Today's 20 miler was the final 20 miler I will do before my first marathon in just 3 weeks. The run was not as good as my previous three 20/20+ milers. It was the slowest (but not by much) of the 4, but I think for good reasons.
A few of the reasons, I believe, that made this run a bit harder and slower are:
- I have not been running on the Saturday before my long runs, but did yesterday. - about that
- Last night was the homecoming dance for my two daughters meaning a very late night and only about 5 hours of sleep.
- It was colder than it had been in all my previous 20/20+ mile runs. 42 when I left so long pants/sleeves/hat/gloves were in order.
Today's run was also a bit harder than the last couple 20/20+ milers. It took everything in me to keep going at mile 15, I just felt like quitting. I pushed through and it got better.... but not till mile 17! My last couple miles were good, but that always seems to be the way it is with me on my runs, I run conservatively enough that I kill it at the end..... not in races, just in training.... races I kill myself throughout :)
Today I also tried a new product that I was sent from SPIbelt. The SPIbelt is a small personal item belt. I was looking for options and different ways to carry items, especially Gu's or Sport Beans because they seem the hardest to get out of an arm band carrier. I have been carrying my cell phone and any other items in an arm band which has worked OK for items that I just need to carry while I am running, but if I needed to carry anything that I needed to access while running (Gu, Sport Beans) it was a major ordeal. I was pleasantly surprised and more than willing to take a look at the SPIbelt when the opportunity came up.
I was very pleased with the ease of use and simplicity of the SPIBelt. I only put my Sport Beans in the pouch but it is really cool how it is very small but will expand to fit almost anything you would want to carry while running. I put the belt on and quickly forgot it was even there. The way it is designed it fits snuggly and doesn't bounce at all. Now, I was not carrying anything too heavy, but the way it felt I don't think it would have done any bouncing or been any more noticeable if I had. When the time came for the beans I was able to open the pouch, get the beans, and close the pouch with one hand without any issues. This will be my belt of choice for the marathon no doubt.
I honestly can say this is a day I have been looking forward to for a few weeks. I think I hit a little bit of burnout a couple weeks back and was exhausted constantly. I was not getting much sleep due to early 4 am wake up times multiple times each week to get my mid week 8-10 mile runs in. I even missed a couple runs during this time when things got the worst.
As I mentioned, today marks the official beginning of my taper. I am really getting excited for November 14th and my First Marathon, the Chicamauga Battlefield Marathon. I feel like I am ready, but wish I could have gotten to the full 26.2 distance before the actual race. I know that the majority of the training plans do not take you past the 20 mile mark, and the Hal Higdon Intermediate II that I followed was one of those. I did modify the plan a bit to better fit my schedule, and also because I wanted to get a bit further than 20 miles. In the end I only got to 21 miles one time, instead of the 24 I had hoped, but did get to 20 miles 3 other times for a total of 4 times in the 20+ area.
I just found out this past week that the Chicamauga Battlefield Marathon will probably not have pacers. It is a smaller race (field of 600) so I was concerned enough to ask. I was told that they were trying to get some pacers but it didn't look good. Oh well, good thing I have my MyTach GPS Watch to help me keep on pace.
Thank you all for reading my blog and for the comments I love so much! This has been a long journey, and it is exciting to near the first 26.2 completion.... My 26.2 Quest is nearing it's goal, thanks for coming along for the ride!
Tim Wilson - blog.262quest.com - subscribe - follow - virtual4now