The players: Me with laptop on my lap, Ollie snoozing next to me.
Setting: Sunday afternoon.
I'm currently sitting on the couch, compression socks on my legs to compress, spandex shorts on my booty to cover my inner thigh chafage (ouch, Mac Rogas, you FINALLY betrayed me!), empty Qdoba nacho bowl on the table in front of me, comfy, cozy.
This is what I like to call the runner's high of marathon training, aka long run euphoria. I tend to get a runner's high from long runs, regardless if they're successful or if I rode the struggle bus the whole g.d. time. But today, TODAY, I'm on the best kind of runner's high, the kind where you knocked the long run out of the park, and you're immediately re-amped for your training cycle and goals.
I woke up at 4:20am this morning. A cold front had moved in overnight (praise whomever you praise, yo) so getting up that early wasn't necessary, but Kyle and I both zonked out at 9pm last night, so the early bird catches the worm, and all that jazz. Besides, there's something about running when it's still dark out, that makes the miles seem like they're effortless. Like, you hit 6 miles in the dark and you feel like you're JUST starting or something.
Well, that didn't happen this morning.
I was supposed to do a 5 mile recovery run yesterday. I did 8 miles of hills on Friday, and I could not get out of bed Saturday morning to run before work. I also had the TEENSIEST amount of IT band discomfort after my hilly run, so I opted to take it easy and rest in preparation for my 20 miler.
I certainly felt those 8 miles of hills. For the first three miles of my long run. I was hitting 11:00 minute paces, and felt like I was running 10:00 minute paces. :/ Woof. I decided I'd ignore my pace and just run for time on my feet, as is the purpose for 20 mile runs. I could tell my form was off, so I decided to include 3 minute pickups every 20 minutes as I did during last week's 18 miler. They tend to get my form on the right track and activate my glutes.
After the first 3 minutes I could tell a world of difference in my form, and my effort was much less laborious, and I was picking up speed. Neat.
I was out of GUs last week so I placed a quick order through amazon for some more, and also threw in a bottle of salt pills. It was probably pretty dumb of me to try something new like that on a 20 miler, because I could crash and burn, but I did it anyway. I GU'd every 45 minutes, and took a salt pill every 60 minutes. AND I FELT AMAZING.
I normally get really nauseous toward the end of my long runs, and stay in that state for hours (or a full day) after. It's miserable. I felt so strong at the end of the run, that I deliriously almost contemplated running another 6.2 miles just to do a marathon fun run. And then I realized that would be stupid, but STILL. That's how magical I felt.
So maybe the excessive salt loss from sweat was a huge part of my stomach issues in past runs. Time will tell I guess, but I feel pretty darn good about marathon training with another eleven weeks to go.
First four miles 43:09
Second four miles 42:01
Third four miles 41:42
Fourth four miles 41:21
Fifth four miles 41:11