It’s been a couple days. Too many honestly and if I go any longer than I really am not going to want to update this page and then I get so far behind it seems impossible. So I am just going to go with the highlights for right now so I feel caught up and let the rest of it go by the wayside. Saturday I ran a half marathon and then I proceeded to cross the finish line and turn around and run the 10k course and then a little extra to run an entire 20 miles. Yup, my first 20 miles ever.
The thing of it is, this is EXACTLY what I needed and wanted. This is the way I thought I would feel after I ran my 16 miles last week and instead felt like shit. I felt pretty defeated honestly from that 16 mile run. It was so much harder than I thought it would be and I wanted to cry. I could barely squeak out 16 miles and I was terrified of running another 10 on top of that. I just felt BAD. And mentally it was hard on me and therefore I was off and it was just yucky.
Fast forward a week. The weather forecast called for rains and winds on Saturday. I was signed up for a half. I knew I would run the half in the rain if I had to, but I was reserving judgement of running more until I knew what the weather would do. I was supposed to run 18.5 miles. That was the maximum top out distance on my marathon plan. But honestly I’ve said it before that I feared my plan was not hard enough. I intentionally chose an easy plan because that is what I needed when I started to be comfortable with the idea of training. Turns out I should have done a more complicated one. Either way, 18.5 was what was on the agenda. I was terrified given the nature of my 16 mile run. But somehow I also knew that I had run many 13.1 races and felt great afterwards and like I could keep going. And yet last weekend at mile 8 I was done. So I was hoping that it was just a fluke week and somehow running beyond 13.1 wouldn’t be as brutal. I didn’t really talk too much about my impending long run because I wanted to give myself an out if it was just miserable outside. I don’t think I could have forced myself to run another 5.5-7 miles post running a half marathon if it was raining and miserable and I was cold and wet. So I just didn’t really talk about it. I would have adapted and figured out something else.
We set our alarm Saturday morning for 5:00 AM. The half started at 7. But I was awoken at 4 AM to the most awful sounds of torrential downpours followed by thunder and lightning outside. I was like, son of a bitch. It kept going and going and I was not happy. I really couldn’t get back to sleep either. So at 5 I arose. The thunder storm had subsided thankfully but it was still raining. I tried to not get to bent out of shape about it because things change on a dime. Plus I do have seriously some of the best runner weather luck known to man. The universe is very good about supplying me clear skies just as I must run. It rained during the entire drive to the race. We parked. I wasn’t thrilled. It stopped raining. No joke. It literally stopped raining as soon as we stepped out of the car. The skies parted and we looked good to go. Thankfully!!! It was just windy. It wasn’t cold so I was good. I could handle a little wind.
Tentatively I set the plan with Chris that we would run the half and then meet back at the finish and go out and run the 10k course. It was the last part of the half course and I was hoping to squeak in with the half marathon walkers. (We did catch them FYI). It honestly could not have gone better than it did.
I started out and was trying to keep my cool. Not go out to fast. Try to pick a nice even pace to run at. I honestly didn’t push myself too much and before I knew it had settled into around a 9:45 minute mile pace. I had a moment where I was kind of beating myself up because the first couple miles I can run at like a 9:10-9:20 minute pace but then I had to remind myself that honestly, I needed to slow this bad boy down and pick a place where I was comfortable and could live with for a long while. Part of my mess up last weekend was because I went out WAY to fast. I burned out. I wasn’t pushing myself crazy and honestly it felt pretty good. The first couple miles ticked by and I felt fine. But I kept reminding myself this was a very long race and I had a long ways to go yet. Just keep it at a nice comfortable, not going to fry myself out pace.
I got to about mile 8 or 9, the place where I fell apart the last week and I still felt great. Okay, it was a fluke I thought. So I ran on. I kept a really consistent pace for pretty much every single mile. 9:50, 9:56, 9:56, 9:55, 9:51, 9:47, 10:01, 9:55, 9:41, 9:38. It was all right in there. I felt great. I stopped and drank at most water stations. I listened to my music. I never felt like I was truly taxing myself beyond the point of no return. Typically around mile 10 or so I start to hit my tired wall. It never came. Maybe part of that is psyching yourself out knowing you are still going to run a lot more miles. But I felt really good and I ended up cruzing into the finish line feeling awesome. 2:09:11 was my official half time. Perfectly acceptable, considering how comfortable I felt. This still beats my PR time from last year. Funny right? So I crossed the finish line. Found Chris immediately. Did NOT sit down. Grabbed a bottle of water. Drank it. We walked to the car, tossed our medals in the car. Took a few moments to regroup, drink water, and off we went towards the 10k course. I still felt great.
So we started out and my legs easily found their pace once again. I felt so good I couldn’t even believe it. Chris was tired. He was having more difficulty. And I just wanted to run. I had to taper slowing down enough to encourage Chris with my desire to just run. The first couple miles were rough for Chris so I had to slow down quite a bit to mentally push him on but after about 2 miles he found his groove again too. So we ran on. And my mile 17 was a 9:54 mile, mile 18 was 10:13, mile 19 was 10:08 and finally mile 20 was 9:49. VERY consistent. I am not going to lie, I felt amazing. Just slowing down my pace in this range was exactly what was needed. I finished 20 miles in 3 hours 18 minutes, 11 seconds for a 9:54 minute mile average. My one goal was to try and finish under a 10 minute mile pace, and I totally did it. I was beyond shocked that I really literally RAN the entire 20 miles and I still felt great. I didn’t hit my wall.
At the end of 20 miles I was certain I could have run another 6.2 if I needed to. Sure, eventually I might have hit a wall but I was close enough at that point. When I started marathon training my only real goal was to finish and I expected to have to walk. I never considered I could actually run the entire 26.2 miles but now, now I think I can. I ran 20 miles and felt amazing. Maybe it was a fluke of a day to? But this is exactly what I was expecting to feel honestly. Mind over matter. I felt so good it wasn’t even funny. And this is EXACTLY where I needed to head into Maui with. This is what I needed to feel. Good, confident, like I could do it. This was the overall best case scenario possible. I ran 20 miles straight and felt great. My confidence is thru the roof and honestly I think that is the only way you stand any chance of surviving a full on marathon. Funny how 1 week difference can change everything so freaking much. Black and white difference between the two weeks.
I just needed that one. Every part of me needed that one. And now I can breathe a sigh of relief because I did it. I ran 20 miles and I feel ready. Now today, is officially the start of taper. Yup, I get to taper now. Less miles for me as we approach my marathon. It’s less than 20 days away now. The actual marathon. Less than 18 days until I arrive on Maui. Holy cow! OMG. But I am ready. After this weekend I am ready. And that is the most amazing feeling in the world. I am going to run a marathon. I am really honestly going to run a whole marathon. I am so ready to do this. And so glad I am now onto the taper.
So after the run I ate way too much. Not shocked about that. I mean, I did run 20 miles after all. I just ate and ate all day. I tried to make it healthier foods. It wasn’t all awful. It could have been worse. I didn’t track or measure or account for anything. I gave myself the one day to indulge. Then yesterday the goal was really to rein it back in and do better. I can handle 1 day of indulgence its two where I start to feel bad mentally. I didn’t want to do anything yesterday but I got up and made myself get dressed in workout clothes and that really helped.
I decided I was going to go to the gym and do an upper body workout. I have been missing the strength training and honestly am really looking forward to getting back into it after the marathon. So I went to the gym and decided to warm up with a run. My legs felt amazing yesterday. I was not sore in the least. Crazy right, considering I ran 20 miles. But honestly felt better than I have in a long time. So I ended up running 4 miles. Felt great. And then I tacked my upper body workout and that also felt so good. I knew I would end up sore from it. And sure enough I totally am sore today and it feels great too!
So then I came home, we went to the grocery store. We came home, food prepped our chicken for dinner. Took the dogs for a walk. Made an excellent dinner, watched a movie and went to bed. I woke up feeling great this morning because I was able to control myself yesterday. I was able to actually eat healthy and not over indulge CRAZY and still workout and I feel really proud of what I was able to do. Felt great this morning as a result.
And that happiness has carried me thru most of the day. The high from running 20 miles so successfully and then working out and feeling great and sore from yesterday and ready to finally get this all going.
And guess what else? Um, I booked my flight to Vegas for November. I got an email about fall bonus rewards for air miles and I was able to use our air miles and score both Chris and I free flights to Vegas for the Rock N Roll run in November so that made me extra happy today. Free flights! So that’s a great thing as well. Probably also contributing to my giddy happy today.
But Alas, Amanda texted me and said her Grandpa died today and she was sad and crying and was going to leave work early and wanted to know if I could cover the class tonight at the gym. I said of course. Basically it’s the same workout we did Thursday night which was great and brutal and it’s always the same people so I said sure, I would lead the class, get everything set up. It’s a circuit class so it’s go at your own pace. I don’t have to really do anything but explain and kind of keep people on track. So tonight I am leading the class. What? But It’s cool. So that’s going down tonight. Good times. So here’s today’s adorable Fashion.
And that is about all she wrote and I want to get this posted.