Today was my first 20 miler of my training program. I was dreading it all week despite the fact that all my runs were going well – better than expected in fact.
I prepped for my run with a great pre run dinner last night prepared by the lovely Jennifer. Pasta, breadsticks, broccoli, salad, and chocolate milk. It was delicious.
This morning, I got up around 8:00 and ate an energy packed breakfast. While I digested a bit, I got some work done before heading out around 9:30. I wanted to get started earlier than I have for my past couple of long runs so that I wasn’t running into the lunch hour and getting ravenously hungry.
I started out headed west because it felt like that was the direction the wind was coming from and I wanted to get that out of the way so I wasn’t running into the wind at the end. However, it seemed no matter which way I turned, I was running into the wind. Not sure how that is possible – must be global warming or something. I stopped by my dad’s house along the way to say hello and refill my water bottle. That was 9 miles in and I was still feeling pretty good. After that, I headed back east.
The next time I looked at my watch, I was at 14 miles. I was ecstatic. I still felt great. And only 6 miles to go. That meant less than an hour of running left. I had one more stop at the library to refill my water bottle again. I brought a single serving of Gatorade powder along with me and used that for the refill. After that, it was just a lap around Reeds Lake and I would be done. I’ve done that a million times. No big deal.
Then I got 16 miles in. That is when I really started to hurt. I think part of it was mental because up until the 14 mile mark, I was really running blind on what my distance was. I avoided looking at my watch because I didn’t want to look down and only see 11 miles when I thought it should have been more. But now that I was at the 16 mile mark, I knew exactly where mile 17, 18, and 19 were going to be. Nevertheless, I pushed through it and only stopped when getting a drink at each mile mark.
I made it home in 2:51 for an 8:35 pace. I am very pleased with my time. It is right where I wanted to be. My last three marathons had final paces of (8:32, 8:38, and 8:52). So, I am hoping that by already being in that range with my first 20 miler, I’ll be able to bring that down before race day.
After my run, I took my ice bath. I had to use ice this time because most of the snow has melted. I followed that up with my favorite post long run meal of a Red Baron supreme pizza and Coke. Dessert was a tall glass of chocolate milk.
Unfortunately, I must have been a bit dehydrated because a couple hours after the run, I got a splitting headache. I took some Advil and laid down in a dark room for a bit and it seemed to clear up thankfully.
And before I go, I’d like you to meet the newest member of my training team – a set of Bowflex dumbbells!! I have been scouring Craigslist for months since deciding I needed to add more strength training to my weekly workouts back in August. I have had a couple of hits, but they were gone by the time I called. I got lucky yesterday though. I met the seller at a parking lot nearby and bought them (over half off the price of a new set!!!). The only thing wrong with them is that one of the dumbbells doesn’t work if you set it to 20 pounds. Not a big deal though as there are settings for 17.5 and 22.5 and they work fine.
I actually broke them in last night with a quick session to try them out. I didn’t want to do too much because of my run today though. I am going to try and at least do two workouts a week on Tuesdays and Saturdays and possibly Thursdays on light running weeks. I’m super excited! Tickets to the gun show will be available soon.