I got up at 4:50 a.m., went downstairs, and made coffee.
I made a plain bagel (all we had) with peanut butter and banana, but I could only eat half of it.
I looked at the temperature. <50 degrees. Brr! Perfect!
We changed our minds about we we would run when our friends at Yoga to Run changed their plans to run the marathon course in Portland. I’m glad, because I would have had to leave at 4:50 a.m., not get up at 4:50 a.m. We decided to do two loops of the course around Lake Auburn instead:
I went to go hide a cooler around mile 5, and I was about 15 minutes late meeting my marathon-long training partners, Wanda and Jen.
This may be why they would not let me take their picture and post it on the Internet before we got started. Something about getting up early and spandex. OK, that’s fair.
At about mile 3, Wanda had a sharp pain in her knee flare u. It’s been plaguing her for the last few runs. It was a painful decision (in more ways than one), but, she turned around and Jen’s husband, Dan, went to pick her up.
It was sad to see her turn around. But we know she made the right decision. This one run will not make it or break it on marathon day. But getting a really bad injury will.
Jen and I continued on.
It was quiet, and cold and beautiful. We reached the 5-mile mark, where I stashed the cooler, and we didn’t even need to stop.
At the 10-mile mark — back at the cars — I noticed I left my car lights on when I left that morning. I do that all the time because the bell doesn’t chime any more when you leave the lights on.
In my flurry to pull my keys out of my belt, my sweaty iPhone slipped out of my hands and the faceplate shattered when it hit the ground.
Poor Jen. She yells at me, “Do you want to try starting you car?” And I yell back at her, “I don’t fucking care about the car, I broke my iPhone!”
Then there was sulking, for the next 5 miles or so.
To look on the bright side of things, sulking about my phone really took my mind off running. Miles 10-15 flew by quickly. We decided to run the route in reverse, because the traffic on Mount Auburn Avenue was intense, and we didn’t want to deal with it later in the morning, when it would surely only get worse, or when we were really, really tired.
I didn’t take any pictures, but there is a trail — Whitman Spring Road — that is pedestrian-only and goes about 3 miles along the side of the river. This is where we saw most of the runners we saw that morning. It is quiet and tranquil and lovely. Jen said it looked like something out of a Tolkien novel. This part of the Lake Auburn route makes up for the nasty-busy-no-shoulder part on Mount Auburn Avenue.
That cooler we passed at mile 5? It was heaven at mile 15. Pure heaven. I had stashed a Cliff Bar for fuel in there, but the two bites I managed to take of it were too little, too late. My fueling strategy on this run was: packet of honey at mile 5, about 2 PowerBar Gel Blasts for every other mile from 6 to 16 or so, 2 bites of a Cliff Bar at mile 15, and 30 ounces of Gatorade. I was trying to follow Nancy Clark’s advice and take in fuel from a variety of foor sources. In the end, I don’t think it was enough calories.
For the 19-miler, I did 4 Cliff Bar gels (the mocha kind with caffeine), 6 Gel Blasts and 10 ounces of Gatorade. I felt much … better fueled? … on that run. Not stronger, because I did feel like I finished the 20-miler pretty strong, but I didn’t feel like I had to reach as far on that run as I did on this run. If that makes sense.
I do think the Gatorade was a good idea. I figured that I had about 90 ounces of fluid between when I got up that morning and when I finished the run, and I did not pee until an hour after I was done. That is crazy! You try drinking 90 ounces of liquid on a normal day and not go to the bathroom constantly! The salt consumption really helped me retain the water, and I did not feel as light-headed or groggy at the end of the run.
And then … the end. Jen ran ahead of me for miles 16-17. I felt OK but my heart rate was in the 140 range and I wanted to hold back — there was still more than 40 minutes of running left. This was along Lake Shore Drive, which was also quiet and lovely with a lot of twists and turns — and HILLS! I was cursing us for picking such a hilly route.
At the end of Lake Shore Drive, were we turn onto Route 4 — that was it. My glory moment. I was going to give it my all. If my GPS can be trusted (and it can’t; I know I did not run miles 8-9 at an 8:21 pace) I did the last two miles at 10:21 and 10:04, respectively. Pretty bad ass.
Afterwards, Wanda met us in the parking lot, on her way to Wal-Mart to buy a knee brace. I had my Muscle Milk. It tastes awful — and I don’t feel completely pain free today anyway — but whatever. Later, Jen and her husband Dan came over to celebrate with grilling and champagne:
Shortly after taking this picture, Jen and Dan left and Tony and Melvin and I went in to watch a movie. I slept through the movie. Then I went to bed. It wasn’t even dark out. I was that tired. This morning when I woke up, I questioned my legs ability to get out of bed.
and … SO ACCOMPLISHED.
Weight-wise, here’s where I stand:
- Pre 20-miler: 152.0
- Post run: 152.6 (yay! good hydration.)
- Next day: 150.2 (Sleeping 12 hours is a great way to lose weight, I’ve found.)
OK, bring on the taper!