Today was another banner training day both mentally and physically. Given that last week's long run was 17, I had a sneaky suspicion that going 20 was going to be a stretch goal but still a milestone I needed to hit.
In case you don't want to read any further, here are the stats for the run.
On top of the distance, I tried a different nutrition plan for today's run. I've been having GI issues with longer runs lately so I figured it was time to devise at least a skeleton strategy I could live with knowing how I've performed at other distances. I won't bore you with the details but suffice it to say, it worked out really well and I'm excited at the prospect of not only finishing strong but not wanting to toss my cookies at the end of the run.
Miles 1-10 felt good. I was able to keep at race pace through that distance. I remember feeling pretty good between miles 11 and 14 too - I recall thinking, "This second half feels much better than the first half. Maybe I can have a negative split."
Psshh. Crazy talk.
The effects of my over-confidence showed itself on mile 14. I got some cramps in my calves that needed to be walked off. After that however, I was able to loosen up an bit and continue on my way.
Miles 14-17 didn't feel so good. For some reason, those miles just felt like they took a long time. Not to mention that during this swath of mileage, I could feel the bowels churning. The combination of a poor lunch selection the day before, Roctane and Perpetuem were just the right combination to induce a "pit spot" on mile 17.
If you've ever run [this kind of] distance before, you know that stops or pauses in the upper 1/4 of your workout is almost like death. Pausing to go to the bathroom allows things to settle, relax and get comfortable with the idea that your body is no longer in motion. It was either stop and take care of business or clench for the next 30 minutes. I opted to stop. Yes, starting again hurt like hell.
Miles 17-20 were all gut - nothing more. My water was warm, the Roctane was gone and all I had left was the commitment to get the miles done no matter what. I won't lie. The last 3 miles hurt too. Less so than miles 14-17 but they were still hard.
It's still hard to believe that I'm able to put in this many miles a week. It doesn't seem like very long ago I struggled to run 100 yards while recovering from plantar faciitis. Each week, each goal and each success brings more and more strength, determination and mental power to my training. Setting 'em up and knocking 'em down - traithlon training at its best.
Thanks for reading.