20 Miles and a Busy Weekend

Good morning all! Hope you had a lovely weekend. Mine went by so fast I can hardly recall all we did…but it was a lot. We were all over the place and I barely even saw my Hubby!

Friday night we headed upstate around 7 p.m. and got to my parent’s house by about 10 p.m. We ate some grub (and I may have snacked on some cake) and then I headed to bed since I had my first 20 mile run planned for bright and early Saturday morning. I was pumped because I would have two friends with me for the first 5 miles or so.  Initially, I was supposed to have three friends with me, but one texted on Friday to cancel because she has the flu. So I headed to bed and slept TERRIBLY – nerves I think.

20 Miles!

I was up around 6:45 and began my pre-run ritual. Around 7:00 I received a text from one friend telling me she was too tired and was going to have to skip our run. And then there were two. I finished getting ready and tried texting my last remaining running friend to confirm if she was still game. I texted and called to no avail.

So I began mapping out some potential runs to do on my own just as my last friend showed up at my house. She was supposed to be picking me and driving us to a nearby park to meet our other friend. Turns out she just got back from a trip, didn’t feel well and had lost her phone, so she didn’t get any of my messages. She drove over to tell me that she wouldn’t be able to run.

Sadness!! It finally dawned on me that I would indeed be running my full 20 miles all alone. A little tremor of fear ran through me, but I decided there was no turning back. I gathered my gear, strapped my water belt to my waist and headed out alone. (My mom was too cute – I think she was a little nervous about me going it alone and she told me that she wished she was a runner so she could run part of it with me.)

So for this 20 mile run I had a few things working against me: it was crazy windy and colder than I expected, I was all alone for the whole thing, I didn’t have my ipod, and I mapped a pretty intense route.

I was more than a little nervous starting out. But then I reminded myself that for this long run I wasn’t running part of it as a race, so I could set whatever speed I wanted, and I had just done 18 miles, so really it shouldn’t be too much harder. Right…18 to 20 is easy – haha!

Miraculously, the entire run went pretty smoothly. I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop and for exhaustion to kick in, but I stayed strong. And let me tell you, there were some pretty insane hills in this run. Here are my stats from the whole thing:

Mile 1 – 8:53
Mile 2 – 8:31
Mile 3 – 8:09
Mile 4 – 10:01 (biggest, steepest, scariest hill of my life)
Mile 5 – 9:08
Mile 6 – 9:00
Mile 7 – 8:43
Mile 8 – 8:49
Mile 9 – 9:09
Mile 10 – 9:10
Mile 11 – 9:02
Mile 12 – 9:08
Mile 13 – 8:52
Mile 14 – 8:40
Mile 15 – 8:54
Mile 16 – 8:33
Mile 17 – 9:37 (hills, hills and more hills)
Mile 18 – 9:48 (and more hills)
Mile 19 – 8:57
Mile 20 – 8:36
.36 – 3:07

Total mileage – 20.36 in 3:02:58. Average page – 8:59 minute miles

And my 20 miler was done! It wasn’t my fastest long run, but I think given the difficulty of this course, I did okay. I made it particularly tough and hill-ridden because I know the Poconos Run for Red Marathon has a bunch of hills, so I need my body to be prepared. Plus, my last long run 21-22 miles next weekend (April 25) will be done primarily in Central Park, which has some hills, but not too many. So yes, in short I tortured myself during this long run in order to be extra ready for my marathon.

All that being said, I was surprised at how decent I felt throughout this run. My waterbelt water supply was more than adequate (I think because it was a lot cooler, so the heat wasn’t taking its toll) and I took one Gu packet between miles 14-15 and it did its job.

Have you ever been pleasantly surprised by a long run? Maybe you expected it to be tough or you felt lackluster when you began, but great by the finish?

I finished up my run back at my parent’s house and tried to stretch as much as possible. I didn’t have my marathon stick with me, so I was a little sad about that. Oh and I forgot to mention that around mile 5-6 of my run a small skunk ran right across my path. It was a scary moment because I know that healthy skunks typically don’t come out during the day. So I thought this skunk was sick and was probably looking for someone to spray. I stopped dead in my tracks and waited for him to cross the road and then fly by him as fast as possible. Skunk spraying averted!

The rest of my Saturday was crazy busy – no napping after this long run. I ran errands with my mom, then headed to my friend’s house for dinner and finally got back home and to bed around 11 p.m.

Sunday was another busy one. We got up early and headed to Utica for the baptism of Hubby’s best friend’s adorable little daughter. Hubby is actually the Godfather of little Audrey. She was very good throughout the whole baptism – and she’s absolutely gorgeous!

Side note – sorry about the pic-less post, I’ve barely had time to breathe, let alone upload pics.

After the baptism we went to the after-party for a bit and grabbed some food. We got on the road to head back to NYC around 6:30 p.m. – much later than I would have liked. 😦 That meant we got home late, I went to bed late and I’m super exhausted today. Blah!

A very good, but busy weekend. I know that my posts have been very running-centric lately. A few books have made it in here and there, but food has definitely taken a back-seat to running-oriented topics. I think that once I start to taper I might be able to focus more on food, or even just be less running-crazed in my posts. I’m not sure if this happens to other people when they train, but running seems to take over my time, body and my brain. Has this happened to you?

I do want to mention the new book I’m reading though because it has made me laugh out loud MANY times already and I’m only on page 75: The Year of Living Biblically. Hysterical!

Anyway – enough rambling for today. Have a good Monday all!


14 responses to “20 Miles and a Busy Weekend

  1. WOW…I am totally in awe! 20 miles all alone…you are amazing!

  2. Great job on the 20 miler!!!! Kudos to you for including some good hills in your route too.

    I definitely can get a bit consumed by running….. um this week I’m a little obsessed with figuring out hydration/nutrition/figuring out the right mileage and how much or how little strength training to do. I think my hubby will be glad when Boston is over. 😉

  3. Great job on your run! Scary…about that skunk! Could you imagine if you would have gotten sprayed?

    I’ve never heard of that book!

    • I can’t imagine if I got sprayed – what would I do? I’d have to run all the way home like that! It’s a pretty funny book – I’ll do a full recap once I’m done with it.

  4. CONGRATULATIONS on your solo 20 miler!! I’m so happy you got in such a great long run and that you managed to rock it all on your own!!

    • Thank you!! It was a huge relief once it was over and helped build up some of my confidence for the real thing in May, since i’ll be running that one alone too.

  5. I can’t believe those friends of yours bailing on you like that. I wouldn’t ever talk to them again, especially if they’re named Stephanie 🙂

    Sorry I bailed but it sounds like I would have faded before mile 5 with the size of that hill on mile 4. Great run!

    • Hehehe – no I love my friends way to much to get upset. I’ve bailed on plenty a run as well! And you would have been fine because I changed the route after I realized I was running solo. The original route would have had the first 5 miles at the Crossings with no hills. I would NEVER do that to you guys!

  6. Great run. You inspired me! : ) And I hear you about the wind! My last 2 miles were straight in the wind by the lake but it was sunny which made up for it-at least that is what I told myself and just dealt with it. My biggest fear when running is a loose, angry dog. Never did I think a skunk would be. Now it is! Glad you didn’t get sprayed. Thanks for the best photo ever! I am making it my background on my phone! He He He!

    • Dogs are typically my biggest fear as well, but this little guy scared me half to death! I’m soo happy I got that photo after ALL the times he’s snapped them of me. I’m glad it made it to you – I didn’t have your phone number, but needed to make sure it got to you!! 🙂

  7. Pingback: A Running Rut « Eat, Read, Run

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