Yesterday’s wake up alarm was 4:50 (ooof – that should be illegal on a Sunday) and my nervous energy had me out of bed 10 minutes later; I was soooo ready to get this 20 miler done and was hoping for a total confidence boost. After a little bit of coffee, I took care of business and headed out the door to make the 20ish minute drive to the training run location. I was worried about parking as almost 500 people signed up for this run, but then quickly realized that most of those people were training for the half and they were starting an hour later than us. Even though it was tough getting out of bed at that hour on a weekend – I was glad that our run started at 7 a.m. in an effort to beat the forecasted heat.
As I walked up to the meeting place I was greeted by a crowd of runners that were just a eager as me to get this run going! I decided to tote along my Nathan fuelbelt as I wasn’t sure how far apart the water stops would be and due to the predicted high temps, I didn’t want to be left without water when I needed it. At about 7 am we made our way up to the boardwalk where groups of about 10 runners were released every 3 minutes or so. At this point the sun was just coming up and it was a bit chilly with the wind coming off the ocean – I was shivering in my shorts and t-shirt! I chose to start out with the 10 min mile pace and off we went 🙂 About .75 miles into the run I had to pee (must have been all the shivering) and saw a porta potty that I quickly ducked into. I paused my Garmin as I wanted to get an accurate moving time for my first mile….after I got running again the first mile marker beeped at 10:05 — “perfect”‘, I thought 🙂 I was right on pace with how I wanted this run to go.
I am one of those people that firmly believes that fate has it’s way of working out for us. Right after the first mile (I was running solo at this point since the group I started with pulled ahead with my quick pee stop) something made me look to my right at the exact moment that my dentist was running by me. As a quick aside, my dentist is a super amazing woman who has run over 50 marathons (including Boston 9 times!) . “Dr. Liz!!!”, I exclaimed….she was like “HEY!!!!!” and from there we just started running together and chatting. She was telling me that she decided to come out and run at the last minute as she was supposed to be on a train to Boston. Apparently BAA made deferring your race until 2013 a bit tricky as you had to defer IN PERSON! Luckily she managed to get everything squared away and will run next year instead.
Being able to run with her was such a super treat for me (because she is so amazing) and I kept telling her that if I was slowing her down to go on without me; however, running with her was just the push I needed to break out of my comfort zone. We chatted away for the next 13 miles ticking them off at a 9:30ish pace and I was feeling GOOD…while it wasn’t easy, I also didn’t feel like death I know I’m capable of this pace for the longer hauls. Amazing what your legs will do when your brain is distracted! At mile 14 I needed to stop for a quick walk break/stretch so I told her to go on with out me and I would catch up. Unfortunately, the stretch of miles from 14-19 were in the blazing sun and I was really starting to feel it by mile 16 where I needed to take walk breaks more often than I would’ve liked to. My legs were feeling decent but my hands were getting tingly and I was getting goose bumps so I knew I was a dehydrated. Instead of pushing myself to the brink of passing out I reminded myself that this was just a training run and I had to adjust to the heat (this was the first “hot” day I’ve run in since September!). I still finished the 20 miles in 3:19 which I am super happy with!
I can’t say enough great things about this organized training run. The course was clearly marked, there were self serve tables with water/gatorade and Gu every 2.5ish miles and light refreshments at the end. In addition, they had bins of tech shirts, hats and socks from last years full/half that were free. I would’ve taken a shirt but they didn’t have any in my size (plus I think I would’ve felt weird wearing it knowing that I didn’t do it)…I was able to snag a free running hat though 🙂
Even though I’m feeling a bit stiff today, it’s nothing unbearable. I was still able to get to the gym this morning for a 1000m swim, light LB lifting and stretching. I may try to walk tonight too just to keep everything feeling loose.
This run was exactly what I needed to prove to myself that I am ready to tackle 26.2 on May 6th. Now I just have to taper smart and take care of myself for the next 3 weeks 🙂