i've mulled it over and over. and over. the pre-race nutrition and the race day fueling and hydration. what went wrong? here are my thoughts:
- i ate the same breakfast i had been eating throughout my training. bananna, oatmeal, GU.
- i was well hydrated going in.
- i was planning to GU every 6-7 miles since this is what i had been doing in all my training.
- i took water at every stop. i only train with water. never use sports drinks. this was learned the hard way last year when training for marathon #1. i tried gatorade on a couple of long runs & was thanking my lucky stars that i was within a half mile of a bathroom. zanne + gatorade (while running) = not pretty. although it could be argued that neither is collapsing on the sidewalk.
- i was unprepared for how difficult it would be to get a good gulp of water while on the run. during training, i'd stop at a fountain to drink. and in all the other races i have done (all local) they hand out tiny little bottles which make drinking on the run easy. in the first few stops, i got more water up my nose or down my front than in my mouth. which made me thirsty. early & the whole time. even so - i think this was less a hydration issue & more of a not enough GU issue. i finally remembered that runner's world article about folding the cup & pouring h20 into mouth. it worked, a little bit. but mostly, i couldn't get a good gulp unless i slowed down significantly & then i'd have to kick it in a bit to catch up with coach.
- i took my first gu as planned, at mile 7. the 2nd at 14 and the 3rd at 21. in previous races, i would open & take gu fully before i got to h20 stop. i think on sunday, i was opening the packs too late, trying to get as much as i could, fast - then dumping the pack before i got to water. i'm willing to bet i didn't get a full gu pack.
so, even though i did exactly what i did during training, i don't think it was enough. and while water always seemed to get me through my training runs just fine, i think i need to find a sports drink that i can train with (and subsequently run with at the next race) - i can't be at the mercy of whatever is being handed out on the course.
which brings me to my next issue. pre-race nutrition.
coach had wanted me to think about the nutrition in the weeks' prior to the race. when he said that, i went back to him with a list of what i ate. his thought was more along the lines of not what i ate, but how much. huh? how much? it never occured to me. i am usually obssessed with what goes in - always worried about keeping my GI system happy. while i'd do anything for a stomach of steel, i've got GI issues up the wazoo. and while there is always room for my nutritional improvement, i like to think i had been really good this time around in terms of what went in. but, if i really think about the how much went in; well, i'm not as good. coachs' thought was that there are not enough calories going in for the level of training. if i go in to race day with tank less than topped off, i'll get into the negative quickly. so, while i thought it was solely a gu/race day issue, i think that the fact that the tank was not completley topped off going in was the other contributor. it makes perfect sense.
so. i need to find a sports drink i can use during training & during a race. i need to figure out how to increase the calories when the training increases. i need to gu more often during a race. i need to learn to drink water/gels on the run more successfully, without the significant slow down. tips? advice? bring it on.