Tuesday, August 30 20 Miles (2nd in series of 3 in preparation for Chicago)
Splits: 9:32, 9:35, 9:30, 9:36, 9:27, 9:47, 9:28, 9:43, 9:34, 9:27, 9:44, 9:06, 8:05, 8:09, 8:38, 8:33, 8:14, 8:39, 8:30, 8:10, 7:18
Average pace 8:59
Elevation gain 600 feet (Rick says this was pretty good?)
I am racing this weekend and didn't have another good day to run my 20-miler this week, so I decided to run it today. My friend, Jane (yes, the same one who's been with me on the tempos and track workouts I've done), offered to start with me at 4:15 a.m. so I could get in my needed miles. Jane has been right there with me through these difficult miles--for conversation, for advice, and for laughs. That is a true friend, and I am lucky to have her and the rest of my group!
We both admired the stars twinkling in the darkness and enjoyed the coolness. It was great having her company. And how strange to be done with 8 miles before you have seen the sunrise! She wrote about our 11 miles together here.
An interesting thing about her company is that she was successful in speeding up my first 3 miles. I've had a lot of trouble with starting at 11 minute plus miles. I'm not sure if it's the darkness (afraid of where my foot will land when I can't see) or the knowledge that I have to run 19 more miles (or 18 or 17), but nothing I could do was working to bring them down. Then Jane did!
I pushed myself the last 9 miles and played a little game with myself to see if I could bring my average down to sub 9s. I did it (it clicked down to an 8:59 during the 20th mile!). And I wanted the last mile to be my fastest and also marathon-paced, just to help my confidence. Well, even with all of the rush hour people watching me gut it out, I was able to do it! So this run was great at helping me build some confidence back.
I hydrated much better today than the last 20 miler, stopping at my car at 11 miles to get water and refill my bottle. I ate gummy bears during the run and graham crackers before. And the low last night was a glorious 61 degrees, so it felt cool and refreshing out there today!