So this one took me a while to get out there. I set another personal distance record, which will remain unbroken until April 27, 2014 when I run to complete the full marathon distance. It was an interesting Saturday morning, being that I could not start at my normal time, which meant the folks I ran with normally on Saturday mornings would not be there with me. Due to other commitments, Liz had to attend a meeting for work and we also had a gathering with group of friends planned. The trick was to somehow get a 20 mile run in starting at 1:15 and being back and ready to go by 4pm. Whoa! I was sure I could do it.
Around 1:10 I headed out the door after Liz returned home. I had my route planned, engrained in my head, and the will to finish. I did change up my fueling plan a bit from prior long runs simply since I had no idea what to expect. I had strategically planned to deplete my four 7oz bottles of water at some point during mile 11. I also had a packet of Strawberry Gu Chomps and Strawberry/Banana Gu energy gels I was actually averaging a 10:05 pace for the first 12 miles.
Part of my fueling plan was that the 12 mile mark would be at the entrance to the Rollins Savannah. While being the first time there this sprint, I knew from last year that there were water fountains at the entrance and I could refill my water bottles there to keep me going.
The water fountains weren't open, in fact, they had plastic wrap all around them and there was no way I could get water out of them...shit.
With 8 miles left in the plan, I had to somehow tackle that without any water. I knew this would be difficult even though I was feeling pretty good. Out of frustration with the Lake Country Forest Preserve District, I posted on Facebook that the fountains were out of service. A fellow member of the running club messaged back and forth with me, and planned to bring water to me at the north entrance of the preserve. Holy Smokes, Thank you so much Elizabeth Lupo! I was able to get water around mile 16 and refill my water bottles. Having gone 5 miles without any water, I was still too dehydrated to continue. I was able to get to 17.75 miles.
I was really hoping to see what hitting the wall felt like prior to my full marathon. I'm confident that my experience with the 17.75 distance was NOT the wall, but rather a hydration issue. Going from sipping water around every half mile to not having any water for 5 miles had to have been the cause. I know the dreaded wall comes at a different place for everyone, some at 17, some at 20, some at 22 or any other number.
My hope is to be able to push through the wall when I finally run the 26.2.