It felt weird to run twenty miles today with over half of this training cycle still to run.
That’s what I get for choosing a high mileage plan.
Before the run I felt conflicted. For the past day or so, I’ve had this weird pain-type feeling on the outside of my left thigh, just below the hip. It’s not serious, at least I don’t think it is. It’s one of those niggles that could be something or could just be an ache that comes from high mileage. I’ve had plenty of those and they’ve all gone away with plenty of stretching and smart training. That’s what I’m hoping will happen with this one.
When I started running I couldn’t stop thinking about the hip niggle. Obviously, that’s not conducive to good running. I knew it was there and couldn’t stop thinking about it. I’m not sure when I stopped obsessing over it but that made the last 16 or so miles much more bearable.
This run turned out to be the best 20 miler I’ve had yet. (The one 20 miler I ran of New River training was combined with a half marathon that I decided to race. That decreased the pace significantly.) I felt strong throughout almost the entire run even when my legs started to protest around the halfway point. It was a mild protest though so I kept plugging away.
Of course, I couldn’t resist a sprint at the end. I felt so good at mile 19, better than I ever have at that point in a run before, that I knew it would feel absolutely fantastic to finish with a sub 9 mile for the last mile of a 20 mile run. 8:17, mission accomplished.
While my pace was slower today (9:41 average pace compared to last week’s 9:37 and 9:27 from three weeks ago) I’m okay with that. It’s still stronger than I’ve ever run 20 miles before and I’m more than okay with that. I’m a little nervous about next week’s long run but I’ll get to that next Saturday.
Two random notes before I go.
1. Included on my run today: the most boring 5k course, ever. The start and finish of this 5k were the same point out in Travelers Rest. The course itself? 1.55 miles towards Greenville on the Swamp Rabbit Trail, 1.55 miles back. I hope the race fee was something like $5 because I’m not sure I would even pay that much.
2. Twice I passed some military personal (possibly Furman ROTC). The second time I passed them they had split into two lines and were walking on either side of the trail so I got to run between them. Wow. Super cool. Plus, it gets me excited for Marine Corps Marathon (MCM) in October!