So I set out today to do the grand finale of all marathon training programs, the 20 miler (well not all of them, some have you running multiple 20 milers). I got up at 8:30am and felt like I had been run over by a train. I knew right off the bat that I was dehydrated and super tired from partying over the weekend. When I walked outside it was 70 degrees (!!), sunny, and pretty humid–not the ideal long run conditions to be honest. But I dutifully stopped at 7 Eleven to get some water and gatorade on my way out to White Hall, VA, where I set up my stuff to run. White Hall is beautiful with the Blue Ridge Mountains in the background. The first 3 miles were ok, just really HOT. I was wearing shorts and a tank and I could definitely feel the humidity. By the time I got to mile 6, the first turnaround point, I could tell that rain clouds were coming fast over the mountains. Within 10 minutes it was pouring rain and there was lightening and thunder. I knew right then and there that I wouldn’t be able to go all the way to 20 today. I ran all the way back to my car, which got me to 11 miles which is ok but not enough for the long run 3 weeks before the marathon. It did end up to be a good tempo run because I was booking it (it was scary out there by myself in the storm!). I ended up running the 11 miles in an hour and 31 min, which is much faster than I usually train. Anyways, I’ve learned that sometimes you’ve got to adjust your training. I actually can’t do another long run until Friday, so hopefully that won’t be too close to the race to do a 20 miler (I know Hal Higdon would disapprove haha).
Despite my training snafu, I always get excited for the race at about this time. I took out my new shoes to wear them in (perfect timing–exactly 3 weeks before the race) so I have the perfect footwear for the race. They’re Asics 2150s and I’ve worn the same ones for years (I used to wear the Asics Kayano but they became too clunky and I realized I didn’t need that much support):
I’ve also started to plan what I’m wearing and all the other things I’ll need. These are my favorite GUs, in order of how I’ll take them in the race (I actually only end up taking 3 1/2 because it is too much sugar for my stomach):
I know this looks like a strange combination, and in all honesty it is, but I love these flavors. It’s a bit difficult to see but from the left to right (which is the order I will take them in the race): Vanilla Orange (I used to think this tasted a bit like vodka but now I love it. And besides, whats wrong with a vodka shot on a 10+ mile run?), Vanilla Bean, Mint Chocolate (I absolutely cannot get enough of this. Only problem is that it is one of the only GUs I like that doesn’t have added caffeine), and Chocolate Outrage. I usually don’t drink much Gatorade because I will feel nauseous from the sugar, but in the race I usually mix a bit of the gatorade with mostly water that way it’s not too much. I also have a little straw I run with which helps me run with the water cup and sip slowly from it (if you try to gulp it down you’ll end up with a ton of air in your stomach and I think we all know that air=gas. eww).
Well, here’s to hoping I get my 20 miler done by the end of the week!!