The "Better" 20-Miler (Day 41)

28 Jun
Yes, that’s right.  I did it.  I didn’t just do it, I slayed it. By 11 minutes to be exact.

I also beat my 18 mile pace by 1 second per mile.  AND I only walked 0.36 of a mile.  Out of 20.  Incredible, right? Last time I did the 20 I walked so much – it actually took a massive toll on my body, apparently I am not made to walk/run because whenever I slow to walk, my body automatically starts to stiffen up.

I analyzed, and reanalyzed, and analyzed some more, the details of my last 20.  I compared it to previous, shorter runs.  I ran 15 miles of almost the exact same route at a 10:23 pace.  So why, oh why, am I walking these hills? I run them all the time! I decided then and there that I was only going to walk if absolutely necessary, and that is what I did.

I started my morning in my typical pre-long run fashion – honey wheat bagel topped with pb/honey/naner.  This time I tried to eat a whole bagel, but it was just toooooooooooo early.  I started eating at 6:15 a.m. – I don’t do well when I try to eat soon after I wake, and I had only been up since six.  I still managed 3/4 of the bagel.

I got dressed in my marathon test outfit, filled my fuel belt bottles, and was ready to go.

The gory details (this format is loosely based on another blog I read, you can check it out here, I loved the idea so I borrowed it):

  • 90 – Percent humidity when I left my house. Eww.
  • 1 – Gu Roctane Blueberry Pomegranate gel pre-run.
  • 4 – Fuel Belt bottles for the first 10 miles – 2 plain water, 2 powerade zero (grape if you’re wondering).
  • 2 – Gu Chomps at Mile 5 and Mile 7 ( Blueberry Pomegranate again). 
  • 10 – Miles run without incident.  
  • 561 – Feet of elevation gain in the first ten miles.
  • 4 – More Fuel Belt bottles filled up to finish the second half.
  • 1 – Gu Tri-Berry gel to start the second 10 miles.
  • 12.9 – Miles run until a wicked bad cramp started in my right side. By now the sun had burned through the clouds, so I found some shade, took some nice deep breaths, and was back on my way.
  • 14 – Miles run until I desperately needed shade again.  By now it’s 73 degrees and 73% humidity (matching numbers, weird) – but the sun makes it feel like it’s 90. 
  • 1 – Package of watermelon Sport Beans consumed while sitting in the shade at Mile 14.  They’re really yummy and juicy – I definitely like the sport beans ALOT.
  • 16.35 – Miles run before I wanted to throw in the towel.  I sat again, this time on the steps of an abandoned business.  We can’t be picky now, shade is shade. I could feel myself overheating and I was worried because I only had 8 oz of fluid left.
  • 17 – Miles into the run when the clouds took over again.  I prayed and prayed for rain – it didn’t happen.  But I’ll thank Mother Nature for at least allowing the clouds to take over for a little while, it helped me finish.
  • 19.1 – Miles run before my body just didn’t want to run anymore.  I was overheating bad still, and it was causing my whole body to shut down.
  • 19.3 – Mileage point where I yelled at myself for giving in to walking when I WAS ALMOST THERE!
  • 19.7 – I started to walk again.  I had to.  I was almost home and it’s about a 75′ climb to get home.  I couldn’t run no matter how hard I tried.
  • 19.95 – I start running again – YOU CAN’T WALK ACROSS THE FINISH LINE!
  • 33 – Seconds PER MILE this run was faster than the previous 20 miler.  Oh yeah, Mad Marathon here I COME!
  • 7 – pounds of water weight lost.  This isn’t a good weight loss technique, why?
I’m glad I did this again.  I’m glad I pushed myself.  My confidence for marathon completion has been boosted by a TON.  
My marathon outfit checks out perfectly – I had a slight sports bra mishap that resulted in some WICKED chafe.  I’m chalking that up to weight loss, and a bra that is most likely too big now.  Whoops, won’t be wearing that one on Marathon Sunday. 
I am officially in taper mode.  No super hard runs, no super long runs, until Marathon Sunday arrives. Less than two weeks now – AND I AM READY!

One Response to “The "Better" 20-Miler (Day 41)”

  1. June 28, 2011 at 3:17 pm #

    congrats on taming the beast that is the “20-miler”!! awesome!!

    I wish I had someone has motivating as you to train with 🙂

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