Today I finished my fourth 20 mile marathon training run.
That didn’t make it any easier than the previous 3. Over the next few months I’ll run several more long runs of more than 20 miles as I finish preparing for Savannah and start preparing for Harbison. I’m pretty sure that in January I’ll still say that 20 miles is never easy.
Even though I felt nervous about this run in the days leading up to it I felt a sense calm last night and this morning. I was ready to conquer this run.
I knew things were looking good when I woke up thoroughly refreshed and not at all sleepy. I felt great the whole way over and definitely ready to start.
Granted, my body still needed a half mile to a mile to warm up but once I did I fell into an easy rhythm that I was able to maintain for the remaining 19 miles.
I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop. (Yes, I know that’s exceedingly cliche in on a running blog.) I kept waiting for the “magical” I-feel-great feeling that comes around mile 6 to disappear and turn into a “how many more to go”? That’s been the usual pattern of my long runs lately.
The run didn’t feel hard until a little after mile 16. Even then I was able to maintain the same pace I’d been running and even log a 9:35 final mile. Without a doubt, today’s run was the best 20 miler I’ve run yet. (I say “yet” because Lord willing there will be many more to come in my running career.)
I discovered that when you run as long as I did today certain things stop working. For me? my brain and my coordination
The whole run I thought that I ran my 18 miler two weeks ago in 3:26:xx. If I’d been able to think about it I would realize how ridiculous that would be. 🙂
Still, my average pace was 12 seconds faster and I felt so much better. Even though the one 20 miler I ran of New River training was faster I know that this one was better. (That 20 miler included a half marathon that I didn’t mean to race but…I’m way too competitive to back off.)
I don’t think I’ve ever felt this pumped about a long run before. It feels like I’m finally getting my speed back and just in time, only a month out from the marathon!
Up next? iRecycle Half Marathon (It’s supposed to be really small. Maybe if I have a good day I could age group place. 😉 )