The first 20 miler on August 23, 2012 went okay but not great. I dealt with a clogged ear and pressed "stop" on my Garmin at mile 16 to get more water. I almost consider stopping during a long run and also stopping the Garmin to be "cheating." After all, you can't stop the clock on race day so why get used to doing it during training? Once I got more water, I was able to make it back to my car. I realize now that running in the 90 degree weather with only one water bottle was not enough for me.
I didn't think too much about that run. Rick says not to put too much weight on your bad runs---or your good runs. I usually DO put a lot of weight on my on my good runs! But I also stress and stress over bad ones too. So I set out on September 8 to do a better job on my 2nd 20 miler.
Today's "excuse" was that I was recovering from a cold. I had felt fatigued all week. This run just felt off from the beginning. I think around mile 4, I stopped my watch for the first time and just talked myself into running again. I felt weak and even almost nauseous. I never found my rhythm and just shuffled along for the entire run. I also continued to stop every few miles and convince myself to try to go again. Each time, I stopped my watch, so I really feel like I "cheated" on this run. I don't think a run with this many stops is good for my training.
I managed to finish with some 9 minute miles at the end and an overall 8:25 pace. I really hope that this run was not an indication of how I will feel during this week's 20 miler or the marathon itself! It was a reminder to me that some days are just not your days. Nothing I could have done would have changed that. When I arrived home almost 30 minutes later than expected, Rick told me that sticking it out like I did made me tougher. That is a good way to look at it.
Here is the Garmin data. I don't know how to show the stops I made, so it is hard to see why this run was a struggle for me. Trust me, it was! These numbers don't tell the whole story!