Here's another interesting fact: Did you know that for every molecule of glycogen you lose, you also lose about 3 molecules of water along with it? Another source of dehydration! This was evident on the scale when I weighed myself Friday morning to find I’d lost 1.5% of my body weight in under 40 hours. You can see an illustration of the effects of different exercise intensities on glycogen utilization over time in a previous post . The point here is, as endurance athletes, we've got enough challenges with maintaining what little stored sugar we have during distance events without the added effects of poor nutrition, dehydration and pre-exercise glycogen depletion when the need for sugar is increasing with each passing minute of your endurance event.
To wrap up, let’s put all of this into perspective. I started off dehydrated. I did not have enough time to properly re-hydrate or re-fuel my body from it’s energy-depleted state. Not ingesting enough carbs or calories basically means I was on a calorie-restricted, low-to-moderate carbohydrate diet for over 48 hours (see aforementioned Figure 7 in link above to see how this aspect affects performance) leading up to about 26 hours prior to attempting the 20-miler. The longer (and harder) you exercise, the more glucose your body uses. I started off depleted, was unable to stomach as many carbs as I had planned on ingesting during the run, and I was working about ~10% harder to maintain the same pace I did during last weeks long run. Somebody call Rachael Ray. I've got a recipe for disaster! It's a miracle I made it as far as I did with no major repercussions. Including ending with a pain-free and happy IT band.
Oh ya, one last little reminder of this LSD treadmill adventure through Copper Canyon: forgetting to use Body Glide on my lower back. Ouch!
Gotta do what you can to keep this love alive, right? I think I did my part this weekend. :-)
Three Saturdays to race day!