For our final long marathon training run, Allen asked me to write about my experience. Let me begin by saying I wasn’t convinced I could finish….
Mentally and physically I felt prepared. I had had a pretty good 20-mile run a few weeks before, so I was hoping the next step up would go smoothly as well. I packed up my Osprey Rev. 1.5 hydration pack, grabbed a couple of Clif and Huma gels and a pack of Extreme Sport Beans, and made our way to Cochran Shoals Trail.
The goal was to run more than 20, as that was the mileage of our last long run. Neither of us felt we needed to go farther than 22, so anything slightly over 20 was going to work just fine.
It started out chilly, in the upper 30s, so we were bundled up. By about mile 6, both of us had ditched our outer layer and gloves – luckily, the sun was out! The steady breeze coming off of the Chattahoochee River kept us cooled the entire time.
We started off great, chatting and eventually listening to music. And then, out of nowhere – BAM! I hit a wall (as they say).
Now, my biggest running ailment is my feet – running almost any distance causes my feet to swell, and thus they start to bother me after a while. This particular day, my right foot started aching in full force – a sensation like it was bruised on one side.
About halfway through the run, my foot aching terribly and my knee (a new, fun pain from the previous long run) being bothersome, I thought I wouldn’t be able to finish.
Somehow, through a trick of my brain (I assume), I managed to crank up the music, refuel, and focus, and I was able to finish 21 miles. Don’t ask me how that worked…I’m still not sure myself! (Allen’s encouragement was also helpful, as always.)
And thus with two 20+ mile runs under our belt, we’ll taper over the next couple of weekends, just in time for the race next month!