03 January 2015

The 20 miler

From Etsy (not my shop)

Not gonna lie, thoughts of 20 mile training runs strike a wee bit of fear into my heart...something about that number is incredibly intimidating (let's not even talk about that additional 6.2 miles yet!) and I have always dreaded when they started looming ever closer in the training schedule.  That of course was for my first marathon in 2009, I didn't get up to 19 miles in 2011 when training for the Marine Corps Marathon (bad Gabby, very very bad).

Looking back over the 2009 posts it looks like I had one great 20 miler and one that was horrible (recap here)--I also had blogged about peanuts causing me tummy troubles which is something I'd totally forgotten about and mentioned this past summer like it was something new (memory like a sieve).  

End of the bad 20 mile run 2009

Enough down memory lane though, yesterday marked the first 20 mile training run for the Belvoir Challenge and true to form I had quite a bit of difficulty relaxing and falling asleep the night before. When the pesky alarm went off at 5:30 am I just laid there thinking about how insane I was to be getting up to prepare to go running before dawn. Eventually I did drag myself out from under the covers because a mate was going to be knocking on the door at 7:30 and I'm sure he wouldn't have appreciated me telling him I had changed my mind about this running lark.  I did dawdle long enough that my planned 5 miles before he got there had to be shortened to 3, oops.  

Long story short, ran 3 miles solo, then 2 up to the club with Ian to meet up with two other runners, 9.4 with them, then back to my house which brought my total up to 18 (15 for Ian), said the goodbyes and straight up the street to finish up the final 2 miles to get the 20 done.  That was so hard going past my front gate and not stopping! Having to run the last bit solo was good for mental toughness though and the last mile ended up being my fastest (8:39).  

What I did right:
*arranged to run most of it with friends so I wouldn't be tempted to back out or cut it short
*remembered to eat a couple of bites of a 9bar around mile 7
*was able to eat and drink without stopping to walk
*had fun!
*foam rolled afterwards

What I didn't get right:
*didn't eat or drink anything after mile 7 (every time I thought of it we were either running up or down a hill or we were chatting, lol)
*neglected to re-lace the new trainers in the way that takes pressure off my toes--my left big toe was in agony for a good part of the run
*didn't take the time to properly adjust my Amphipod fuel belt before running so was having to constantly move it back into place

Accessories and fuel for yesterday

Overall it was a very good training run and certainly the fastest 20 miler I have done with an average pace of 9:21 per mile and best yet I wasn't totally wasted for the rest of the day--although there might have been a nap later on. Let's just keep the fingers crossed I can keep the feet issues under control! As for today, I didn't wake up hobbling around and my 30 minute recovery run was much faster than it should have been.  

I do not get any sort of compensation from any of the links in this post but if you want to help fund my racing habit please click on the affiliate or Amazon links that are between the posts or in the sidebar, it's very much appreciated if you do. Thank you!