Monday, October 27, 2008

22 Miles. Done.

"Because when I arrive
I bring the fire
Make you come alive
I can take you higher
What is this, forgot?
I must now remind you
Let it rock, let it rock, let it rock"

I must admit - I was a bit nervous on Friday about the 22-miler I was planning for Saturday. I had some good reasons to be nervous.
  1. I was going to run 22 miles only 8 days after running 20 miles. Ideally, I should have a week in between such ridiculously long runs. I just didn't have the time to make that happen.

  2. It rained all day Friday. I knew the rain was supposed to be gone, but I've never believed much of what meteorologists have to say.

  3. I had a TERRIBLE headache all day Friday. Seriously, I thought I'd pass out it hurt so bad at some points. I took some of my mom's migraine medicine and went to bed at 9pm.

Fortunately, I woke up feeling rested and headache-free. I also found it to be sunny, although it was cold enough to run with pants for the first time all season. This left me with only my first reason to be nervous, and it was certainly a valid one.

I hit the park and set out to run my first seven miles on my own. I was not feeling good. My legs were heavy. Some of my aches from the week were letting me know they were still present. I started thinking how I might have to stop early... that it might be better to just do 18 miles and give my body a break.

Of course, I knew this would happen. It's easy on the really long runs during your peak weeks to start bartering with yourself about mileage. I was prepared. I knew that I planned on getting a pedicure this week so that my feet will be all pampered and pretty. I decided that I'd only allow myself to get one if I run all 22-miles. I even told Andrew about it the night before in an effort to give myself some accountability. I knew that if I want my training experiment to work, I had to hit 22-miles. So I kept reminding myself that I am capable of running 22 as well as that I would have 2 weeks to recover before running the first marathon. The pedicure reward was added incentive.

Bob joined me after I did my first seven. I wasn't feeling terrible, but I wasn't feeling as good as one would like to feel 7 miles into a 22-mile run. I had opted to not listen to my ipod for the first few miles in an attempt to save my upbeat music for when I really need it.

We set off and ran out 5.75 miles chit chatting and enjoying the cool weather. It was cool enough to keep us from getting too warm, but not so cold that it felt cold while running. Perfect. I still felt decent when we turned around, but I knew that when we got to the other end where the cars were parked that I'd be tempted to stop then at 18.5.

I turned on the ipod as we headed back and it landed on "Let it Rock." This is such a terrific running song! I decided it'd be my song for the day. When it'd get to the end, I'd pause it and run another half mile. Then I'd listen to it again. I never do stuff like that, but for some reason this was just a power song and it was all I wanted to hear. I must have listened to it 8-9 times before the end of the run.

We got to the end and I decided to ditch my fuel belt. I knew I'd only be happy if I went back out for the last 3.5 miles, so I turned around and headed out one more time. As I headed back after the turnaround, I was definitely feeling tired. However, I knew that I was accomplishing my goal for the day and that I was doing it in a decent time. I was running so much better than I ever anticipated I could do when I got started!

During the last half mile, I tried to pick it up some in an effort to teach my body how to pick it up even when I'm tired. It felt good to run a bit faster and to know that if I had to go 4.2 more miles, I could. I know it's cheesy, but I even tried to picture myself feeling that good as I run the last bit of my marathons to the finish line. Yay for visualization.

I "rocked" my 22 miler in 3:38. For those of you following along, I ran 20 miles last week in 3:47. Two extra miles, 9 minutes faster. This is what we like to see. I'm definitely glad I took it easier on the 20-miler. The whole point of building my training runs up to the full 26.2 is to teach my body to run for the length of time I want to run in Memphis. It needs to get used to running for close to 4 1/2 hours. Saturday's run was exciting because if I can keep up the pace, I'll definitely finish marathon 1 between 4:20 and 4:30. This is perfect. Then I'll have some time to taper and rest before trying to run Memphis in 4:20 or less!

After the run, I went home and took an ice bath. I hate these, but I'm finding that they really help a lot if I've run more than 15 miles. I called Andrew to help keep me occupied while I sat in the freezing water. I had neglected to let him know last week I made it the whole 20 miles until late that night, so this week I made sure he knew I had survived 22.. and earned my pedicure! I went on and cleaned up after that and met up with my mom to run some errands. In the evening, I went to a bonfire that my aunt and uncle have every year. I was pretty stiff, but I felt like it was wise to try to move around all day.

I definitely crashed hard that night and slept a solid 12 hours. I went shopping yesterday (and scored some great deals on some tops at The Limited and some shoes at DSW) and still felt a little stiff, but walking around felt good. I've got a few aches today, and I definitely still feel really tried. I'm glad I can take it easy the next 2 weeks and rest up a bit before I go for 26.2 at the Battlefield Marathon. I've only got some light mileage on the agenda.

Want to know something crazy though? I've run 94 miles so far this month. I'm sure I'll get 6 in this week to hit 100. Insane, but definitely on target.

It was a good weekend. I'm really pleased with how the run went. I had fun at the bonfire and caught up with some friends I hadn't seen in a while. I enjoyed finding some deals and getting some things I had been wanting yesterday. And I'm really looking forward to this weekend... I finally get to see the boy again. Things are going well in my world, other than it being cold. 30's tonight. I hate the cold.

Hope everyone had a good weekend. I'm looking forward to opening Google reader and seeing what you've all been up to!


Amy said...

Awesome job on your 22 miler!!

And, I swear by ice baths. Anytime I run over 14 miles, I take one and they sure do suck for the 5 minutes that I'm in it, but man... they really do work.

Mojito Maven said...

YAY congrats to you! We started our half marathon training and I am so excited! It's going to be an interesting next few months haha

Sarah said...

You rock! Way to go. Can't wait to hear about how awesome you do in your races because you are SO well-prepared.

J said...

A pedicure as incentive is a great idea! Congrats on finishing the 22 miles and rocking them in such a good time! You are right on track - that is great!

Early congrats on hitting 100 miles for this month!!

Penny Lane said...

You continue to amaze me! You're seriously a hardcore superwoman.

I haven't heard your "power song" before, but just checked it out and it's awesome! Thanks for the rec.

Alisa said...


Don't you love how a great song can totally change the vibe of a long run!??!!!

*aron* said...

you are awesome!!!!

Chris said...

"Impressed" doesn't even begin to describe how I feel right now!