Saturday was my 4th and final 20 miler before RnR Montreal. I am excited and I am praying for no rain. I want a perfect, flat easy race. Dear running gods, please listen and keep the rain away.
Speaking of rain, on Saturday I woke up at 8AM to the sound of pouring rain and a 20 miler on my schedule. We were going out of town for the night and the last thing I wanted was to stress out on how to run 20 milers in unfamiliar territory that would probably involve driving. So i went to bed early Friday due to exhaustion and a need to finish 20 miles by noon.
The weather was not the only obstacle in my Saturday. Starting with the morning my stomach was not happy with me (runners love TMI). Friday has been filled with way too much eggplant parm (yay for free food and leftovers at work) and a day of eating Munchkins. It was angry!
So at 8:30 I wondered if I really needed that 4th 20 miler. I almost went back upstairs and to bed. However, something told me to go eat breakfast and just see how things go.
Two peanut butter soaked rice cakes later the rain was down to a drizzle and I decided to take my odds with the weather. Maybe the odds are ever in my favor.
I’m glad I stuck it through because despite what was predicted to be a nightmare run turned into a dream one. The rain that happened in the morning cooled off the air to mid 60s and the clouds lingered about protecting me from the heating sun.
Miles 1-3 – I was cautious and paranoid never knowing if my stomach was still angry or if I will be okay. I took it slowly as I wasn’t sure how my legs would feel. I took Friday off but sometimes they just have a will of their own.
Miles 4-7 – I was a little faster but still careful as you never want to burn yourself out too early in the day.
Miles 8-14 – I don’t know what took over but I just wanted to run! I felt true bliss as I hit the pavement on my trail. I couldn’t believe that my average pace was getting higher and higher
Mile 15 – I stopped to check my mileage and I think that’s when my mental wall came. Suddenly I slowed down. Suddenly although my legs felt good I thought I needed a break. I got paranoid I was dehydrated and lopped back to my house.
Miles 16-18 – I ran back home on a downhill and trying to keep myself excited. I had my average pace at that time around 8:05. Stopped by the house for 5 minutes for water and stretching.
Miles 19-22.2 – My sheer joy of running was gone and I began to counting down the miles until the end. I was looping and trying to avoid any major hills which is a bit tough in my area as I ran boring circles down some of the more flat blocks.
22.2 Miles – 3 hrs 10 minutes! 8:33 pace with the break but 8:17 average pace of actual running.
Chipotle’s Chicken salad. I know it doesn’t look quite as exciting as their burrito but that’s what boyfriend’s food is for. I just steal a few bites from Tony, he doesn’t need to eat the whole thing anyways 😉 I don’t usually advocate fast food for recovery but we had a wedding to get to and no time for a cooking.
As bad as I felt starting out this run, it turned out great in the end. I feel great in my ability to finish the race. I don’t think I will PR or BQ but I think I can comfortably run a 3:45 and that is all I want. I heard there are pacers and I might try to keep up with the 3:30 group but if need it be I will drop back. I’m running Amica marathon in Newport THREE weeks afterwards and I think that will be the race I will go all out for and hope for a PR. It’s not as flat but I do think I need more tempo long runs to break 3:24 PR.
I’m going to see if stronger faster running will compensate for less weekly mileage then when I first trained for USA Marathon back in March. When I trained for my first marathon I was hitting 60-70 miles in the final training weeks but I was also working only 40 hours vs up to 60 that I will have coming up for the next month. Therefore this will be an experiment. If not, there’s always next spring to PR ;).
and on that note, I think a Jack who secretly thinks he is a dog photo is needed:
What do you think works better for marathon training? More miles on your feet or faster tempo runs with less weekly mileage?