I guess I have to admit to my first rookie mistake right off the bat: starting a blog and then ignoring it for a couple of weeks.
The last couple of weeks have been busy to say the least as I continue training for the Grizzly Ultra Marathon in Canmore in the fall. It’s a 50km run through the mountains, so, not only will it be the longest I’ve ever ran, I was also stupid enough to sign up for something that requires me to run straight up hill for nine straight hours.
In the time I’ve been training I’ve learned some tough lessons, and the biggest one is that I like to learn lessons the hard way. Oh and I’m a slow learner.
Here’s some of the things that I hope you won’t repeat:
Sleeping in on long run day
I think I’ll file this one under the August is hot category. Thanks Captain Obvious Quinn. The last couple of weekends have been particularly hot and humid in Edmonton. I’ve also had a tendency to sleep in the last couple of weekends and the combination has been disastrous. What were supposed to be more than 30 km runs turned into me calling my fiance to come pick me up closer to the 25km mark. I’m not a quitter but I really had no choice at that point. At one point I ran out of water and gels and had sweat enough to fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool. If I had started before 10 a.m. I probably would have been better off.
Skipping Hill Training
I’ve been running the 5 Peaks series the last couple of months to get me prepared for the Ultra.
The last run was in Camrose, and included 14km of tough hills. It had been raining the day before and the trail was muddy. I decided it was a great idea to run down one of the first declines, when I slipped. I didn’t fall, but I did a number on my ankle. I limped sadly passed the finish line in pain after running the entire race on an injury that probably could have been avoided.
I’ve used it as an excuse to stop training hills and that was a major mistake. I climbed 10+ hills on my last long run and it doesn’t take long to lose that stamina.
I also ran after the Camrose race and the hills from it pushed up my times immensely, and a friend of mine who is a trainer has said the best way to get your times down for a half marathon, is to do some trail running. So from this rookie, don’t skip hill day,as brutal as it can be.
Not resting an injury and not breaking in new shoes
I only link these together because I learned them at the exact same time.
The day after I injured my ankle at the 5 peaks race, I decided it was a great idea to do a 20km run through Edmonton’s river valley, on brand new shoes.
I was so excited to test them out and I didn’t think anything of it on the run, honestly. Until I got home…
My foot felt a little funny under my compression socks. I took off the sock on my left foot and realized they were a bit swollen, but it wasn’t anything too concerning.
It was the right foot that was the problem.
I took off the sock to reveal a completely black toe.
And then the swelling really started to kick in. Both feet ballooned up the minutes after I released them from their compression prisons. I walked like I had a stick up my butt for a few days waiting for the swelling to go down.
Do I really need to explain this one. One of my coworkers is running the Grizzly as well. We have both banned high heels from our wardrobes until October. (At least I have an excuse now not to be as girly.)
I used to do yoga, heck I used to stretch every single day. But I get tired, and my body pays the price. There is nothing worse than being unable to run your full distance because of tight muscles and preventable injuries.
Fuelling- or as normal people call it, eating.
I’ve really fallen off the nutrition bandwagon as of late.
I’m not eating crap, I’m just not eating enough.
It means I’ve hit the wall harder and sooner on my long runs and has taken a major toll on my training.
All of these seem pretty minor, but they’ve caused a bit of pain that could have been avoided. I hope you heed my warning and steer clear of these rookie mistakes.
As for me, I’m hoping they don’t all come back to bite me in the butt when I hope to tackle the Edmonton Marathon next weekend.
What rookie mistakes have you made lately?