Monday, September 30, 2013

I don't know about you, but I'm feelin' 22...

Miles, that is.

This past Sunday was the longest run of my training plan - 22 super long miles. I still can't believe I actually did it. Yes, I know I have run marathons before but it's been nearly 2 years and after the injury I had, I wasn't sure that I would ever run another distance run like this. Can I just say how happy I am that I am able to do this?!?!?

So...the day before the 22 miler, I ended up walking around my hometown. And down the train tracks. With my kids. In my boots. Over rocks and sticks. And on lots of big hills. Basically, I tore my body up before it was time to tear my body up. I seriously thought about canceling the run. Luckily, this teeny tiny little voice in me kept egging me on, so when my alarm went off at zero dark hundred, I rolled out of bed and got all my stuff together.

I had forgotten my Glide at home and couldn't find Vaseline in my parent's cupboards so I smeared on some baby rash cream. <Ahem, it worked> I also inadvertently left my fuel belt behind so I decided to stash water on the course.

I left 1/2 bottle of water, a Gu pack and a stick of gum along the road.
 I got to our meeting place and saw that my aunt was already running. Overachiever. I joined her, doing laps around the parking lot while we waited to see if anyone else was going to join us. One other lady did end up coming along and we headed toward town.

I had stashed my water at what I thought was going to be the 6.5 mile mark of our run, but due to the early laps and the fact that we changed our course to accommodate the other runner who joined us, I realized I wasn't going to be passing it until quite a bit later.

My aunt and I were alone by the time we headed back out of town to do "the airport loop". This loop is among the favorites for getting mileage in a small town but it is also riddled with hills, some of them quite steep. I was feeling good with the exception of my bladder. For some reason, I kept having that "gotta go" sensation, even when I didn't have to go.

I grabbed my planted water, Gu and gum at the 8.7 mile mark and then we went back to our vehicles at close to the 13 mile mark, where I had some Gatorade and popped in another stick of gum. Then, we headed to the Hoodlebug Trail. We ran on the trail to Sheetz in Homer City where we stopped for a potty break and my second pack of Gu. 

And since my GPS read 17.5 miles and we were about 4.5 miles from our vehicles at that point, we had no choice but to turn around and run back. When I looked down at my wrist and saw 21.65 miles displayed, I decided to sprint out the last quarter mile-ish. I figured that if I still had energy for that, I would have been fine to continue for 4.2 more miles of a marathon.

My overall pace was just above a 10 minute mile but given how many times we had to stop for traffic and how many hills we did, I will take it. I am feeling VERY confident about the Marine Corps Marathon but I know that the weather plays a major role in how quickly I can run, so let's all hope it's 50° at the start and that the sun is behind the clouds for most of the run.

I am writing this on Monday afternoon and my legs feel completely fine. I stroller walked for an hour this morning with friends and had no issues. Tonight will be a sloooooow recovery run. 

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