Monday, March 26, 2012
The 20 mile run feels like a huge milestone. It’s kind of THE big long milestone run of marathon training. It’s a really long distance and it’s about where many marathon training plans, particularly those for the first-time marathoner, cap out. It feels like the top of the mountain: if you can run 20 miles in training, you CAN run 26.2 miles on marathon day.
I went into this run with more than a bit of concern after I crashed so badly on that 19 mile run a few weeks ago. But, I knew it needed to get done, so I bit the bullet (after watching my Hoyas lose in the second round of the NCAA tournament) and went out and did it.
I’d decided that after my trip down to Seward Park for the 10K that I’d really like to do this run on the Lake Washington Loop, because doing YET ANOTHER run on the Burke-Gilman Trail wasn’t going to be good for getting through this one mentally. It really is a beautiful route, once you navigate getting on to it from my house. I had wonderful views and, because the weather was a bit icky (mostly mist, with a period of pretty strong, cold rain in the middle), there weren’t very many bikers out at all (I don’t mind bikes, really, but you do have to listen out for them and it can be a bit scary when they whizz past you on a narrow path). Another bonus: the Lake Washington Loop is really flat. I ran from my house to Seward Park, then realized that continuing on the loop involved some complicated bits and, instead, opted to do three loops of the park, before heading back the way I’d come. I ended my run at a Starbucks and immediately refueled with a hot turkey bacon sandwich and a hot chocolate (WITH the whipped cream – I can’t even remember the last time that I had it!). It was only 0.8 miles to a bus stop that got me two blocks from home.
Not all of my thoughts were deep ones, of course. I thought about how much better water, spiked with limeade, was than sugary sports drink in my Camelbak. I thought about how funny my favorite podcast was this week, even though it was shorter than usual. I thought it was hilarious that I kept stuffing my gels down my capris, instead of into the pocket on the back of my skirt, by accident. I thought about how greyhounds have HUGE thigh muscles and look a lot like human sprinters in that respect (I was following one for a bit, out for a jog with owner). I thought about how pretzels were yummy. I thought about my hot chocolate. I thought about how I could take a walk break if I JUST made it to the big bridge up ahead. I thought about how much funnier David Sedaris seemed this week, as opposed to on my 19 mile run.
5 miles – Gu
7.5 miles – salt tablet & a few pretzel nubs
10 miles – Gu
12.5 miles – salt tablet & a few pretzal nubs
15 miles – 2-3 Gu chomps & a few pretzal nubs
(probably should have done another couple of Gu chomps at 17.5)
So, yeah. That went well! It was a big confidence boost!