Saturday, February 11, 2012
As you know I am training with a buddy for a 50k run on March 3rd. Today was our long run. My buddy and I go back a long time. We have run, we have biked, we have done tri's as a part of a charitable organization, but this is something we want to do for us.
We were going to run the last 24 miles of the course so we could get a feel for the hills at the latter part of the run. At the time we started the temperature was 25 degrees, it was snowing like crazy, the roads were not plowed - nor was the multi purpose trails. (anywhere from 3-6 inches of snow).
We started out maintaining the pace we wanted and everything went well. We never talk much, today no exception. We came to the half way mark and a friend came out with salty pretzels, gatorade and water. We chatted for about 10 minutes and then got on our way.
Three miles later I sensed something was not right. My buddy started to walk more than I have ever seen him do. He was just not himself. I was not sure what was happening. I then asked him if he was not feeling well, and it turned out that he didn't. I won't go into detail but suffice it to say - it was multifactorial. Mean while the weather had deteriorated the snow was coming down, the visibility was worse, and the wind had kicked up. And my buddy was struggling more than ever and we are walking and have been for a while.
Thoughts went through my head. Do swallow my pride and keep walking with him? Do I tell him to keep walking and I will run to the car? - I did not like the idea of leaving him in bad viz with a dark jacket - and I was more visible, and if he is not doing well, you don't leave someone alone. So we kept walking. After some time he said - why don't I call my daughter to see if she can drive and get us (my car was at the end - his was at the start - and we are now 6 miles from the finish). His daughter and her friend came and got us and took us to my car (where we were going to finish - his car was parked where we started). I just talked with him and he is doing fine.
What did I learn from the experience that you may benefit from.
You should know - my buddy is a 7 time marathoner, I don't know how many century rides he has done, and he has two half ironman distances to his resume. Not exactly an inexperienced athlete.
1. This story clearly tell you that when running long distances, you should not run alone. Even experienced athletes can get into trouble
2. If you decide to run training runs with someone - you stick together. Chose your training partner carefully. He and I match pace - we don't talk much - and that is how we like it.
3. Don't ever leave anyone who is 'down' behind. They may tell you to go ahead. Don't do it. They may need assistance (for all sorts of reasons) and then you will be right there.
4. Call and make sure your training partner is OK after the training session.
5. There is very little need to regurgitate what happened. If your training partner want to apologize let him or her do it once ... and then move on. It is part of the territory, it happens to all of us.
6. Remember, this blog could be written by your training partner and you were the one who 'fell'
Next week is a 14 mile run ... we have put today behind us and move forward. We decided to train and do the event together.