Any double-digit run that starts with a "2" deserves a post of it's own. I actually starting writing this post yesterday, but I fell asleep before I could post it. I guess running 20-miles will make you tired. So yesterday.... I woke up at 6 am to eat some breakfast - a plain toasted bagel, then sat around and waited 2 hours for my stomach to digest it. I started getting ready at 7:30 am and decided to wear everything that I planned to wear on race day:
- Victoria Secret Sports Bra - Lulu Run Swiftly Long Sleeve Shirt - Lulu Full Tilt Crops - Balega Socks - Brooks Adrenalines (before this run this pair only had 20 miles on it) - Headsweats Cap (only 2nd time running in it and I'm in love)
I also wore the newer iFitness belt I just got - the Ultimate Race Belt. It has enough slots to hold 6 gels, which is ideal for a marathon. In addition, I used the 8 oz hydration add-on bottles so I wouldn't have to stop for refills as often as I'd have to with my 4 oz bottles.
I started running run at 8 am and planned to do a 5-mile loop around my neighborhood 4 times. I would have loved to have done this run at a pretty trail or along the Embarcadero and Crissy Field in the City, but I've learned from past experience that my legs cramp up after running this distance. And since my car is a stick, it could turn into a potentially dangerous situation.
For the past few weeks I have felt like the Garmin has been a hindrance - a brain drain of sorts so I covered it up and didn't look at it once until Mile 15. I just ran a pace that felt comfortable, enjoying my music.
Miles 1-5 was pretty uneventful. I was feeling good and just cruising along.
I started the second loop continuing to feel good until Mile 7. As I ran around a cul-de-sac I was feeling so tired and sluggish. Not good when you have 13 more miles to go. It wasn't until I finished the second loop (Mile 10) that I realized I hadn't taken a gel. Duh - don't know what I was thinking. So I reached down to get one and realized that they had all fallen out of my iFitness belt. FAIL! I had to make a detour home to grab more. It's a good thing I ran close to home!
While at home I also took a minute to ditch the iFail fitness belt and switch to the true iFitness hydration belt - the one with no add-ons - that actually works. It felt much more comfortable. But I didn't want to risk losing my gels again so I slipped them into the pockets of the Lulu Full Tilt Crops. These pants have pockets on the side (along your quads) specifically for holding gels. Didn't have a problem with it again.
Once I started running again my chronically annoying R hip/glute started nagging me and continued to do so for the rest of the 10 miles that were left. It wasn't too bad for Miles 10-13 but started to get progressively worse after that and I began to feel it in my hamstring.
By the time I got to Mile 14.68 I couldn't bear the thought of running my 5-mile loop for a 4th time so I decided to make a break and run on the city streets. This was the first time I looked at my Garmin (which was set to only display distance), to calculate how many miles I'd need for an out and back to finish at exactly 20 mile (because there was no way in hell I was running 20.01). I decided to run straightway to the Bay, which would take me to 17.13 miles. With the return, plus what I had left to get to my finish area, put me right at 20.
The thing about running on city streets is that you have to stop for stoplights, which can be very annoying, but also welcoming (hello rest break). I have to cross some major intersections where the lights can be long, but I lucked out, timing things well enough where I didn't have to stop for very long, and didn't even have to stop at some of the lights.
Miles 15-17 were tough - I mean really tough. When I got to the turnaround point, I had to take a walking break. And by break I mean I sat on a fire hydrant (because they are flat-topped around these parts) and rested for a few. It hurt like hell to start running again, but knowing that I was running TO my finish and not AWAY from it was a mental relief.
Usually at this point my feet are on fire, but surprisingly enough, they didn't hurt. Or maybe I just didn't feel it because all I could think about was my hip, hamstring and glute. I started to count down the minutes. At Mile 18 I thought, "20 more minutes. At Mile 18.5 I thought, "15 more minutes." Eventually I was thinking, "12.3 more minutes" - that's how badly I wanted it over. And then just like that it was.
I looked at my Garmin and was really surprised and happy to see this summary:
I walked the .20-mile home and then felt pain walking up the 4 porch stairs. That's when I knew I would hurt more than usual after a long run. I stretched out a little, drank a Gatorade and then did something I rarely ever do - I took an ice bath.
I dumped all the ice in my ice maker in a tub full of cold water, threw on a hoodie and climbed in, still fully clothed in my running clothes. I swear, it hurt just as much, if not more than the 20 miles. I had set the timer for 10 minutes and willed myself to sit there, teeth chattering, until time was up. (On a positive side note, there was zero chafing so my race day outfit is a go!)
A couple of hours later I met Audrey and RoadBunner for sushi and we walked around Burlingame Avenue. While I was still really sore (and slow moving), it was good to walk around and keep moving.
After almost 12 hours of sleep last night, I'm still a little sore today. I was only able to take 2 yoga classes last week (and only 1 Bikram class). I'm pretty sure this hip thing would not have been an issue (or at least not as bad as it was) if I had taken my usual 3-5 classes. So you can bet that my schedule will be yoga intensive for the next 2 weeks.
Overall, I'm pretty pleased with how the 20-miler went, but I was pretty beat at the end. I can honestly say I have no idea how I'm going to run an additional 6.2 miles in 2 weeks.
How do you get through the last 10K of a marathon without feeling like death?