Saturday, April 19, 2014

Pittsburgh Marathon Training Long Run: 20 miles

First let me say I am making an attempt to write this post from my iPhone on the last few hours of our 16 hour car ride home from Florida. I'll add photos later because my phone is acting up and won't let me add the pics. Anyway, we had a fabulous time on vacation and I do plan to fill you in on everything but first things first -- the long run.

Wouldn't you know that my lasts long run (the 20 miler) fell while we were on vacation. Tracey and Charlene did their long run on The Friday that we left and I could have gone with them, but I didn't think it was wise to run 20 miles and then sit for 16 plus hours in the car.

Besides, I had plans to meet up with Barb (a running friend who recently moved to the Orlando area). Barb is so sweet and planned out the perfect 20 mile route for us. While Barb wasn't up for 20 miles (she has a nagging toe injury) she said she'd run 12 with me. The plan was that she'd run me out 7 and let me go to 10 miles alone. She'd then start to walk back to the 5 mile mark and wait there for me and do the last 5 miles with me. PETFECT.  I felt so VERY thankful to have Barb with me.

So after a LONG day of riding in the car and little sleep, I woke up at 5:30 to meet Barb at her house.  I was out the door in the pitch black by 6:00 am. I had my Gatorade prime but only ate a less than 200 calorie cliff bar. It wasn't ideal but it was all I had.

I met Barb at her house right on time and we left right for the trail. I was a little anxious because the weather was already feeling hot. I told Barb my plan was to maintain an 11:00 minute mile for this run. I really wanted to be as even as possible and test out my blistering maratjon pace.  Ha!  She agreed to do whatever I wanted and we headed out.

The trail was beautiful. We started off through a small little town full of locally owned shops and restaurants. It was so cute.  We quickly got to the actual trail and were in the exposed sun for a bit but by mile two we were shaded by beautiful old trees. There was so much new stuff to look at. I was enjoying running somewhere new and was enjoying Barb's company and upbeat attitude. Barb told me how great I was doing and that I was holding up so well. I giggled and told her we were only at mile 3.56 I should hope I was holding up. We got a good laugh about that.

We reached to 5 mile mark and we stopped for a MUCH needed bathroom break. I was never so glad to see a bathroom. It's not a wonder runners poop their pants. Just sayin!!!

Mile 1:  10:46
Mile 2:  10:47
Mile 3: 10:46
Mile 4:  10:34
Mile 5: 10:27 ----> gu

I felt so much better after using the restroom but things were definitely heating up. Nevertheless the 7 mile mark came and I had to say goodbye to Barb. It wasn't until that point I realized I hadn't filled my water bottles at the bathroom. I was so preoccupied that I totally forgot. Barb gave me all but a few sips of her water (since she was heading back) and I had two full bottles to make it 8 miles.

I felt pretty darn good for miles 7 to 10. Things were definitely heating up but I was in good spirits and feeling well.

Mile 6: 11:00
Mile 7: 11:01
Mile 8:  11:21
Mile 9:  10:54
Mile 10:  11:12

After the turn around point, I started mentally beating myself up. I was almost out of water and I just couldn't wrap my head around 5 miles without water. I took a side road into a housing development with a park I hopes of finding water but it was all locked, which meant not water for me.

I was so discouraged and thirsty and hot.  All I could think about was water and how bad I felt and what would happen with no water. I passed a small church and thought about going in, but I didn't. I passed the church and I walked up a hill and thought about turning around to go get water. Then I saw Barb's husband on his bike and I almost cried (not really). He was nice enough to fill one of my bottles. He told me to fill both but with just 2.5 miles to go I told him one bottle was enough. He was out riding his bike, I didn't want to take all his water.

I felt good for a bit more but by this time my feet were blistering (I could feel it with every step) and it was so hot and I just wasn't used to running in the heat.  By mile 14 I was out of water again.  All I kept thinking was "just get to Barb, just get to Barb."  I never thought beyond 15 miles where Barb was waiting. I just wanted to make it to Barb.

Mile 11:  11:14
Mile 12: 11:22
Mile 13:  12:07 ----> walking commenced
Mile 14:  12:28
Mile 15:  12:08

I prayed seeing Barb and getting water would give me a boost to push through. It definitely have me a boost but my feet were a total mess. With every step my blisters were rubbing and I was in serious pain. I was in walk/run mode. I'd do short runs at a quicker pace and then walk. As soon as I'd walk is pick my next point to start running again as not to wait too long to go again.

I was so so discouraged by my feet and the whole situation. Barb was so encouraging the whole time. She was likey own personal cheerleader. Without her, I'm not sure how I would have done it. At mile 17 I literally wanted to sit down and quit. Barb wouldn't let me. Besides we had to make it back to the car. Somehow I made it and not sure I've ever wanted to be be done with a run so badly.

Mile 16: 12:33
Mile 17: 13:04
Mile 18: 12:38
Mile 19: 12:38
Mile 20: 12:28

Total: 3:45:06
Average: 11:33

When I took off my shoes I was met with 4 huge blisters on the inside of my feet. I've been dealing with blisters for a LONG time and had some success keeping them away for awhile but they're back with a vengeance. I'm working with a friend at my local running store to fix it. In case anyone is wondering I've:  changed shoes, body glide my feet, changed socks and use blister shield powder. Nothing is working. Ugh!!!

Regardless, I'm glad I made it through and pray marathon day won't be that tough. A HUGE thank you to Barb for all her support on this run. I'm pretty sure I would have say down and cried had you not been there.

And that is the only healthy thing I did ALL vacation long. Oh that and eat this delicious healthy breakfast at Panera our last day on vacation. My body was revolting from all the junk I had been puttin in it and a Mediterranean egg white sandwich and green B power smoothie was just what the doctor ordered.

Have you tried anything from the training menu yet???


Shaun Byrne said...

Doesn't it feel so good to finally get that last long run done. I did my last 18 yesterday and now I am just looking forward to the race

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