Monday, September 17, 2007

My 20 miler report

Yesterday was a cool, crisp, clear day--beautiful, with just a few clouds. I woke up at 5AM, drank some water, ate a Kashi bar, and generally got my blood going. I was out the door at 6AM and ran two out and backs from the house--the first one was 6 miles to our church and back, and the second was 4 on a running/walking trail behind the house. I hit 10 miles at 2 hours (12 min/mi pace...EXCELLENT!) and picked up my friend Mark. We did another quick out and back of 3 miles, then ran laps around the walking/running trail in our neighborhood until I hit the magic number of TWENTY MILES...and my Garmin proves it. I think doing the laps helped--it was "OK, 6 more miles..." "5 more miles..." "a 5K + a warmup run...". Being able to breal this down into digestible chunks helped a lot.

You'll note that I finished in 4:03 and change...that gave me an average pace of 12:10, and I'd been shooting for a 12:00 pace, so I feel really good about that! If I can stick with this pace, I'll have a pretty good marathon--12:30 would give me a 5:27, which I'd be estatic with!

Friday night I finished reading Hal Higdon's book "Marathon" (which he signed for me at last year's expo before the Chicago Marathon). One thing really stuck with me--he talked about training plans and long runs, and essentially said that after your 20-mile run, your training is over until the marathon. The rest between now and then is just your taper.

So I approached this run with an attitude of "if I can get through this, I've got the marathon in the bag!" I didn't crash like I did in my 18-mile run--I had a big bowl of pasta Saturday for lunch, plus I consumed about 5 Clif Shot packages on the way. I think the Clif Shots really helped keep my energy and my glycogen levels up. As you can see I was tired and sweaty, but apart from some soreness (and difficulty walking up the stairs afterwards!) I was really no worse for the wear.

I've got to give a big shout-out to my pit crew (a.k.a. my wife) who was kind enough to put water and Gatorade bottles out on the front stoop for me, keep me loaded up with Clif Shots, and generally give me words of encouragement. That helped a lot, too. I've also got to say "thanks" to my running partner Mark. He's had some nagging injuries but really pushed himself to do the last 10 with me yesterday--having him there really helped a lot.

Now, I just taper and wait. But I've got a good feeling going into the Marathon, and I made a few tweaks and tunes (especially with the Clif Shots) that I'll definitely carry into the race. To paraphrase the great Yogi Berra, "90% of running is half mental." But a great run yesterday really helped alleviate a lot of butterflies and now I'm really looking forward to Race Day.

More later...


robert b said...

Is it possible to fake mileage on those Gremlins?

Jim Jones said...

It's a GARMIN, not a Gremlin, you doofus, and's NOT possible to fake mileage on them.

And I'm only referring to Robert as a "doofus" because I know him and can testify, in a court of law, that he is indeed one...