I’ll be honest – I really questioned whether “20” was in the cards today.
After last week’s 18-mile fail (i.e. 16 miles of altitude acclimation), I went into this run knowing full well that 20 might be too much. After Monday’s 7-mile confidence booster, I went into this run ready to see what I could do.
When you wake up and think “I get to run 20 miles”, it’s a good sign that the muscles are up for the challenge. I’ve learned that LRs should never be approached as something I “have” to do, or “should” do. Nope, I get to – because I’ve trained for it, I’ve carb-loaded, I’ve hydrated, I’ve stayed injury free (luckily!), and I’ve reached the next level of endurance.
Today, I happily took my ego back from those mountains.
The run: started with a 6 mile loop, on my own. I realized that the trail goes both ways (shocker!), and if I could start in the opposite direction to take off a few extra miles, it would help my mentality and my attention span. Win, win! D met me after an hour, and we started the next out-n-back for the remaining 14 miles.
In other words, I broke 20 up into 6-7-7. This helped tremendously. Each section was its own, a mangeable (mentally and physically) distance.
The fuel: started with Cran-Apple Gu Chomps mile 6. Up to this point, I’d had no water or fuel, so my stomach and pores were ready for some refreshment! From this point on, I rehydrated every mile or so.
Hydration Sources: Water (obviously), and Accelerade powder + water (shake it up!). D calls this my “Go Fast Juice”, I’ll let you decipher that one. 😉
Peanut-butter Filled Pretzel Bites at Mile 13 (one of the turn-around points), which involved a quick walk-break for Pretzel-bite fuel and water (to wash down said fuel). I took in ~160 calories worth of these little treats.
Last, but not least, I chewed on 2 Lemon-lime Clif Shot Blocks at mile ~16.
Of note: this is the most fuel I’ve ever taken in during a run, and I can happily say there were no stomach issues! I love that my body is getting used to this, because I know it’s necessary and I know it helps.
The Trust: when I turned around for the last leg of 7 miles, I knew I’d be fine. My legs were accepting all challenges; rolling hills, changes in terrain, extra fuel sources, and extra distance. Sure, there were the usual aches/pains and moments of “whoa, that feels tight” towards the end.
But they didn’t complain. Not once did I feel overly fatigued, drained, or exhausted.
Alright legs, you’ve caught up! I trust you; we’re in this together.
D is always along for the ride, providing entertainment, Go-Fast juice, snacks, and encouragement. When I say “2 miles left!”, he says “Psh, you’ve got it.” I think sometimes he knows these muscles better than I do. 😉
20 miles, 3:09:50, avg 9:30 min/mile
avg HR 174
Finishing out the last 0.1 miles…
Yup, I kept my shirt on today. If you look closely, those shorts will tell you that yes I was sweaty – but we’ve seen worse. Just sayin’! Thank you, Cloud-cover.
Another one for the Training Log, check!
Good luck to Sassy – as she tackles the same distance tonight, post-work day!
Who else has some mileage on the agenda this weekend?
I’ll be packing up for the Healthy Living Summit tonight (which is why this run took place on a Thursday, not Sautrday) – more on that soon!