Today was my longest run on my training plan. TWENTY miles. I knew this would mean 4 plus hours of running for me so I packed accordingly, 5 Gu Gels. Turns out I should have packed a meatloaf sandwich or something! By mile 8, I was STARVING.
The temperature was pretty warm. It started off around 50 degrees and ended at about 70. I had on shorts, my sweet Steeler socks, a tank and a long sleeve shirt (that I quickly ditched in Julie’s car).
Julie is getting over a cold/sinus infection and hasn’t run all week. She had 9 miles on her training plan for today but due to the way the trails are laid out she agreed to do 10 with me. She was struggling today (as one would expect dealing with illness) but really pushed through. I was pretty proud of her.
Julie getting her stretch on
The first 10 miles were “easy” for me. I was talking non stop and basically just enjoying the time with Julie. I love that I am able to break down a really long 20 mile run into 10 miles (with a friend) and 10 miles alone.
20 mile Run:
- Mile 1: 12:18
- Mile 2: 12:19
- Mile 3: 12:47
- Mile 4: 12:40 -----> Gu
- Mile 5: 12:35
- Mile 6: 12:44
- Mile 7: 12:04
- Mile 8: 12:46 -----> Gu
- Mile 9: 13:18 -----> Poor Julie was hurting
- Mile 10: 13:09 -----> Strong finish for Julie and she heads out
When Julie left my mind was in the right place but my belly was grumbling for “real food” and my feet already hurt. I had a pretty good 5 mile jaunt and then things really started to unravel. I was in serious pain. My breathing and heart rate seemed to be even and under control but my IT bands, hamstrings and my feet…. OMG MY FEET hurt so badly.
I tried to tell myself to just slow my pace even though I knew that it wasn’t my breathing that was causing me to struggle. I knew in my mind slowing my pace was only prolonging the pain but I just couldn’t get my body to move. I stopped and walked maybe 2 times (for about 30 seconds each) but it only made things worse when I tried to start back up.
I saw a “mantra” on the bridge and decided to adopt it for the next 5 miles of my run. I would focus on one point up ahead. I would not focus on the full 5 miles left but just the one point ahead of me. I’d like to say it was a miracle and things improved but it only helped a little.
Honestly from mile 18 on it was basically a hobble. My feet were toast and my ego was hit hard. I couldn’t help but think what I would do if I had 26.2 on the schedule today. Would I have been able to do it? Would I have been strong enough to finish?
- Mile 11: 11:57
- Mile 12: 11:34 -----> Gu
- Mile 13: 11:45
- Mile 14: 11:58
- Mile 15: 11:42
- Mile 16: 11:48 -----> Gu
- Mile 17: 12:09
- Mile 18: 12:18 ------> Last Gu
- Mile 19: 13:02
- Mile 20: 12:38
When I was finally finished I felt somewhat defeated but I know that each day and each run is different. I still have three weeks left of training to prepare myself for 26.2 miles. Today was just another valuable training run to prepare and humble myself. I might have to rethink my 5:00 marathon goal, but hey I’m flexible!
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