I know gave my hard working body what it needed to start undoing over 3 1/2 hours damage, but digging into the hidden box of leftover Mother's day chocolates in my wardrobe provided something much more satisfying, and to my way of thinking, was thoroughly earned.