I did my 20 miler yesterday. I had planned on taking a post long run picture of me, but my hand was way too tired to set the self timer and I was too tired to ask anyone to take a picture of me. I amazed myself by getting off the couch to feed the dog. I am so thankful that my husband and my daughter are pretty self-sufficient otherwise they wouldn’t have eaten last night. I am glad the 20 miler is done because training is officially wearing me out. I did 18 miles last weekend at a 9:13 pace, then an additional 14 miles throughout last week, two bike sessions, some strength training, and a little “getting to know my local pool” session. Yesterday I did the 20 miler at average pace of 9:39 and average HR of 175. Stick a fork in me, I’m done.
The temperature was hovering around 11 degrees when I woke up on Sunday. The high for the day was only going to be 41, so I thought “the hell with it, I HAVE to get in 20 miles today, no ifs and or buts so might as well go ahead and get it over with”. I did the usual pre long run preparations and drove over to the trailhead. I was doing the trail that I hated today. I have always had crappy runs on this course, but it is gravel, so it was best for the stupid foot that has been bothering me. One of these days, I will have surgery on the foot to correct the 1st metatarsal and I shouldn’t have anymore problems. Or so says my podiatrist surgeon.
Anyway, most of the run was uneventful, just tried to keep a good pace and work on my marathon fueling. I was running fairly slowly to start with because there was places where there was snow on the trail, but I got in a good 7 mile warm up and then tried to hit my goal pace for the next 8 miles or so. My legs felt like lead, so I just tried to hold it as best as I could. Around mile 14 or 15, I started having some stomach issues. Now this would be the very first time EVER during a run that I have had cramping, so I tried to ignore it and hoped that it would go away, which was probably not a good idea. There were no porta potties on the trail and the trail itself was fairly busy, so I tried to scope out a “homemade potty” should I need it. There’s a little creek that runs along most of the trail and at mile 16, I scampered down the hill to the creek. I have heard a saying that you are not a “real” runner until you’ve “done some business” on one of your runs, so I congratulated myself on my initiation. I proudly clawed my way back up the creek bed in order to get back to the trail and startled a couple of runners in the process. They probably weren’t used to seeing people crawling and cursing their way out of a creek bed. I was dirty, tired, and my stomach was still cramping, but at least I only had 4 more miles to go. I finally hit that 20 mile mark and I asked myself: “Can you go 6.2 more miles?” My answer was “Yes, I can!” It might have been slow, but I would have done it. I am encouraged and almost ready for the marathon. I just hope that this whole stomach issue thing doesn’t become the norm. I was trying a new fuel drink, so I won’t be using that anymore.
My daughter will be so embarrassed that I am talking about such things on my blog, but from my experience, most running bloggers totally get it.
The rest of the week is rest week. Short runs and just a few cross training sessions. ONLY 33 MORE DAYS TO GO!