Ran the standard 5 mile tempo this morning. Did not realize I would feel the consequences of the stomach problems yesterday. I was able to eat simple foods and drink liquids, but I was not nearly as hungry as I should have been. It did show in the tempo run. First mile in 5:30, things are going well. Next 0.5 in 2:44, now I am a second ahead of the 5:30 guy. HR gets up to 160 like it should. Then the next quarter in 1:23 followed by 1:24, HR dropping. Maybe just lost the focus. Pressed harder, HR stuck at 158, next two quarters 1:24 and 1:26, 13:51 at the turn-around. Now something is definitely wrong, but I can still hang in there and run a bit under 28:00, I thought. Next quarter in 1:27, that is actually not too bad for the 180 turn recovery, but then the next two are trouble - 1:25 with HR dropping down to 156 in spite of the increased mental effort (5:42 for the mile), followed by 1:27. OK, odd problem, this usually happens around mile 15 in the marathon except it does not feel the same way because the muscles are feeling tired and the joints start to hurt, but this time the muscles and joints are just fine, but there is still very little glycogen in the legs. I've had this experience a couple of times before. Last year, shortly before DesNews marathon after three weeks of no less than 15 miles a day with at least 6 at sub-6:00 pace this happened in a 10 mile tempo run. And in October of 2004 I tried a tempo run after getting a similar ingestion bug and not eating very much for a day.
Next two quarters in 1:30, HR goes down to 152. But it feels hard, I am putting out my top tempo muscular effort. If I did not look at the watch, I would have said I was still running at 5:30 pace! Then 1:28, 4th mile in 5:55. Next quarter uphill in 1:31 followed by 1:30. With 600 to go I started feeling stronger and was I able to pick it up to 5:30 pace again. HR got up to 160, and I ran the last 600 in 2:03 at a steady pace. 28:27 for the whole run, 5:49 for the last mile. The weirdest tempo run I've had in a while. I thought of cutting it short a few times, but decided to finish it for scientific as well as mental purposes.
The cool down was also unusual. A tempo run would normally put my HR even at the cooldown pace (8:00 mile) to at least 127. Today HR stayed at 118. I considered cutting the mileage today given the upcoming 30 K on Saturday and the glycogen depletion caused by the stomach problems on top of high mileage, but decided to stick with the program. Cooled down until I was at 13 miles for the run. Came home, and still was not hungry, bad sign. Drank some raspberry tea, that got things going. Was able to eat three normal size meals afterwards, and now feeling hungry as I am typing this.
I did much better than Sarah in the stomach area, though. She was throwing up last night. So were Joseph and Jacob. Benjamin did not throw up, but was not able to eat much.
Ran with the kids in the afternoon. Then went to the USATF meeting after dinner with Benjamin and Jenny. Benjamin gave me our mile splits as we drove, a new way to entertain an 8 year old (as well as a 34 year old) while driving.
I have always been curious about the negative feedback mechanisms that kick in once the muscular glycogen is low. I know that some people have them more developed than others. I remember in the Top of Utah Marathon 2005 at mile 17 I was running low on fuel. The pack made a surge, and Demetrio Cabanillas Jr not only went with them but he actually was a very active participant in that surge. Had they told me the race ended at 18 I would not have been able to stay with them. Then he came back to me at 21 even though I had already slowed down to a 7:00 mile premature cool down. He obviously had a lot less glycogen left at 17, but he did not have my negative feedback mechanisms to stop him in the surge. I often start my marathons aggressively, and hardly ever run an even or negative split. It is not uncommon for me to hit a half in a time that would be under a minute slower than I would have raced it all out. However, I do not recall running slower than 7:10 pace at the end of a marathon in the last 6 years. I think my negative feedback when glycogen is low is very strong, perhaps maybe even so strong that it inhibits my shorter races. But it saves my rear end when I make bad pacing decisions in the marathon.