Sunday was my last 20 miler of this training cycle and it was the awesomest run ever. It capped off a great training week altogether- it was a total 180 from my previous week (see previous whiny post). I ended up with 52 miles total for the week. Besides this great 20 miler I ran an 11 mile trail run, a 10 mile tempo-type run, and a couple easy shorter runs.
Some details on this run while I’m still feeling the runner’s high (2 days later!) – I drove out to the Banks-Vernonia trail by myself because Zach was being cautious with his sore knee and went cycling instead of running. I parked at a mid-point on the trail so I could stop at the car and refill my water mid-run. I was a little nervous about the long run as usual, and the weather wasn’t helping. It was only in the upper 40’s and pouring!
The first part of the run was about 8 miles total. I hit up the restroom at the turnaround point and headed back towards the car. This section was very flat. The temperature at the start was 50 degrees and the rain had let up a bit. I was comfortable in my capri tights, short-sleeves, and gloves. I ate my first Gu at mile 5 or so.
After refilling my water at the car, I headed out in the other direction. I needed to run 12 more miles so I would be running out for 6 and then turning around. Heading this way, trail begins climbing after about a mile and then doesn’t stop (gaining about 500 feet maybe) so this next stretch was tough. Also it was pouring again. I felt pretty good though and didn’t feel like I slowed down too much. I ate another Gu around mile 12 and managed to get it all over my gloves and face. Also since it was cold and rainy, my nose was really running so I was snot-rocketing and wiping my nose on my gloves. And of course, I was completely soaked from the rain. Quite a sight I’m sure.
I turned around at mile 14 and began the descent back to the car. I was still feeling great with tons of energy so I just cruised along. I didn’t try to run hard until the very end, but kept a quick pace. I never really felt tired even at mile 17,18,19! I think the downhill was helping. I ate my last Gu at mile 16. The rain let up a bit again and it was just a light drizzle. I pushed it toward the end because I still had so much energy! I finished with a smile on my face for sure. I had done my out-and-back math wrong so I had to walk/jog about a half mile back to the car.
20.0 miles in 2:50:01 (8:30 average pace)
First 8 miles: 8:35 average
Next 6 miles (uphill): 8:58 average
Last 6 miles (downhill): 7:56 average
(last mile 7:22!)
I thought for sure it was my fastest 20 mile training run ever, but in fact back in March of 2008 I ran 20 miles exactly 10 seconds faster. D’oh! Still, I’m happy with it of course. Especially because back in 2008 I ended up running one of my best marathons – a 3:44 at Boston! (pause to read entire Boston Marathon race report, wipe tears)
As I was looking back to check the times of my 20 mile training runs, I made a list. It turns out, this week’s run was my 20th 20 mile training run.
For Lost Dutchman (DNS)
#18 Dec 2010 - Sellwood Bridge out and back – 8:55 average
#17 November 2010 – Banks Vernonia point to point – 9:08 average
For Ironman Arizona (13:41:09 – marathon 4:42:43)
#14 October 2009 – Springwater point to point – 8:54 average
For CIM 2008 (3:45:00)
#13 November 2008 – Marine Dr with Zach – 8:38 average
#12 November 2008 – Springwater with Zach – 8:54 average
For CIM 2007 (3:36:47 – PR)
#8 November 2007 – San Francisco – 8:49 average
#7 October 2007 – Los Gatos Creek Trail - 8:54 average
For Boston 2007 (3:55:18 – PW)
#6 March 2007 – Los Gatos Creek Trail – 9:10 average (20.25 miles)
For CIM 2006 (3:39:22)
#5 November 2007 – Spokane, WA with Dad – 9:08 average
#4 October 2006 – Los Gatos Creek Trail – 9:16 average
For Avenue of the Giants (3:45:14)
#3 April 2006 – Iron Horse/Crow Canyon Loop – 9:12 average (21 miles)
#2 April 2006 – location unknown – 9:11 average
For Nike Women’s Marathon (3:55:10 – First Marathon)
#1 September 2005 – Los Gatos Creek Trail? with Maritza - 10:00 average (est)
If you add together:
20 20-mile training runs + 8 marathons + 1 Ironman marathon + 1 20 mile trail race =
I have run 20 miles 30 times! WTF!
Anyway, all of this is just an overly-detailed breakdown of one incredible run. It was one of those runs that makes me think “No matter what happens in the marathon, I’ll always have this run!” I am not changing my goals for the marathon (still hoping to run a 8:30-8:45 ish pace or so) but I am feeling super confident in my ability to do that. Now I just have to take good care of myself in the taper and arrive at the starting line with healthy and happy legs and attitude!
Thanks for reading!