Week 15 – 20 miles. (YAY its taper time!)
This week was THE week. The run I’ve been dreading since day 1. The longest run on schedule. The one I complained about last week. And, thankfully, the last one. Until race day of course.
Seriously, I’ve been semi dreading this run for weeks. I knew we were going to be in colder weather and I honestly figured I’d be on my own, so I was picturing myself running 20 miles on sidewalks bundled up like the kid in A Christmas Story while hurdling over snow drifts.
Perhaps my imagination has a mind of its own….just a little.
Luckily, my long time friend and fellow crazy runner (actually, she’s worse) volunteered to run part of the run with me if I met her at the path halfway between our two houses. As it turns out, we also met for dinner the night before at a restaurant within walking distance of the pathway. We arrive at dinner and I get out of the car.
Brr. Its cold. Great.
We talked a bit about the run the night before. Was I nervous? Did I bring food to eat along the way? Did I bring warm clothes? My parents so nicely drove by the entrance before we went home so I’d know where I was going. It looked a bit daunting in the dark. I distinctly remember saying ” I’ll bet we’ll be the only cars here at 7:30am”.
Morning didn’t greet me very warmly. My bed did. But I got up anyway, got dressed, ate a bit and was out the door.
My car greeted me with a smile. (Good morning! Don’t you wish you were still in bed?)
Unfortunately, when I tried to start it, it wouldn’t turn over. Fabulous. After having the semi flu on Thursday and now my car not starting I was beginning to think I wasn’t meant to run this thing. Luckily, though, the car turned over. But, I forgot about the ice and snow. My windshield was iced over. And having lived in SC for the last 5 years, I no longer own an ice scraper. So I went back into the kitchen and grabbed a spatula. There were three of them there so I figured it wouldn’t be missed for a few hours. (it worked pretty well actually….perhaps there is a market for spatula scrapers?)
Finally I was off. Then my low tire pressure light came on. For the love of Pete. Oh well, I’m still off.
I arrived and pulled into the parking lot. And was greeted by half a dozen other cars.
Well I’ll be damned. We ARE all insane.
My goal was to try to keep a 10 minute mile pace on average. I’d tried a 9:15 or so at 17 miles and about died at the end. My 19 miler was a struggle, though I tend to run slower alone, so I figured this one could take me almost 3 and a half hours. I also have a tendency to start out too fast and hurt through the end, so I made sure to say I wanted to try to stay around a 10 minute mile in order to avoid 4 miles of “ow”.
Ironically, for all the dreading, worrying and complaining, this run turned out to be the best of them all. The trail was really nice, the weather was perfect, and overall I felt really good. I dunno if it was the ibproufen I took before I left, the weather, the company or the eating a bigger amount every hour instead of a little at a time that did it (or maybe all of the above). Jenny (bless her) actually stuck around for all 20. (who runs 20 miles for fun? oh wait…) Around mile 14, where I usually hit a wall and start to get sore, I was actually gradually going FASTER. Surprised, but feeling ok, I just went with it, and actually finished the last mile at 8:38 . Overall, I actually finished the 20 mile run faster than the 19. (9:28 min/mile or 3 hours 9 minutes!)
Thanks Jenny. Seriously. She’s about the only girl I know that would run 20 miles with me just because.
We look pretty good for having just run 20 miles. 🙂 Oddly, I feel pretty good, too. And the best part about it? Its all downhill from here.
I got home, showered, and my dad was making breakfast. He starts getting the eggs together.
Dad: Where the HECK is my spatula?!?
Me: Uh….that was me. I used it to scrape the ice off my car.
I guess I grabbed the wrong spatula.
Apparently, while he was making eggs earlier, he was looking for this particular spatula. He had my sister searching drawers, and finally my mom, exasperated, states “maybe Bryan stole it”
Moral of the morning? Sometimes when the conditions are right, the hardest trials can feel like the easiest.
Also, don’t steal my dad’s favorite spatula.
December 25, 2011 at 10:13 am
I laughed at the spatula. Why not, though? It’s the perfect shape! Congrats on your 20 mile run.
December 26, 2011 at 11:39 pm
The spatula will forever be funny 🙂 Thanks!
December 25, 2011 at 1:40 pm
Sorry about your car. It is so frustrating when you want things to work and they just don’t. And I agree that a spatula has a great shape to wipe snow off.
December 25, 2011 at 1:51 pm
Ahh! Long morning runs…how I miss them and loathe them at the same time. Your entries are inspiring me to gear up to run again. Keep posting!
December 25, 2011 at 1:59 pm
Ok, living in a place that sees snow for about half of the year, I laughed heartily at the spatula story. And congrats on the great run! Happy ICLW!
December 26, 2011 at 10:56 am
Good for you!!! Congrats on the great run! That spatula story made me laugh! 🙂
December 27, 2011 at 10:31 pm
Stopping over for ICLW. Congrats on the run!!! I am a relatively new runner, up to 10 miles, and had hoped to comple my frist half marathon this spring. Unfortunately, my doctor said no running while TTC so I’m going to have to stop in a few days. I’ll have to read more of your blog to see how you are able to train so hard while trying. Good luck!!
December 27, 2011 at 10:50 pm
Why did your doc say no running? Hope you don’t have to stay away too long!!!
December 28, 2011 at 10:51 pm
That is amazing! congrats!! I am a grumpy miserable runner and haven’t run in ages but you’ve inspired me 🙂
December 28, 2011 at 11:34 pm
I am so completely impressed with you! I struggle to walk 3 miles, let alone attempt to run 20! Good luck with your training! Sounds like you’re doing great so far!
Btw, I laughed outrageously at your dad looking for his missing spatula. That would be my luck =D
December 28, 2011 at 11:35 pm
Thank you! I appreciate all the support I can get! And I think the spatula will be a joke forever!
December 29, 2011 at 5:38 pm
Amazing! So glad your last big run was successful! You are going to rock out your race!
December 29, 2011 at 5:40 pm
Thanks! 2 more long runs left but at least it’s taper time now!