The longest long run of my Rock n Roll San Antonio marathon training is complete! 22 miles, just 4.2 miles short of the big day's distance. I love having a 22 mile run under my belt. It gives me so much confidence, yet today I don't know if I could have squeaked out 4.2 more miles. Well... maybe if I HAD to. Luckily I didn't.
We got a later start than normal for this long of a distance starting our run shortly after 8:00 am. The weather was nice, not even 70 degrees yet and a little overcast (that didn't last). My goal for this run was to maintain just under an 11:00 minute mile. Bianca and I started off with Karla who planned to do about 5 miles with us.
Running an 11:00 minute or so pace felt pretty "slow" at the beginning, but I knew I'd thank myself for that pace at the end. The pace matched the speed by which the run seemed to be going by-- slow! Karla turned around at mile 5ish and I felt like we had been running forever. I really tried to take my mind out of the game. I refused to allow myself to EVER think of how much longer to go. It was just too long at that point and I didn't want to discourage myself.
Soon enough we were at the trail end and ready to turn around and start heading back. The only thing is, we were only 6.5 miles into our run and it seemed like there was no end in site. Around mile 10 we bumped into two other friends of ours also running on the trail. They ran with us from miles 10 to 14 and it definitely helped break up the run. By the time they left us, time seemed to be moving a little more quickly.
I did a little something different on this run. I normally only use Gu and Honey Stinger blocks, but today I decided to do something different. I had a Gu at mile 5, one at mile 10 and then I had a Cliff Kid's Cliff Bar at mile 15. I wasn't sure about eating "real food" during a run, but I always get REALLY hungry when I run more than 13 or so miles. Eating the Z Bar was the BEST decision ever. It really helped curb my hunger and it didn't upset my stomach at all.
By mile 15 or so the sun was shining brightly. It doesn't seem to matter what the temperature is (probably mid 70s by then) when the sun is shining in Texas it always seems to be blazing. Nevertheless, the sun was gorgeous and I couldn't help but appreciate the day.
At mile 16 Bianca started mentioning that she wasn't feeling too well. Let me tell you, I have run hundreds of miles with Bianca and I have NEVER heard her complain. I knew she must be really hurting and I felt badly there was nothing I could do.
By mile 18 we had made it back to the parking lot where are cars were. Bianca's pain in her stomach had turned to major cramping. I told her I wouldn't be mad if she quit, but she refused to give up. We spent the next 4 miles running out and around a less than 1 mile loop around the YMCA. It was repetitive and boring and my body started to rebel at mile 20. By mile 21 both Bianca and I were very unhappy, but we had come this far and neither one of us were willing to give up. It seemed like hours before that last mile was finished, but soon enough 22 miles were complete!
Here's the breakdown.
We averaged a 10:56 pace which was exactly what I wanted to do today. I'd love to go a little faster for the marathon, but if it turns out to be the same speed as today I will still beat my old marathon time. Needless to say, I'd be happy with that. No matter the time, or the pain 22 miles was D.O.N.E done and that made us both VERY happy!
I came home and iced my legs in an ice bath that was incredibly cold and painful. It was the first time I attempted an ice bath. I definitely didn't fill the water high enough, but once I was in there was nothing inside me that wanted to add more freezing water. I even had to have Jack get me socks because my toes felt like they would fall off. AND I kept my running tights on. I can't even imagine what it would feel like if I were nek-ked! Yowsa! I think the ice did help a little bit as I'm not really feeling sore. I let you know more tomorrow.
As for now, now I sleep.