Sunday, September 13, 2009

The One Where I Ran 20-ISH Miles

I've really been digging the Nashville Striders fall marathon training series.  I've attended each one, and it is AWESOME to be able to go out and mindlessly run a course that has been marked out for me and that has water stops every couple of miles.  If there's one thing I don't love about running, it's having to deal with a fuel belt.  It's often a necessity, but man it gets on my nerves to wear one.

It's also really great to run with people.  I am not capable of getting my butt out of bed before sunrise to run 20 miles alone.  It's just not going to happen.  But with these training runs, I know that I can get myself out there and truck along and go home satisfied.

Today was no different.  I got there and found Matt (Amy would not be joining us today, sad) and we had the usual talk of how much we slept and how we felt about heading out for a 20-miler.  For those of you keeping track, this was going to be my only 20-miler since I did two 18-milers that were incredibly hot, humid and hilly.  (Don't think for a second that just because football season has started that it means it's fall in TN.  It might make an appearance come November.)

We set out and got to see the sky change colors as the sun rose.  We chatted about odds and ends as usual (while I do recall our conversation today, sometimes I can finish a run and not remember what the heck we all talked about for 3 hours).  We looked forward to the water stops and getting some cold Gatorade.

I used my salt tablets today, something that I think definitely makes a huge difference for me.  I ate some sports beans about halfway through, and I drank plenty of water and Gatorade along the way... but in the end, I didn't really consume as much of the beans as usual.  And I felt fine. It was a little odd, but whatever.

When we got to the water stop at mile 16, the volunteers mentioned that the course wasn't exactly 20 miles.  I asked if it was long or short.


How long?

"You don't want to know."

Well that's never good.  We went on and turned back right then and there, but in the end doing so only shaved like .4 of a mile and a small hill.

When we reached the next water stop at mile 20, we were offered a ride back to where the run started.  I briefly considered it.  After all, I was only scheduled to do 20.  And I had already ran 2 miles more than my longest runs so far.

But then I felt like I'd probably feel like a pansy the rest of the day... and Matt was going to keep running, and there's something about running with someone else that kind of keeps you going.  So I pressed onward.

Turns out that my 20 became 22 by the time it was all said and done.  With a bathroom and the water stops, we ran it in about 4:03.  It's a little slower than what I want to do in Chicago, but 1. it was still pretty warm out, even if it's not as bad as it could be and 2. Chicago will be flat, unlike TN.

All in all, I felt pretty good considering I ran FOUR miles more than what I'd done so far in this training cycle.  I know that in the end it will have been good training, both physically and mentally.  If I needed to keep going and run a marathon today, I could have eeked it out.  (I'm glad it wasn't time for that yet.)

We went inside Atlanta Bread Company to grab some post-run food and ended up chatting with a few other runners.  One of them actually knew my name from reading my blog.  Hi Brian!  I think it's the first time someone has ever known me from the blog as opposed to knowing me and then finding out about my blog.

I've made it home and managed to peel myself out of the car (sometimes that's the hardest part for me with post-run activity) and showered off.  I have a new sweet tan line from my socks. I also found a small blister on a very odd spot on my big toe.  I haven't figured that one out yet, but whatever.

I actually only got about 3 hours of sleep last night.  Crazy, I know, but I just don't sleep well before these big runs.  I KNOW I can do it, but it's like something in my brain is all like, "You're going to do WHAT tomorrow? Are you SERIOUS? I mean REALLY?"  I'm pretty pleased with myself for pulling off this run including the extra two unplanned miles.

I know it's still 4 weeks away, but I'm feeling pretty good about Chicago.  I don't know what my time will be (it's super hard to compare my training run times since they're all been so hot and hilly), but I do know that I will cross that finish line!


the gazelle said...

Nice long run! I am 3 weeks out from my marathon & starting to get SCARED! :)

Nicole said...

Great job with the long run girl! Less than 1 month and we will cross the starting line toghether *hopefully* :)

Way to stick with it and add the extra miles yo ROCK!

Running and living said...

I did a 22 miler this weekend, too. I think the 20+ mile runs help a lot physically and mentaly. 4 miles sounds much better than 6:)

Niki said...

Great job girl! You are gonna do great in Chicago!!

Rachel H. said...

Nice run!! That's awesome!

X-Country2 said...

Great job! you're going to do GREAT in Chicago! (Mmmm fluffy bread post-run.)

Amy said...

DANG. 22 miles? Wow. Now, I'm really glad I missed that run. Haha.

Nice work. 4:00 for 22 miles is about perfect for a training run... once you've tapered and rested I think you'll be pleasantly surprised at your finish time in Chicago!

Amanda said...

Nice job!! I hope that blister is feeling better.

Chic Runner said...

That's great that you did that, even though it was longer than expected. Sometimes that happens to me and I hate doing the extra but at the same time I know it will help me in the long run :)

Alisa said...

Great job!

I've never done a training run longer than 20 miles. It always scared me.

You're going to do great in Chicago. It will certainly be flat.

I'm really excited for you!

Nobel4Lit said...

Love the Friends reference!

aron said...

wooo great job girl!!! this was a great training run for chicago - it will be here soon!!

Kathryn said...

Hi there! I am training for Chicago, too, and found your blog via ChicRunner's. Congratulations on your 22-miler - that's awesome!

April said...

Thats awesome! I'm going to have to come out and join you guys when my mileage is up again. Amy is always talking about how much she loves those Strider long runs.

Wendy said...

That's awesome! I'm running my 20 this Saturday.

Are you planning to run Chicago w/a fuel belt? I keep going back and forth, but I'm leaning against it right now...