Saturday, July 13, 2013
In the previous four marathons that I have done, I have gradually built my mileage up to maybe an 18 mile run a few weeks before the race, and I think that in prep for my first StG I did one twenty mile run. This round is way different. It has me doing SEVERAL 18-20 mile runs the entire training plan, so I am extra prepared come race day.
I am not going to lie. I was not excited for this run. I have been dreading it all week. I guess because my last long run of 16 miles last week was brutal, I was dreading adding 4 more miles to that. Knowing myself all too well, I knew that I would set out on this run and some how justify shortening it for whatever reason I could think of. I called for back up! I called my friend Jen from my tri group who is also training for St George and she was game. (I mean really, there is not THAT many people you can call to go run twenty miles with. It's not like asking someone to go to dinner and movie, this is 20 miles for Pete's sake).
I was so glad that she went with me. We met at the Legacy Parkway trail and decided we would simply run 10 miles, then turn around and come home. I told her that I was not looking forward to this run and that last week's had been brutal, so I wasn't sure how the last few miles would go. She told me that she hadn't run anywhere near this far in a couple of months, so she was all for taking it slow and easy. Usually Jen is a faster runner than I am, so I wasn't sure what her version of slow and easy would be, but I was game for anything that meant I wouldn't have to do this run by myself. It turned out to be a good matching! She ran at a pace that was pushing me some, but still maintainable. It is kind of like when you run in a race and you go faster than you do in normal training because people around you are going faster than usual. You run faster but it doesn't feel like it. That was exactly how running with Jen today was.
We had fun, didn't listen to music and got to know each other better. She is a great person, has a fun and upbeat personality and was positive when I wanted to start cursing my lead legs, or my cramping quads. The last few miles were brutal. She was toast energy wise and I was toast leg wise. I had the energy to keep going, but my hip flexors and quads were singing a different tune. We got through those final miles by doing a run for 3 minutes/walk for 30 second combo. It was perfect and broke up the final miles. We still had an overall pace I was really excited about, approximately 10:35 a mile. For that distance, I will take it! I was just glad to get the miles in and not have to do it alone :)
I felt that nutrition wise this run was just okay. I did my normal gel every 4 miles, but water wise I couldn't get enough in me! It wasn't even that hot out, in fact it was cloudy and overcast with some rain in parts. It was quite humid, but it didn't make much sense to me why I needed as much water as I did. I was grateful we found water fountains to restock our bottles with, or I would have been in a world of hurt the second half of this run.
I have decided that it is time to start experimenting with salt tabs. I am going to try them to avoid the cramping that my quads get after about 14ish miles. I have been advised that with the heat for my half Ironman in August, I should be using them. So, that is what I will take away from this run.
I am also took away with it that I am going to call for back up more often on these long runs! It is so nice to break up the miles and at the same time it is someone to help keep you positive and accountable over the long trek. I know I would have found a way to shorten this run, but with Jen there, we went the whole twenty!
This run also capped off my highest mileage week ever for training! I logged a total of 135 miles of swimming, biking and running! I am quite proud of this! I even bagged a run on Thursday because I wasn't feeling great. I am hoping this next week to be in the triple digit range, however, with a 5k next Saturday, I know that it will be mainly bike miles :)
In the meantime, Happy Training/Racing all!