I fit this long run in after school drop offs. I drop my first grader off by walking him to school at 7:15 a.m., and I take my kindergartner to school in car line at 8:40 a.m. I went straight from carline at 9:00 to a parking lot nearby, ran the 20 miles, hopped into the car, drove home, took a shower, and turned around and headed back to the preschool to pick her up. BUSY morning!
It was a hot day with highs in the 90s, and I was running in the sun (from around 9:00 a.m.-12:00). I was aiming for an under 8:45 pace on this run. That is 90 seconds off my marathon pace. I had an 8:30 pace until mile 16. I ran up the Clift's Cove hill, and I just felt weak and tired, more than I would normally feel after a little over 12 miles of running. I pushed through it and made it to Dublin Park. I stopped under a bush for shade and stopped the Garmin. I had 3 1/2 miles to go at this point, and I knew I didn't want to quit. I also knew that if I didn't hurry I wouldn't have enough time to go home and shower before getting my daughter. That was motivation! I went into Dublin to get water and to refill my water bottle.
I noticed the strangest thing around this point---my left ear was all clogged up (like how you feel after your go swimming and water gets into it). I thought it might be running related and later learned that it was (see here). But it stayed that way for the rest of the run and a couple of hours later. I ended the run with 9:39 miles and feeling very defeated. Overall, the pace was 8:45 for the 20 miles, so I met my goal, but I don't like the slow down at the end or the feeling of fatigue.
I now look at this as room for improvement. It is much better to finish your first 20 miler in a series of 3 feeling like this than if I'd finished my last one this way. This one just made me stronger for the next two. I hope to see some cooler weather in the next few weeks too. This will make a big difference in my performance during any daytime runs.