the Runner's HI 20k
after cramping up during my last 15k race, i was nervous (scared, actually) about running 20k (12.4 miles). i tried to better prepare for this race by hydrating much earlier in the week - in addition to drinking water, i added a daily sports drink to build up the potassium and sodium in my system. i also applied magnesium gel to my legs every night (magnesium deficiency can lead to muscle cramps) and had a plan to interval (run/walk) the course.
at my 3am wake up call, i drank 16 oz of water followed by a bowl of cheerios, half a banana + a scoop of peanut butter, and coffee.
we arrived at the site with plenty of time to park, grab our timing chips and use the bathroom (twice!). i took the 5:30 am early start again.
this particular race was a flat, 4-loop course around a dry industrial area. there was no greenery (or scenery), and it was expected to be hot. the above was taken around mile 4 as the sun was coming up. i was somewhat blinded and had no idea what i was snapping, but was later surprised by this pretty picture.
i was relying on my map my run app to pace myself and realized several miles in that i had accidentally paused the workout...ugh!! using water stations as landmarks, i walked through them and even more frequently towards the end.
i grabbed one cup of water and one cup of gatorade at each water station, sipping from both of them as i passed through (i only drank water last race). i brought along two energy gels and chased them with water at around miles 5 and 8.
i resumed my app/workout around mile 8, so i was able to keep pace for the remainder of the course. my right knee started to hurt around mile 9; and while it hurt more to walk, i forced myself because i was more afraid of cramping up. happy to say i made it to the end without any cramps or hot spots.
mile 9: 11:52
mile 10: 13:22
mile 11: 12:51
mile 12: 12:51
mile 12.4: 11:18
official time: 2:39:43
since my car was nearby, i was able to hydrate with my own nuun drink while i waited for my friend to come in. then we chatted about the race while we stretched before heading home.
as usual, i jumped in my ice bath while sipping my recovery drink (protein powder + almond milk), then wrapped my legs and relaxed for the rest of the day.
race gear: same as last time since these are the only ones i have with pockets - adidas top; fabletics suva run shorts; new balance 890 v4 shoes; nike dryfit hat; roxy siren top
race fuel: honey stinger gold energy gels (miles 5, 8)
the good: i felt great, no muscle cramps, no hot spots (blisters), flat course, not as hot as expected
the bad: right knee hurt; my tracking app was interrupted and i had no idea what my pace was for the first half of the course.
in the days following: i was sore from head to toe on monday, including my knee. however, i recovered quickly this time. i rested monday, did an easy walk on tuesday, and was back to running on wednesday.
actions to take: pay close attention to my knee and how to prevent injury. i was starting to feel full from all the water i drank - need to be more strategic on when and how often to hydrate during longer races.
next race: 25k, october 5th. this course is described to have two major hills!
get the gear: