After my horrible outing two weeks ago for my then-longest-ever 18-miler, I was not feeling very optimistic about the 20-miler I had on tap for today. This would be my longest ever training run and the longest training run before my taper for the Disney Full Marathon in three weeks. When I got up this morning, I so so so did not want to do 20 miles. I knew though that I really needed to get out there and try so I finally got ready and headed out the door around 9:30am. Normally I like to get out for my long runs by 7am so I was a little worried about it getting too hot during today’s outing, but it turned out to be a non-issue as it was 60 degrees/96% humidity with low, overcast skies and a breeze of 5-10mph with gusts to 15-18mph. Even once it “warmed up” it was only 64/84%. The sun was out maybe 20 minutes total for the entire time I was out there.
I was more concerned today about endurance and so I deliberately kept my speed down, doing 16+ minute miles for the first 10 miles and 17+ for the 2nd 10 miles. Again like I did during my 18-miler I did an out-and back twice from my house so I could run in for a quick potty break and load up a 2nd set of bottles for my fuel belt that I already had filled and ready to go at the midpoint. Thankfully that little break didn’t totally derail me like it did for the 18-miler. I actually felt just as good during the 2nd half! And while I knew sooner or later my back would start to bother me, it didn’t do so until around mile 16 and even then it was not really a big deal. I did have something new though-about 14 miles in, the front side of my lower left leg about 2 inches or so above the top of my foot I started feeling a strange twinge. I slowed down a bit for about a mile or so but it didn’t go away. Now about two hours after it is still a bit stiff and sore in that spot...not sure what it is, this is a new one for me.
Anyway, I was pleasantly surprised to find my feet NOT hurting like they were for that yucky 18-miler. My feet actually just felt like they do after doing a half marathon. So all in all a pretty good outing, and now I just have a 12-miler and an 8-10 miler to go. That makes me giggle-JUST a 12-miler, right? They seem so simple and quick now, even going slower than I did the first half of this year. Who would have thought that I’d be saying “JUST a 12-miler”? Even though I put weight back on and it’s taking me longer to lose it now, I’m still in the best shape I’ve been in since high school. Now, don’t expect to be hearing “JUST a 20-miler”, okay? This marathon training really is a strain on the body---my hat goes off to those who do them all the time. I am pretty sure after doing the Disney Full Marathon this January I’ll be sticking to half marathons going forward-I really like the half distance (hey, it’s JUST 13.1 miles LOL).
3 weeks to go...and I still think I’ve lost my marbles. Just sayin’.