20 Miles in the Books

by - Monday, October 25, 2010

This past weekend was my 20 miler -- my longest run of marathon training.

I treated it like it was a race. I ate a delicious pasta dinner the night before, laid out everything I would need, crawled into bed at a normal time and was ready to go when my alarm went off.

After eating my usual pre-long run PBJ, I hit the road.

The plan was to run two miles to a park near the BF's house, run the next 18 miles on the path in that park and then call the BF to come pick me up so we could go to the grocery store for chocolate milk and post-run food.

I started slow and just took it easy. The first couple miles were tough, I think mainly because I was pretty cold, but I settled into a nice groove somewhere between mile six and seven.

The next six miles flew by. I was eating my Gus at regular intervals and my legs were feeling good.

When I got to mile 12, I hit a mini-wall. My legs were tired and mentally I was struggling to keep going. Eventually I was able to regroup and push through to mile 17.

It was at this point that i started to get frustrated. With only three miles to go, my legs were still doing OK, but the path was taken over by a ton of people for some sponsored walk. They were walking four or five wide across the path, not leaving any room for the many other people out there walking or running.

I tried to be polite, saying "Excuse me" or "On your left" when I needed to pass. But very few people shifted over.

It was frustrating having to weave in and out of people or run in the high grass and roots next to the path. At that point my legs were so spent, the extra energy to move side to side was killer.

I kept trucking though and when I got back to the parking lot I was surprised and so happy to see the BF already there, waiting for me with chocolate milk and ice packs. He's the best.

So a successful 20 miles in the books in 3:21:52 for an average pace of 10:05. That's two seconds faster than the average pace for the 17-miler I ran two weeks ago.

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