I ran an incredibly hard 20 miles today. I ran downhill to the start of the Marine Corps Marathon. After running the first hill of the marathon, instead of turning and continuing the marathon route, I kept going straight, which meant 2-3 miles of uphill. Then I merged with my usual route, which has some major uphills and decent downhills. To finish the run, I did an out and back that was mostly downhill out, so mostly uphill back. I did pretty well for the first 15 miles, but the uphill that was the last 4 miles just killed me. By mile18, I’d reached the point that I was running as much as I could, but walking any significant hill. My legs were just beat by the end. On the bright side, the MCM has two good hills at the beginning and is then basically flat until the end, so this is a nice strong training route.
It’s a good thing I can handle Gu and Gatorade. I parked my car about two miles from my house, right next to a park with a bathroom. I left a bottle of water and two Gatorade’s there, and carried Gu, Gatorade and water in my belt. I ended up refilling my 8 ounce bottle of ‘ade three times and my water once, plus I drank some extra from the bottles while I was refilling.
The coolest part? My average pace was 11:11, including a bathroom stop and refills at the car! Mile 19 was the only mile that was significantly off pace (13:25) and that had a lot to do with the number of steep hills and the need for walking. Mile 20 was back down to 11:54, which I was happy with because I really pushed myself until mile 18 (what my training plan called for) and then just walked and ran the last two to get the distance in.
I have a blister under one toe and two toe nails that look like they might not make it through the marathon, but no chafing (YAY! considering I was absolutely soaking wet) and managable soreness. We took the boys to an outdoor concert tonight and I walked about a half mile each way without too much trouble, which I hope means I won’t be too stiff tomorrow.
Now I can just enjoy the rest of the weekend!