Sunday, March 25, 2007

Basics make a difference

I'm waiting for the guys at Buckeye Outdoors Training Site to upload all my data for the past year plus, but in the meantime, I did upload this past week, so you should be able to see it on the right.

After my daily meditation, I decided to check my e-mail and try to complete a bit of Internet research I started last night and couldn't really do because the connection was so bad. (I was looking for a good rain jacket to run in -- something that didn't just soak me from the inside because it held my sweat in and something light, since it doesn't really get that cold here. I decided on the Patagonia Spraymaster which, for some unknown, but incredibly lucky for me reason, was half price in a couple of the women's colors!)

While I was online, a good friend of mine was online in the US and we started to GoogleTalk, which is always great fun -- talking to someone on the other side of the world in real time for free! However, this delayed me so that I did not get out for my long run while it was still cool. It was not oppressively hot when I left so I thought I'd be okay, but I did not really factor in the effect of the humidity. I have to say that I don't have amything that tells me the temperature and here, they report it in Celsius which means almost nothing to me, so I don't really know how hot it is. SportTracks, my running log program, fetches the forecast when it can and it has been saying 87 Farenheit for the high for the past couple of days. That's pretty darn hot, isn't it?

I got out the door around 10:30am and there was a nice breeze in my face the whole way going. Of course, when I turned around -- no breeze. And it was humid! Like Yaoundé or Florida. By the end of the run my entire backside was just sticking to me. That made me feel a bit self-conscious.

But the worst part was that I ran out of steam. I turned around at 5.3 miles, although intellectually I thought I should have run 14 miles this weekend. I felt okay for the first half, but the last mile and a half going out was downhill, which means that when I turned around I had a nice long uphill to confront. I did run the whole way up it, but shortly after that felt really spent. Around mile 8 some children offered me some water (I stopped at a community spigot that was not flowing) and it tasted sssooooo sweet. Mmmm. But I walked three or four times for a bit and stopped to stretch twice.

When I reflect on this, I realize two things. Really basic things:

1.      Weather matters, particularly heat.
2.      Nutrition matters.

The weather you know about. Getting out by 7am would have made a huge difference. (Although I was incredibly lucky because I walked into the door of my house moments before the first torrential downpour of the day!).

Nutrition? Ah well. Yesterday I went to a wedding. Having only eaten a banana for breakfast, by the time we got to the reception, I was starving. I immediately drank a Coke because my blood sugar was so low I was faint. And then I ate what they served -- a snack of peanuts, fried cookie-like things called chin chin, a Quarter-sized piece of fish and two Quarter-sized pieces of chicken. Later on, I drank a Djino (carbonated fruit cocktail). For dinner, I had a bowl of rice with garlic and oil "sauce" and a beer. This morning, I did think to eat a banana before I went running.

But, it wasn't enough. Or just basically lacking in nutrition. Oh, I did have an avocado with my rice, so I ate one vegetable all day (or are avocados a fruit?).

This has happened to me before. So now I am bringing consciousness to this area -- it really makes a difference what I eat the day before my long run.

Yep, the basics make a difference.

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