20 Miles & “Celebrity” Encounter!
Back in November when I registered for the Go! St. Louis Marathon, the long runs in my training plan seemed so daunting. When you read about training runs on blogs they are discussed so nonchalantly. But 20 miles? Insane! That was the run I always had in the back of my mind. The longest run on my training plan. The last big run before the Marathon. The run.
But now I can officially say 20 miles is in my past and I’m ready to taper! Today I completed a 20 mile run all by myself in 3:10:30.
I started my day with some foam running, a cup of hot lemon water, and a whole wheat English muffin topped with almond butter and banana.
I got everything ready – my garmin, ipod, GUs, camelbak, roadID, and chapstick. I also popped a GU electrolyte tablet into my water bottle. I was sent these free with my last order and decided to have it ready for after my run. I ended up drinking the whole thing on the drive TO the run though! The tablets are 10 calories and have a light lemon-lime flavor. Tasted good but I’m not sure if it did anything.
I’m not going to lie, I wasn’t excited about this run. The spring-like weather has left me with a bit of sore throat and itchy eyes and I didn’t have a ton of energy this morning. But I remembered the quote “The road to 26.2 starts with a single step” as I started out.
My legs felt heavy. I wasn’t running very quickly. It’s amazing how during an uphill I want to die, but during a straight away or a downhill everything suddenly better. The weather was a sunny and beautiful 55 degrees, but there was a strong wind which made some parts even harder. I had phases of doubt throughout the entire run.
I added a little 1.5 mile detour onto my normal route so that each loop of Forest Park was a little over 7 miles. I liked that once I finished two laps I only had a little over 5 miles to go. I couldn’t bring myself to go around the same loop a third time so I switched it up and finished with a little out and back course. And somehow my legs weren’t nearly as sore as they were after my 19 miler – usually my calves are screaming. I DID IT!
Here are my splits:
- Mile 1: 9:39
- Mile 2: 9:49
- Mile 3: 9:25
- Mile 4: 9:23
- Mile 5: 9:18
- Mile 6: 9:18
- Mile 7: 9:13 (GU one)
- Mile 8: 9:29
- Mile 9: 9:39
- Mile 10: 9:48
- Mile 11: 9:31
- Mile 12: 9:22
- Mile 13: 9:24
- Mile 14: 9:28 (GU two)
- Mile 15: 9:28
- Mile 16: 9:39
- Mile 17: 9:39
- Mile 18: 9:43
- Mile 19: 9:37
- Mile 20: 9:37
Final: 20 miles, 3:10:30, average pace 9:32
After the run I was stretching in the Forest Park visitor center when an old man that appeared to be about 70 years old glanced over at me. He asked how far I ran and I found out that he had run over 20 marathons! His PR is 3:11 and it was when he was 58 years old. I immediately started picking his brain for advice, and his number one suggestion was to run 5 miles, then walk for two minutes throughout the entire run. Don (his name) said it would help me avoid burnout and that by doing it I’d feel great during the last five miles.
But get this: I told him I was following a Hal Higdon training plan and he told me he BEAT HAL HIGDON IN A RACE! Hal Higdon! The guy that ran the Olympic Trials eight times and won the four world masters championships. The guy who has contributed articles to Runner’s World for longer than any other writer. One of the founders of the Road Runners Club of America. Don is seriously like a celebrity to me! So impressive.
Once I got over my star shock, I headed home for a smoothie and some icing. Since I gave up chocolate, I can’t use my normal chocolate infusion Amazing Meal. Last time I had a berry flavored sample packet to use instead, but when I went to buy more at Whole Foods they only had the pomegranate mango flavor.
It was awful. I combined it with kale, soymilk, half a frozen banana, frozen peaches, and some vanilla protein powder and it still made me want to gag. Definitely not my best effort, but I needed the calories so I slurped it down.
I think I’m going to order the berry flavor online so I can go back to the Cherry Berry Green Monster I loved so much a few weeks ago.
Time to de-tangle the nest on the top of my head and shower! I’m babysitting tonight so I should have plenty of time to relax on a couch and read. Hope you’re having a great Saturday!
- Have you ever had a celebrity encounter?