|Before the run|
Week 17 contained the longest run of my marathon training - 20 miles! Never imagined I could run this far - it just goes to show what you can do when you stick to a training plan.
To prepare for this run I got up about 5:45am with plans to leave the house by 6:15am. Rain was forecasted starting around noon. Plus, I knew it would take me over 3.5 hours and didn't want the entire morning to be gone before I finished. I ate a clif bar and drank a glass of water for breakfast. It was 50 degrees when I left, but I knew I needed to dress for 20 degrees warmer because that's what it feels like once you get moving. Although I wear compression socks after long runs, I have never worn them to run, but decided to try it out. I got all my gear ready, filling my fuel belt with 3 G2s and 1 water and grabbing my Garmin and ifitness belt to hold the ipod. I left the house at 6:17am.
I decided to run the same route as my 18 mile run with some extra loops in the neighborhood. Because it was dark when I left, I started with the extra loops in the neighborhood. This is what it looked like at the end of mile 1.
The first 2 miles felt sluggish, fortunately that went away and I was feeling good. I dropped my long sleeve shirt by home and picked up my sunglasses at mile 3. Then, headed out of the neighborhood for the remaining out and back portion of the run.
One of my goals for this run was to fuel earlier and more often. I had my first drink of G2 at mile 3 and ate my first 2 Honey Stingers during mile 4. I ate more every 3 miles. I think this really helped me make it through this run. This is more than I have fueled in the past.
The path I run is in a newly developed area with minimal traffic. It is surrounded with natural scenery of cow pastures and ponds.
It started raining around mile 10, but just lightly. I thought it might be a passing shower, but no such luck. By mile 12 it was seriously raining! I was 8 miles from home and had no choice but to keep going. This rain was not going anywhere. As I got wetter, I also got a bit chilly. I did pass a few other runners out and misery loves company so I was glad to see them.
On mile 17, my husband drove by to see how I was doing. I stopped to give him my phone so it wouldn't get any wetter. Despite the rain, I wasn't feeling too bad. I was a little concerned about running in wet socks, but luckily got no blisters. My legs were starting to get tired around mile 19. The soreness was in the front of my thighs. I don't know if the compression socks helped or I just believed they helped, but my lower legs felt good the entire way. The compression of the socks was invigorating.
By the time I got home, I was soaked to the bone and cold. My husband greeted me at the door with a warm towel and then I remembered to take a photo. Needless to say, I never needed my sunglasses.
My recovery from this run was better than I expected. After getting clean and warm, I used the foam roller to work out the soreness in my legs and sat down with my feet up for a while. I am usually so exhausted from these runs that I take a nap, but despite the snoozing cat next to me, I did not nap. I had more energy than I thought I would.
Now that I have completed 20 miles, I finally feel like I can do this marathon. It was a very empowering run and I am glad it is behind me. I can't say I am a fan of runs this long, but I only have to do it one more time on race day.
Here is the breakdown of my run.