Monday, February 27, 2006

The Big Two-Ow

This weekend was my final training run: the 20-miler. After a teeny-tiny freakout following the 18-miler a couple weeks ago, I listened to advice from people (thanks!) and re-thought my runs. I parked my car in Griffith Park such that I had a 4-mile north loop and 4-mile south loop; I could then hit my car every 4 miles for some gel and some water (as opposed to going 6-7 miles between breaks last time.) HUGE difference. I actually ran the entire distance. I was ready to die at the end, but I made it.

I was hoping to do the run in 3.5 hours. It wound up taking me 3:30:12. Now I’m sure you’re thinking "close enough! You did it!" But no, that’s not how The Rules work. You either make the cut-off, or you don’t. I wasn’t upset; just a little frustrated that I almost made it but didn’t. I did notice that my southern loops were taking a little longer than the northern loops. There are some small hills along that path, but I didn’t think it should have made that much of a difference. So I rechecked the mileage. Turns out, the southern loop was a little longer and I actually ran 20.8 miles. So THAT counts.

Every training plan I’ve seen tells you that if you can run 20 miles, you can run 26 miles. This goes against everything I believe in, but I’m just going to have to take a leap of faith that I’ll suck up extra energy on race day. The question I now have is not so much "can I run 26 miles?" but rather "why would I want to?!"

More marathon training advice:
Pack extra bandaids to replace the one that slips off your toe to protect the growing blister. Ow.
Drink little bits of water more frequently, rather than guzzling a lot at once. (I gulped it down at my last refueling stop and it made me a little queazy.)
Do NOT spend the day at Disneyland the day after a long run. (my foot was (is) killing me).


Blogger Iron Benny said...

I've been running loops too, so I can get some fuel. Instead, next time I think I drive the course first and stash water bottles and gels in stategic places. That way I won't get so dam bored. Looking at your muddy shoes pics below makes your sore toe make sense. Maybe you need new shoes. Those babies are looking pretty seasoned. Or are they just that dirty.

4:45 AM  

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