Running on empty

I read recent­ly that it was a good idea to run with­out first eat­ing. It made sense at the time; some­thing about glyco­gen and fat stores. It made sense at the time, though now the googling I’ve done on the sub­ject is con­fus­ing at best. I’m start­ing to think that tak­ing it seri­ous­ly was a mistake.

Sat­ur­day’s 9.6‑miler was run with­out ben­e­fit of fuel­ing, though I ran that fair­ly ear­ly in the day. Today’s 5.7 miles was in the after­noon, with no food all day. That’s just plain dumb. No won­der I bonked hard.

This tells me two impor­tant things: first that I should at least read up on the crack­pot the­o­ries before train­ing based on them, and sec­ond that I may need more rest than I had antic­i­pat­ed as I enter my «cool-down» peri­od before my race this Sun­day. Yes, it’s a tad absurd to have a cool-down peri­od after train­ing for only one week, but I’ve proven that I’m (prob­a­bly) capa­ble of doing the dis­tance, so I need to keep my legs fresh for Sunday.

The first hint that I was­n’t in for a ban­ner run was that at three miles I still had­n’t eased into cruis­ing mode. I nev­er got warmed up and nev­er fell into the easy rhythm that I’ve come to expect between two and two-and-a-half miles. By 3.8 miles I was toast. From that point on, I alter­nat­ed run­ning and walk­ing the rest of the way home. When I got in the house I felt weak to the point that I need­ed to get food down my throat right away or risk col­lapse. I got a ban­nana right away and downed about a liter of water. Need­less to say, this is not an exper­i­ment I’ll be repeat­ing with­out some hard facts.

Of course, any day I get out on the road and make it home in one piece is a good run. Today I also got to walk down the steps at 22nd Street between Arkansas and Con­necti­cut. It’s a nice lit­tle seclud­ed area on the short dead-end street there. I’ve been curi­ous about whether there were steps there for some time; today I walked them