Sunday, October 16, 2005

"You ran 20 miles today??"

First of all, thanks for all the support and encouragement. As the race has gotten closer, and my weekend runs have increased in length, I’ve really felt the increased support in the comments section. Thanks.

The only trouble with all the “can’t wait to read about your 20” comments, is that I feel this pressure to post something more entertaining than “I ran 20 miles today”. So let’s see…

I ran 20 miles today. 20 Freaking miles. My friends and family know I’ve been training for the marathon. (How could they not? I’m obsessed!) But 20 miles is still an awe inspiring number to whomever I mention this to. To be honest, it’s pretty amazing to me as well.

I tried to get up really, really early. But I only got up kind of early. Then I lounged around a bit. I had a tough time getting out my front door. Just knowing that I had three and a half hours of running ahead of me made it hard to get started. Also, it was pretty cold. I don’t like cold. Everything I’ve read has said that you should feel chilly when you start running, to ensure that you’re not overdressed for later in the run. To be fair, this has generally worked for me. But on these cold days, it’s still cold in the beginning. As I mentioned, I don’t like cold.

By the time I got to the park and started my run, it was getting close to 9. The temperature was in the 50’s and windy. Partly cloudy sky, which was really a nice change from the rain we’ve had for what seems like forever. My teeth were chattering as I walked into the park, but I warmed up after a bit. (I had on shorts, and a long sleeve coolmax t-shirt.)

The run itself was really uneventful. Well except for thousands of walkers “making strides against breast cancer”. They seemed to have trouble understanding the phrase “stay on your left”. Anyway, I did 4 loops of the park, 2 big and 2 small. There’s a pretty big hill on the big loop, which I tackled at mile 5 and mile 15. I felt pretty good for most of the run. Some muscle aches, but no shin splints, which was nice. One thing I noticed was that at mile 14 or so, I was really glad I was almost done. Even with my sports beans, I felt pretty tired, and wasn’t sure how I could have done another 12. Not that I collapsed in exhaustion at the end of 20, but I was glad to be done.

I finished the 20 in 3:12. That includes a couple of pee breaks, a couple of stretching breaks, and a break to fill up my water bottle. So the splits where I wasn’t taking a break were pretty fast for this kind of run (for me). I thought I was running really slowly, but I still finished the first 6 miles in 58 minutes. (Hmmm… maybe that’s why I was so tired at the end.) This has kind of left me confused as to what my goal pace for the marathon should be. I think an ultimate goal for this marathon would be a sub 4 hour race, which would require a pace of 9:09. It’s a little faster than most of my miles today, but slower than the 8:50 pace I ran in the half a couple of months ago. I think it will probably be a bit tough to reach this goal, but running a 10 min mile pace might be a bit slow. On the other hand, I’d like to be sure I finish. That’s really the main objective. Well, three more weeks to obsess over and analyze all this…

So that’s it. 20 miles done. And now, the long awaited taper. Ahh…

But first, another couple of Holiday days. I'm off to Toronto to visit my folks. I'll be back Thursday.


Blogger Kiran said...

I didn't know you were a fellow Canadian! :)
Congrats on the 20 miler, those were great times.

Monday, October 17, 2005  
Blogger Susan said...

Wow - that's a great time!

Monday, October 17, 2005  
Blogger Dawn - Pink Chick said...

That does sound exhausting. I may need help being pushed out the door for mine in December. I bet it will be a lot colder. Good for you for getting it done!

Monday, October 17, 2005  
Blogger nancytoby said...

You're going to rock the marathon! Now be sure to RELAX and TAPER!!

Monday, October 17, 2005  
Blogger a.maria said...

ooooh, look at you mr. speedy! nicely done! i love running in the cold...but i feel ya. the first coupla miles take a bit to get used to!!!

(maybe they got confused because most people, when they yell left, mean...hey, i'm going around you on the left... like when you're driving, the faster person passes on the left... but i dunno. maybe thats a midwest thing?!)

4 hour marathon looks to be in grasp!

Monday, October 17, 2005  
Blogger E-Speed said...

Awesome Job! 9:09 sounds reasonable to me but on race day you just have to go with what's comfortable!

Monday, October 17, 2005  
Blogger susie said...

Sounds like your pacing and breaks were perfect. I have the same issues with cold and I always seem to overdress. I need to work on that!

Monday, October 17, 2005  
Blogger jeanne said...

Very exciting and those are some very NICE SPLITS!!

Monday, October 17, 2005  
Blogger Hutch said...

Great job on the 20 miles! So, does your taper start now or in another week? Take care!

Monday, October 17, 2005  
Blogger Leta said...

AWESOME, great job, enjoy your well deserved break

Tuesday, October 18, 2005  
Blogger april anne said...

Believe me---you will do great on race day! Awesome job with the twenty—what an accomplishment!!

Tuesday, October 18, 2005  
Blogger Danny said...

thanks everybody...

i'll get back to posting when i get home tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005  
Blogger Thomas said...

The most important thing at the marathon is not to start too fast. So don't get over-ambitious. A 4 hours marathon might be possible, but it's going to be tough (as if you didn't know that!).

Congratulations on the 20 miler, well done!

Thursday, October 20, 2005  
Blogger Rae said...

Congrats on the 20, you have some strong times!! I can't believe the marathon is just a couple of weeks away. Enjoy the taper!

Saturday, October 22, 2005  

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