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“And I called my parents right after I was done.”


At this point the only thing that is going to stop me from running this marathon is one or both of my legs falling off. After a dismal 18-miler two weeks ago, I’ve bounced back with some strong runs and today truly made me feel certain that I am ready to go 26.2 on October 9.

Last week I ran my first ever 20-miler. I was so nervous because of the previous week, I took it nice and easy and just concentrated on covering the distance. I finished slow but I finished feeling good. It gave me a lot of confidence and dispelled any thoughts about quitting that still lingered.

I was slightly dreading this week’s 20-miler, not because I was afraid of the distance (I got over that last week), but because it is just such a long time to be out there running by myself–the SATs take less time! Sometimes I think I have adult ADD–I won’t go see movies that exceed 1:20, I skim emails longer than a paragraph, if a book I am reading plods along I immediately stop reading and return it to the library, if I talk to someone on the phone longer than a few minutes I start to drift off, and there are times even fast food seems like an eternity. I get listless fast and the thought of running for over 3 hours with no other distraction was making me feel anxious. But after my super iPod run the other day, I thought that bringing along some tunes might be the perfect solution–and it was!

I knew right away that my pace was much faster than the previous week. I didn’t feel that I was pushing hard or straining myself so I figured I would just keep it up for as long as I could. I hit the 5-mile mark 3 minutes faster than last Sunday and finished the first 10.15 loop in 1:34:38 (over 11 minutes faster than last week!). I was feeling really good as I stopped to switch out water bottles and shed my gloves, and again decided to see how long I could hold my pace. This time I hit the five mile mark in 46:10, a minute ahead of my first loop! Negative splits! With only 5 miles to go, my focus was on finishing strong. During all my previous long runs I faded out and practically trudged to the finished, but not today! I finished the second loop in 1:33:32 (over 18 minutes faster than the second loop last week!). I was so psyched that I kept running down my block and back to add another .2 miles, brining today’s run to 20.5!

And if I didn’t bombard you with enough numbers, here are some more:
Last Week                  This Week
Split 1 1:45:50           Split 1 1:34:38
Split 2 1:52:12           Split 2 1:33:32
Total 3:38:02            Total 3:08:11
Pace 10:44                  Pace 9:16

That’s a huge difference! I almost thought I missed a turn and replayed my run a few times in my head to make sure I didn’t cut the course. But my run was legit and I covered the same distance as last Sunday 29:51 faster (1:28 faster per mile). Could I ask for a bigger confidence booster going into the taper? No way!

I definitely think the music helps. It blocks out hearing your labored breathing and distracts you from minor ache and pain that you may over-analyze without a distraction. With my history of overuse injuries, I tend to constantly scan my body for discomfort and slow down immediately at anything that doesn’t quite feel right. I’m probably definitely overly cautious, but I’d rather be slow than be sidelined for 5 months and 3 months again. Having my iPod really helped me zone out and just run, and it paid off in a BIG way.

There were two little pains that even Lonely Island’s hilarious but extremely catchy I Just Had Sex couldn’t help me ignore–my left big toe and my right hip. My toe started bothering me during my run on Wednesday afternoon. It feels like it needs to crack but doesn’t, if that makes sense. I decided to wear my trail sneakers today because they have more support and my Thorlo Experia socks which have a lot of extra padding in the forefoot. I could definitely feel it during my run but the pain was not as acute as earlier in the week. My right hip, otherwise known as my Old Lady Hip, has been quiet for a while now but really bothered me today. At least 10 times during my run it felt like it was giving out. It didn’t alter my stride or make me stumble but it felt almost like it was popping out of place between miles 7 and 14. I’m hoping it is nothing and that if it is something it isn’t anything until October 10!

So now I head into my taper. I’ll probably do a 12-miler next Sunday and a 10 the weekend after that. I am actually looking forward to the marathon now. I’ve taken it off the list of the things I have to do and moved it to the list of things I want to do. At this point in the game, it is all mind over matter and I can’t wait to be at that starting line in less than 3 weeks!

Today’s Workout:
Ran 20.5 miles/3:09:56

One Comment leave one →
  1. 09/20/2011 7:05 PM

    Finally got around to reading about your long run. Nice work! It’s in the bank.

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