While working I ate a burrito at about 10:30am to make sure that I would have some fuel in my belly once the time to run came around. Yes I got strange looks for eating lunch at 10:30...no prob. Once 1 o'clock hit I flew out of the office. The forecast was calling for thunderstorms in the afternoon and goal A was to get home before being struck by lightning. Random fact: I am deathly afraid of lightning. As in, I'll start crying if I'm stuck outside during it. Yeah.
I decided to do a 4 mile loop around my apartment and then to hit the trail for an 8 mile out and back (the same one I do on 95% of my long runs, and the one I did for last weekend's 16). I didn't know this at the time, but this would be the best decision of the day on my part.
As soon as I stepped outside the wind caused my hair to whip into my face. Awesome. I turned back around to see what the wind was at 20-25 mph wind gusts. Excellent. The first 4 miles were very hilly, but actually worked out pretty swell. For all of the uphills, I had the wind at my back. For all the downhills I was running in to the wind. It actually worked out just great.
At mile 4 I was happy to be back at my apartment because the sun was out in full force. As obnoxious as I look wearing my ginormo sunglasses, it's 1000x better than wrinkles from being all squinty faced for 3 hours. I also grabbed a sip of water because I was thirsty. This was my first long run that I left my handheld water bottle at home for, since the water fountains have been turned on.
I knew that once I rounded back to my apartment I would begin the most difficult 8 miles of the run, because they would be 98% into the wind. I tried to keep a steady pace and to not push too much running into the wind. I figured my pace would counteract with the remaining 8 miles with the wind at my back. I took my first Gu at 6 miles. The best part of tacking on 4 miles before my normal long run route, was that I was super excited every time a new mile ticked off and it was +4 miles from what I thought it should be.
Luckily the next four miles the wind was just hitting me from the side so it didn't interfere with my pace too much. At this point I thought I was literally running in to the end of the world. It was fluffy clouds and sunshine above me, but to the north-north east the sky was ominous and black. The thunder started rumbling at mile 10 when I was taking my second Gu. I thought, "oh great. I still have 2 more miles running AWAY from home before I can even head back...." I figured if I had to outrun a storm it would only serve to help me run faster. ;) During these miles I started to get pretty warm. During this four mile stretch there isn't much shade, so the sun was really beating down on me. I also wished I had my handheld to wet my whistle with.
This section was probably my least favorite because I was just hot and thirsty. Again this was the "back" portion of the area with no shade, and since the wind was at my back instead of my face, I was sweltering. I opted to wait for mile 15 to take my last Gu, but suddenly mile 15 appeared and the fountain I was looking for wasn't there. If you want to know what I look like when I'm pissed, go back in time and check out my face at this point. So.Not.Happy. I knew the next fountain was a mile and a half away, but that seemed like forever.
When I finally got to the fountain, I drank and drank and drank some more. I may have also poured handfuls of water over my head, neck, and back in an attempt to cool myself off. P.S. Salt laden sweat in the eyeballs HURTS. I definitely took more time Guing/hydrating than I typically do, so my hips were so sore when I got going again. I was definitely putzing/limping along for the next 1/4 to 1/2 of a mile before my legs got their normal gait back. Geez. Usually I start my "kick" to the end around the 5k point. Ya, apparently my legs weren't feeling it....maybe at 2 miles out. Nope. Guess we'll just do a strong finishing mile. Well of course I had to take the normal 10-15 second walk detour around the major construction on the trail. At this point my Garmin decides to freak out, so I have to rest it with .88 miles to go. Stupid watch. Then while getting off the bike trail and on to the sidewalk, 6 cars drive by so I have to slow way down to let them pass. Also, I just didn't have a kick left in me.
I finished the 20 in 3:07:05 for a pace of 9:22.
Since I've been doing this for the past 24 hours, I would like to compare 20 Miler #1 to 20 Miler #2. Time: 3:07:40 to 3:07:05 Super impressed with how close they are. Makes me supremely confidant that I can be pretty close to that time pace for the marathon.
Mile Split Range: 8:19 to 9:48 (difference of 1:29) vs. 9:11 to 9:36 (difference of :25). Very excited about this, and see this as a huge improvement from the last one. Granted the last one was done on a much hillier route, but I always like to see consistent mile times. Also excited that only 3 miles were in the 9:30 range on the 2nd one, and those were the 3 directly into the wind.
Temperature: 35* vs. 70*. Yes it was TWICE as warm on this run. I hope to hell there isn't a heat wave in Green Bay, because this body does not bode well in the heat. I was too embarassed to even take pictures of the saltiness this week. Look at last week's than multiply x 10. Or 20. My skin literally felt like I had exfoliating body was on. Barf.
Aches and Pains: Very intense pain in the backs of my knees which lasted for a few days post run. Vs. Some minor aches in my knees and major tiredness in my hips for the last few miles. Pain=not my friend. Aches/soreness=whatevs.
And now the ugly portion of the run (I really hope that I don't have any followers that are major foot fetishers :/).
Uh oh! I spy a bloody sock....that can only mean one thing....bloody tootsie.
Close up, because I haven't heard you barfing yet.
The area of my foot that *usually* bleeds. Now it's just 3" of scar tissue. Try to penetrate me now dirt/sand/general debris!
Lame-o shot, but this one did bleed. Pussy.... And you can see my post-run pizza box in the background. MMMMMM.
I survived the meat and potatoes (or in my case the pizza and the ice cream) of MARATHON TRAINING Here's hoping I can survive the taper!