Going into the run yesterday morning, I didn’t allow myself to think about how far 20 miles was. It was just a number, and I wasn’t going to stop until I’d hit it.
When we showed up at the LLS office, we were greeted with bib numbers, gu, power bars, most of our team, a map of the routes, and lots of support from the staff and coaches. We were to run just over a half mile west on 86th street, about 4 miles through neighborhoods on our way down to Broad Ripple where we catch up with the Monon, take the Monon south another mile or so to 54th Street, then back north all the way to 131st Street, come back south to 86th Street, and another quarter mile back to the LLS office. It was still dark as we headed to the “start line”, and about a mile in it started raining. Being in the mid-50’s and coming off of being sick the week before I was a little worried. I didn’t want to get worse or push myself too hard and relapse. Luckily it was a gentle rain that let up after about 5 minutes. And it turned out to be a beautiful day for a run. As we ran through some neighborhoods on our way from 86th Street to Broad Ripple, the sun came up and you could see its outline through the clouds. I was very grateful to have chosen the tank and tights I was wearing, and believe I have a winning outfit for race day.
Jessica and I stayed together throughout the run and developed a plan for keeping hydrated and fueled…every 4 miles we would stop for gu and water, and we would also stop whenever there was water or gatorade available. We’ll have to check the race route to see if the every 4 miles plan will hold up since we don’t really want to wear the water belts on race day. Anyway, the plan worked great. The first 8 miles felt amazing. Never thought I would hear myself say that. It wasn’t until just after mile 10 that my feet started hurting this time. An improvement from two weeks ago. By mile 13 I was feeling sluggish and thinking about turning around early, still being worried about pushing myself too hard after a sinus infection and still being on antibiotics and decongestants. Of course at mile 14, where I would have turned around, I had already talked myself into going for it…”it’s just another mile to the 20 turnaround.” So I pressed on. At 131st we stopped early for our refuel and opted to try solid food…and an ibuprofen. It seems half a Clif bar is more than enough for a belly on the move. With both of us struggling a bit, we walked for nearly a half mile to let the food settle and hope that the ibuprofen would kick in soon. Starting back up was so hard, there were outcries and muffled curses. We were almost out of water when we passed the Monon Center again, so we stopped to refill our containers and again ended up walking for about a half mile. By this time the arches of my feet and my calves hurt so bad I didn’t know what to do. I had thoughts of having to call the office for someone to come get me. Then we started running again, and I realized it actually hurt less to be running than it did when I was walking. And the bonus of being able to run – I would get to the end faster. About a mile from the finish we saw our coach, Marc, coming towards us. He had come back out on the course to see how we were doing, and ran back in with us. Having someone else join us pushed us on, and made the way back seem not nearly as long. We crossed the “finish line”, 20 miles, at 4 hours 10 minutes. Because we are running nerds, we have the gadgets that tell us splits, times, distances, elevations, etc. And looking at that data, all the stop lights we had to wait for and water refill stops, added up to about 14 minutes. With that, I am going to say we completed 20 miles in under 4 hours. I feel pretty darn good about that. And now…
BRING ON SAN FRANSISCO!!!! After the taper of course. I’m thinking we are going to need every minute of these next couple weeks to recover from yesterday.
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