Yesterday was my 20 mile run…the longest run in my beginner marathon training program. When I started all of this in September, I could barely imagine running 20 miles. I was struggling with 6, but I celebrated every small accomplishment in my training. Then somewhere around the half marathon mark, that kind of stopped. Work and family stuff had me really tired and stressed. The runs got so much longer and harder. My body was wearing out, and at the end of the week I didn’t feel like there was much to celebrate. Now, however, as I enter the taper and look back, I have to be amazed about how I got from the beginning to this point. I just ran 20 freaking miles!
To deal with the bunion issue, I ordered up some new shoes. From a previous post, the Mizuno Wave Creation 12 was not working. The good thing is that they have lots of room in the toe and are a cute color, so they are my new running around town shoes. In college I had an awesome pair of Asics, so I ordered the Gel Cumulus 12. They are not kidding about the cumulus part. Those shoes are amazing. They really feel like you are walking on clouds. I wanted to be able to keep them, but just lacing them and walking was bothering my toe. It looks like for better or worse, I am sticking with the Mizuno Wave Riders. I ordered a new pair for the marathon. We cut a giant slice in the side of mine to give the toe joint a little more room when the swelling sets in. My toe hurt on the 20 mile run, but it was manageable and the swelling and bruising is not nearly as bad as it was post-18 mile run.
My run was four 5 mile loops around the neighborhood. After mile 10 I stopped back in the house to pee (why does it feel like I am going to pee down my leg but then there is next to nothing in my bladder??) and refill my water bottles. I picked up a second Gu and a Ginger candy. I felt great, but that was the easy part. The next 5 miles was not so bad either, but as I entered mile 16 things started to fall apart. I decided to stop and walk for a minute to regroup. My hydration plan was not working. I was really thirsty. So, I finished up one of my fuel belt bottles of water and ran to the bathroom next to the clubhouse to refill. My stomach was also starting to hurt pretty bad, but the extra water gave me a kick to keep going. At mile 17.5 my stomach was screaming. I stopped and walked for a few seconds and pulled out the ginger candy. The sweet and the ginger settled my stomach down a little, and I realized I only had 2 miles left. I searched for a song on the iPod that would get me to the end. I think all the blood was rushing from my head to my legs by mile 18. I could no longer think or process much of anything. All I could do was run, and it felt good. I felt so good that I kicked it out to the end and ran my last mile as fast as my first.
When I finished, I felt a lot better than I had after the 18 mile run. My foot and ankle are a little sore, and my calf muscles feel worn out today. But not too bad at all. The worst side effect has been my stomach. It was killing me all day yesterday. I could barely eat a thing, which is the ultimate irony of having burned like 2000 calories. This morning it is better but still not great. But I will celebrate the 20 miles and happily enter the taper. Three weeks and I’ll be at Disney running the 26.2.