I must admit, I was not interested in doing this run. In fact, around mile 3 I sort of wanted to bag the idea. But thankfully I had my ipod loaded up with Mickey Miles Podcasts and they were keeping me interested in continuing my run. I also finally started to come around at mile 5. I created a new route with some familiar roads as well, but it was nice to know that there were some areas where I haven’t run before, or even driven, so then I had new scenery to look forward to.
I started to get into a groove around mile 8. I made sure that I started to give myself some Gu early on so I wouldn’t fall behind in my needs for fuel. I had taken 2 Gus by mile 10. I also took caffeine Gus with me for this run and I think they were successful for me. I had a little mishap around mile 10. I stepped off a sidewalk to get to the road and stepped into leaves, but they were hiding a hole in the ground and I actually fell. I was ok, I didn’t twist anything and get hurt, and thankfully no cars had seen me. But I was a little irritated by that.
My strongest point was miles 10-15. The weather was very nice and I was familiar with some of the areas that I was running because I had done them last year. I also enjoyed running on sidewalks because they sort of break up the road for me a little bit. It is also not on the road with cars so I feel a little bit safer.
By mile 17 I was starting to feel a little bit of a cramp in one of my calves, but it wasn’t anything major. I started to run towards my work and took a few longer walk breaks. Onto Salem road I was doing ok and then again, I took a little longer walk break just to freshen up my legs for the last 2 miles home. By mile 18 I was feeling strong again but I knew I had a large hill to go up on my way home. I walked up most of it like I do every time I end my route on that hill. But I kept up my pace and when I reached the top and saw I only had a mile left, I was feeling very strong. I actually started to run a little faster and had some left in my tank.
I am very happy with this run. I finished it 10 minutes faster than last year and my recovery time was great. Two days out and I don’t feel at all like I ran 20 miles just 48 hours ago. I am mapping out my routes for my last 23 and 26 mile runs to see if I can change up the scenery again. I feel that it is really helpful to have new roads to run on. The anticipation of what I have to see and not knowing how much further ahead I have to go is very helpful in the mental training.
I am also getting very excited for marathon weekend now. Earlier in the fall I was feeling nervous because I knew the hard training I had laying ahead of me. But in actuality, the journey is just as much fun as the destination and I am learning to love the journey and embrace the positive things that happen along the way.