Day 26 of 112-Long Run-20 Miles-#icandothis
Wow! What a run and what a day!
I want to start off, however, with a few Rise. Run. Repeat. blog stats, because, well frankly, it just makes me giddy!
Logged on today just before heading out around 6:30 for the run and saw this:
For me, part of what I am interested in with the blogging is to see what kind of traffic/buzz we can generate. Prior to this blog, I’ve had three other ones, but this is the first one that really has a theme to it, which I think makes it much more appealing to readers. Although, if I were to be completely honest, I would also have to say that what makes this blog more appealing to readers, is that it is more appealing to readers. I think the journey that Christy and are I on training for a marathon, combined with our past experiences and our joint blogging is pretty much a fun read. A lot more fun than my political rantings or stories about my dying father. Glutton for punishment? Check it out at This girl. Not that girl.
Back to our stats:
- 1,552 views of all time
- 19 views today
- In the past 7 days, we’ve had 217 views from the United States and 1 from New Zealand
- Our 46 posts have received 59 comments
- Of the 59 comments we’ve received 10 likes
- We have 289 followers (272 from Facebook, 16 WordPress.com blog followers, and 1 Word Press.com comment follower)
- Our busiest day of views was on February 29 (Figures, since it only comes once every four years) with 167
So thanks again, everyone, for tuning in and taking the time to follow along on this great ride that I am loving for a million reason! I hope you’ve enjoyed it, possibly been inspired, and perhaps even learned a thing or two. Now….on to today’s 20 miler!!
So Long to Self Doubt!
First of all, I want to say that of all the training programs I’ve done for marathons, with the exception of one, the 20-mile run was the longest run (in training for the NYC Marathon in 2009, I did a 21-mile training run). For me, the 20-mile is the mecca of the training runs. And in each of the marathon training programs, there was only 1 long run scheduled. In this program….WE HAVE FOUR 20-MILE RUNS! That is a TON of running! And quite honestly, as I started to think about it over the course of the past week, I started to freak out a little and a lot of self-doubt started to pour in. And here is what is totally crazy….I’m running better than I ever have not only in my life, but especially when you factor in the long distances I’m running. And this, I know, is my own personal training issue to deal with-I’m never 100% convinced I can really do it. So let me say, that from today forward, I’m going to try and work really hard to nip that self doubt right in the arse! Here is a poster I saw in the Tortoise and Hare running store today, and I shall use it as my own mantra going forward:
20 Miles-Part 1
A few weeks ago, Christy P found out that Tortoise and Hare was hosting an 11-mile and 22-mile training run today. All you had to do was go to the store at 9 a.m., sign the waver, pick up the course map, and out you go! The course was an 11-mile loop and because me, myself, and I; Christy P; and Legs are not fans of running loops (although I’ll take a good loop over an “out and back” any day of the week) and we only had to run 20 today (Oh, hell no! I am not running 2 extra miles when my base miles are 20), we left Christy’s house this a.m. around 7:15 and ran a 9-mile route she had mapped out to get us up to Tortoise and Hare.
The first 9 miles were great today. The weather was in the low 50s and it was overcast. It was also a new route, so that is always interesting. Even if it’s roads you often travel on as you drive around town, there is something much more different about running on them-you pick up things that you don’t normally see. And the fact that it is basically spring here already in Ann Arbor, Michigan, with lots of green grass and flowers and trees blooming, the run along the heavily traveled route was nice. So mile 9 was the toughest of the first 9 as it was uphill a ways, but I have to tell you….mile 9 this week was so much better than mile 9 last week, which was a relief! Despite blogging last week about my body having the “knowledge” and “experience” of having run 17 miles before, I have to admit I was nervous about this week’s run and a little bit emotional, which I wasn’t fully aware of until I was driving in the car this a.m. and Pink came on the radio and started to sing, “Pretty, pretty please; Don’t you ever, ever feel; Like your less than; Fuckin’ perfect,” and I started to just bawl like a baby.
We arrive at Tortoise and Hare a little before 9 a.m., which was the scheduled take-off time for the last 11 miles of our run, and I start to get a little nervous because now I am warm and when I go back outside it is going to be cold and windy again (Yes, our friend the wind decided to meet back up with us again today. Once again, he shows up uninvited!), but I peel off my gloves and gorgeous 100 % poly running “sleeve socks” in order to let them dry a little bit and let me warm up; fill up my water bottles; grab a napkin and wipe off the sweat pouring off my forehead, and eventually I’m ready to go!
20 Miles-Part 2-Gumby and The Tortoise and the Hare
I declared earlier that I now had a Gumby Mantra, and gumbies, as mentioned in my Day 3 Blog are people who I pick out at the beginning, middle, and end of a race/run that I aspire to crush, I mean, catch up with and pass (refer to poster which has new Gumby Mantra). Today I had several gumbies during the 11 miler and I passed each of them three to four times.
During the course of my training with Christy P, I have not stopped my GPS/timer when we’ve stopped running. My logic is this: when we stop to drink water, take in fuel, or stretch, we aren’t moving forward, so I stop the timer. However, toward the end of some runs when we would stop to walk, and thus are moving forward, I keep my timer going. I have sort of mixed feelings about this. Until this past fall, I NEVER stopped my watch, because I figure that they don’t stop the clock for you during a marathon, so why should I do it when I run? Well, I decided that the benefit to NOT stopping the watch when I stopped is that my times were faster, in that my average pace times were faster, and I decided the benefit of this was an emotional one-if my pace times were faster I would feel faster and thus become faster. And I truly believe this to be true. In addition, prior to this past fall when I ran, I ALWAYS WALKED during the run. I was a “run two miles, walk one minute” runner. So, during my previous four marathons, at least 20 minutes of my time was walking, and that always got recorded. So today I tried something a little different, when I stopped to just stretch or take water and fuel, I decided to NOT stop my watch; however, if I was meeting up with Christy and we were chatting a bit or exchanging fuel, then I did stop it. And, as you seasoned runners know, you don’t have to stop very long for a lot of runners to pass you by-it is amazing how much distance someone can gain in 45-60 seconds.
It is with great irony I feel that my running today was very Tortoise and the Hareish. I was running, I would stop and stretch, people would pass me by, they all became my gumbies, and then I spent the next 2-5 minutes catching up with and passing each of them. However, to catch up with and pass them, required me to maintain a pretty good pace. I figured since I was stopping to stretch every 2 miles, I would give myself an entire mile to catch up with them. And it worked! The Gumby Mantra helped me prevail once again! I do much better when I’ve got a plan! And in this case, it was a plan that allowed me to take the time to stretch and baby my body.
Our pace goal time was 10:44. During the 11 miles, Christy P, Legs, and I split apart. I was running a pace that felt really comfortable and just kept going-checking my GPS constantly to make sure I wasn’t running too fast, because, well, I just can’t figure out what pace I am running based on how my body feels. Monitoring my pace times is what enabled me to keep my gumbies in sight and help ensure that I could catch up with them. At mile 14, I was pretty excited because the times were good and I knew I only had 6 miles left to run, and that’s just a 10K-No problem, right? Well, those 6 miles quickly turned into 3 sets of 2 miles, because the 6 miles shortly became overwhelming. My times were good, but that doesn’t mean my body wasn’t sore, it was, and I was just trying to get into the zone, “I can do anything for 2 miles. Just 2 more miles.” After my last water/snack break, I had about 2 more miles and so I started to pour it on. I made a concerted effort to go outside of my comfort zone to see what I could do. I was incredibly pleased that the last two miles were two of my fastest, and in particular that the last mile WAS my fastest! I am seeing this start to happen more often and it is filling me with confidence!
Post Run Analysis
Because I was so pleased with the run and happy with my time, I pulled out three old marathon training logs from 2001, 2002, and 2009 to see how I had done on my other 20 mile training runs:
- 2001-20 miles-3:58:25
- 2002-2o miles-3:40:01
- 2009-21 miles-4:11:51
- 2012-20 miles-3:14:54
And, if you add to my running time today the 20 minutes I spent on breaks (during the first 9, in between the first 9 and the last 11, and during the last 11), it still only comes to 3:35:01, a record time! And more importantly, a record time that I’m using to convince myself that I just might be able to make this 4:15:00 marathon goal time. Hey, what a concept, making an analysis based on the facts/record and NOT based on fear. I can do this! I can so do this!
Carry on, friends. Carry on.