This was week 23 on my marathon training schedule, and that means it was my second-to-last long run: 23 miles. That’s 37K!
For those who’ve never trained for a distance running event – most training plans max out at less than the actual race distance. So for a marathon, you top out at 20 miles in training and trust to adrenaline to get you the rest of the way on race day. But Galloway’s plans have you run the actual race distance a month before the event. That means in three weeks I’ll be running the full 26.2 miles / 42.2 kilometers. It’s daunting to contemplate, but I remember that JayDub said he regretted not running the whole distance before his first marathon. I don’t want to toe the line on race day without 100% confidence that I can last the distance.
So without further ado… I ran 23 miles yesterday! It was even more of an accomplishment considering that I started coming down with a cold the day before. But I got it done, and I’m so, so happy. It took me five-and-a-half hours, and I finished with a big smile on my face. Read on for the detailed run report.Cross-posted from dailymile:
What an amazing run. I’m so glad I went. There was serious doubt yesterday that I’d get it done. I came down with a sore throat in the afternoon, and I felt crappy all evening. Consensus on DM and elsewhere seemed to be that as long as I wasn’t running a fever, as long as all my symptoms were “above the neck,” as long as I was well-hydrated and ran slowly, as long as I LISTENED TO MY BODY – then I was okay to run. My alarm went off at 5:15 this morning and the first thing I did was take my temperature. “36.4,” I said to the Snook. “Am I allowed to go?” “You’re allowed,” he said. I was actually thrilled. 🙂
The sore throat was still there, but excitement and adrenaline were masking it. The Snook made me a coffee and I had a bagel with peanut butter. Then he went back to bed while I finished my preparations. I had laid everything out the night before so there was no chance of forgetting anything. I had my Endurolytes; I had my gels; I had my BodyGlide; I had my anti-inflammatory gel; I had my charged battery case; I had my sunscreen and hat. I hit the road at 6am just as the sun was starting to come up.
The first couple K’s through Glebe were uneventful. I knew my right glute and hammy would be an issue, but so far they were behaving. I was feeling good. At the 3.5K mark, I got an SMS from my friend Fiona that she was waiting for me at the start of the Bay Run. Awesome. I climbed the hill of Victoria Road and met her walking towards me at about 5K. With that, we headed off for two loops of the Bay Run.
I did 1:1 run/walk the entire way. I was having 2 Endurolyte capsules every hour, and an energy gel every 45 minutes. I drank and refilled my water bottles as needed. Again, this nutrition and hydration strategy worked brilliantly. My stomach wasn’t upset and I never hit the wall. Fiona and I were having a great time chatting about life and everything else. (I think I convinced her to do a half-marathon with me in September!) It was quiet out there at first, but the number of runners and cyclists steadily increased as the morning wore on.
Halfway around our second lap, I received an SMS from the Snook that my run wasn’t actually updating online. Turns out that Fiona’s message at 3.5K had caused Runkeeper to crash, and even though it was still recording the distance for me it wasn’t uploading it to the web. So I stopped the workout at 16K and restarted the app, which fixed it. That first part of the run is here.
I left Fiona at the base of the Iron Cove Bridge and headed back up Victoria Road towards home. I still felt good overall. My right glute was becoming more painful, but it wasn’t hindering me too much. My time per km had slowed by about 20s though. Eventually I made it back to the house, only about 15 minutes later than I’d planned.
Pit stop! The Snook set to work refilling all my water bottles, energy gels, and Endurolytes while I used the toilet and changed my shirt. I liberally slathered anti-inflammatory gel all over that right leg. I also popped a couple paracetamol. And then I was off for Centennial Park to meet up with Kunaal.
This is the second run in a row where I have actually become EUPHORIC once I hit the 25km mark. Seriously, I don’t know what it is. But instead of hitting a wall, I started to feel STRONG. I felt like I was having fun! I had a big stupid grin on my face! I got to the park and only had to wait a few minutes before Kunaal arrived. He and I then set off for two laps around the Grand Drive together.
The gel I’d put on my leg at home seemed to be helping. My pace actually started to pick up again! (Maybe it was just our fun, gossipy conversation.) Eventually Runkeeper announced that I’d reached the 33K mark, so I knew that I was once again in uncharted territory. Kunaal gave me a big high-five.
By the time he headed off to catch a bus and I headed home, I only needed one more km to reach my goal. And there running to meet me was the Snook! He gave me a big hug as we ran up Cleveland Street together. I was drenched with sweat, and my legs were filthy with dirt, and everywhere below the waist as aching and tired. But I had a massive smile on my face. I did it! Once we reached 37K, we walked the rest of the way back to the house where I had a hard-earned chocolate milk. Second half of the run is here.
Thanks to everybody who offered advice last night. I’m so glad I got the run in. YOU GUYS, ONLY 5K MORE AND IT’S A MARATHON. And my training program has me doing that in 3 weeks! (And then 4 more til the actual event.) EEEEEK!