The "Almost Marathon" Simulation Run (Day 27)

13 Jun

Today I ran my longest run to date, my longest run before Mad Marathon, and my first twenty-miler ever.  What an experience! Here’s a quick summary:

Coachy and I decided earlier in the week that this run was to be run as close as possible to the way we plan on running Mad Marathon, but slower in the run department (hopefully LOL).  My goal today was to run at a 10:30 pace, and walk all the hills so I don’t get TOO worn down. I accomplished that! I managed an 11:39 minute/mile overall pace, but while I was running I kept my 10:30 mm pace (for the most part). I certainly didn’t take it easy on myself (I knew all of these hills were there – I run these roads regularly, just on a lot shorter distances!)

I was feeling unsure about the weather – boy am I glad the weather people are never right. Two sources said rain, ALL DAY.  The local guy had it right though – early morning showers, ending, cloudy rest of the day.  It was 55 degrees and 94% humidity when I took off this morning. Thinking there was a possibility I could  get rained on, I threw on my running jacket with my skirt, and away I went.  I was carrying my Nuun water bottle in my hand, thinking “It’s not that warm out, I shouldn’t need much more for the first ten miles.” Heh, yeah, right. 

By the time I finished the first mile I honestly thought I was going to barf.  It was the worst feeling. I think maybe lack of running + ridiculous humidity just tried to do me in for a bit.  I took a couple quick breaks in the first couple miles, but thank goodness it passed without any problems.  I was freaked for a bit – this weekend was really my only chance to get the 20 done, other than that I’m pushing it because it’s too close to race day.

About mile 3 or so I’m realizing I am WAY TOO WARM.  Luckily I ran from home today, so I made a quick adjustment to my course, and headed back home for a wardrobe change.  At 4.4 miles it was jacket off, Nuun bottle gone, on with the fuel belt instead. I filled two bottles, figuring I wouldn’t need anymore, I planned on looping back toward home at 10 miles for a pee break and some fuel, and more water/powerade. 

The rest of the first 10 miles went off without a hitch.  I felt great – I ran my 10:30 pace, I walked the hills, everything went well! One problem – I ran out of Gu gels, and I forgot to get more, so I was winging it in the fuel department.  I literally took a mish mash of whatever fuel I had around the house with me (Gu chomps, sport beans, a few power bar gummy things, and a load of gummy bears).  I downed a couple tablespoons of honey while I was home, for the sugar, refilled my bottles (again only two – sometimes I am just so stupid – better to have too much than not enough, right? Perhaps that would’ve been useful to think WHILE I was running?).  

And I’m off again.  The second half was much hillier than the first half, resulting in more walking.  Miles 8-14 were almost all uphill – and my slowest miles because of that.  Around 12.25 miles my hips were feeling tight – so I took a minute to stretch them out, and I was back on the road.
14.5 miles in – my arches hurt, and my sock feels like it’s rubbing on my pinky toe on my left foot the wrong way, ouch.  I stopped and took off my shoes, adjusted my socks, massaged my arches, and was off again.

Miles 15-17.75 were BRUTAL. Walking was painful. Running wasn’t as painful, but my body didn’t want to do it.  I stopped at 16 miles to stretch again.  At this point I also had to pee – and was almost out of water (yeah that was REALLY F-ing stupid) – so I threw away my course idea and headed home.  Wherever I landed mileage wise when I got home, I knew it’d be fairly easy to make up after I peed and got more fluids.

I turned the corner into my neighborhood and my mom’s car was in my driveway.  WTH? Strange… well I left my house unlocked, so she was in my house! LOL Why you ask? Well my mom is Queen Worry.  I didn’t have my phone on me (yes, also stupid, I know. Apparently I left my brain in bed this morning.). When I didn’t return her texts asking for updates on my run she got paranoid. So I got in trouble, 17.75 miles into a 20 mile run, for not carrying my cell phone, and for not wearing my Road ID (It needs a new emergency contact info plate – I haven’t gotten around to ordering it… I’m busy, I forget these things).  (Yes I’m almost thirty, but making your mom worry is unacceptable at any age I guess…).

I’m glad she showed up though – she was going to the store so I asked her to pick up a couple bags of ice for me.  I knew I was going to need an ice bath. 
I popped some ibuprofen, filled a bottle with some powerade, ditched the fuel belt, and went out to finish my last 2.25 miles.  The ibuprofen must’ve kicked in pretty quick, because those last miles felt pretty decent. 

YAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY I finished my twenty miler! Woooooooooooooooooohoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo! I immediately turned the cold water on and started filling the tub when I got home, dumped a couple bags of ice in, and braved my way into the icy water. OMFG

I learned a lot of valuable lessons today, and I’m going to share them with you. 

One: if it is 55 degrees but one million percent humidity, don’t wear a jacket
Two: if it is the aforementioned humidity, bring all 4 fuel belt bottles, not just 2
Three: to gu or not to gu? ALWAYS GU (Made a huge difference in my energy levels)
Four: bring Advil along for the run, you’re probably going to need it
Five: when you stop halfway at home – DON’T FORGET TO PEE
Six: always carry your cell phone and wear your road ID because the last thing you want to see at 17.74 miles is your mommy at your house because she can’t get in touch with you – and then get lectured for it
Seven: having mommy waiting at your house is good though, she bought my ice for me
Eight: no matter how many times you have been in the ocean, an ice bath is still colder
Nine: powerbar gummies  don’t last forever, they go stale and they’re gross                    
Ten: a snot rocket is a snot rocket no matter how far you shoot it, as long as it clears your body (I know that’s disgusting, but hey, it’s necessary.)

My confidence for my first marathon is up there and fully restored.  I feel ready and able to tackle this baby. If I can run my run portions at a 10mm (my goal) and finish strong (the last 10 miles ARE downhill) I should be able to finish in under 5 hours.  I would be ecstatic if I accomplished that, but as long as I cross the finish line, I honestly don’t care what it takes.  Once I have one under my belt, there’s always room for improvement! 

Thanks to mom for the ice – and for feeding me spaghetti, meatballs, bread, and strawberry rhubarb pie for dinner! Yum yum yum! 

Now, I have a glass of wine to finish, and a bed that is calling my name!

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