Today I ran my last 20 mile run of this training cycle. Woohoo! Unfortunately, that’s Woohoo, it’s done, not Woohoo it went great. Sigh. Actually, the first 15 miles were great. I ran to a friend’s house and then we ran the first 10 together. It was warm and the route was a bit hilly, but I really enjoyed having someone to talk to. I think I may have run a few of the miles a bit too fast, but I was feeling pretty good when I got back to my house at about the 10.5 mile point. After a quick refill of my fuel belt, I headed out for another 10ish miles. I may have run the first four of that set a bit fast, but I was feeling pretty good, despite the sunny, no shade route and the mid-60s weather. I was thinking I was going to completely rock the second 10 miles and actually get in more than 20.
Then I felt it. The lovely intestinal gurgle that means nothing good is going to happen in the near future. I managed to keep running for about another quarter of a mile towards home, but quickly realized that a) I needed to find a bathroom ASAP and b) I’d better walk. Thankfully, I was near a Whole Foods. It was all I could do to walk calmly up their stairs, past all the people having lunch in the cafe, and all the way to the back of the store. I’ve never been so happy to see a bathroom in my life. Thankfully, this solved the belly issues, but by the time I was done, my legs had completely tightened up. I could barely walk and I still had 4.4 miles of running to go.
I managed to start running again, but it was more like a shuffle. I could not get my legs moving in any sort of reasonable manner. I was also getting really hot and drained and finally, when I ran out of nuun at the 18.5 mile point, I gave in. I headed into the house and was not going to run anymore. But, I’m nothing if not stubborn, so I hit the treadmill and finished the last 1.5 in a lousy 18 minutes. Oddly, by the 1.3 mile point, I actually thought I might be able to keep running for longer, but I decided it was time to just be done with it. So, 20 miles in 3:37:44 minutes, which is a 10:53 average pace.
Half mile on the way to friend’s house: 5:03
Mile 1: 11:34 (majorly long light)
Mile 2: 10:17
Mile 3: 10:09 (nuun)
Mile 4: 10:12
Mile 5: 10:42 (nuun + hill)
Mile 6: 10:55 (GU)
Mile 7: 10:13 (nuun)
Mile 8: 10:28
Mile 9: 10:37 (nuun)
Mile 10: 11:29 (same long light as in mile 1)
Stopped for potty break and GU
Mile 11: 10:19
Mile 12: 10:18
Mile 13: 10:20 (nuun)
Mile 14: 10:19
Mile 15: 10:38 (nuun)
Mile 16: 12:49 (Gu + lots of walking, not included is long stop at WF)
Mile 17: 11:49
Mile 18: 11:29
Inside for more nuun, decided to hit treadmill.
Last 1.5 miles: 18:00 (12 min/mi pace)
After my not so impressive run, I chugged a glass of chocolate milk and then headed upstairs. I cranked the heater in the bathroom, put on a warm, dry fleece, and climbed in the tub. I managed to tolerate a 20 minute cold water bath, while reading a trash novel. My legs are tired and my feet are sore (I couldn’t even tolerate socks after the run), but I feel better than I have a right to. I weighed myself after the bath and despite drinking 30+ ounces of nuun, at least 16 ounces of water, and 12 ounces of chocolate milk, I’d lost 1.5 pounds. Hmm…
So, now what? Well, taper obviously, but I’m about four days ahead of my plan. I may add a couple of miles to next week’s 12 mile “long” run, since it too will be ahead. I’m also planning on focusing on intensity. Two of my four runs for the next 2.5 weeks will be either speedwork or hills. I’ll also be praying for hot weather for the next month, followed by a really cool marathon day. Hey, if you’re gonna ask, might as well ask big.