Saturday, September 18, 2010

22 Miles

So today was the first of the 22 Milers that had been taunting me from the start of training. 22 Miles had really seems so abstract in my head, thats like running from Jacksonville to St. Augustine, how is that feasible? Well I am here it is feasible, but damn is it far!

When I was planning for this run yesterday, I had decided that it had been a big 2 weeks and I ran yesterday, so I would not be forcing any pace miles today, I would make sure I kept everything under 9:59 and just ran what felt comfortable to ensure that I could finish the entire run- mission accomplished. I was actually really surprised how easy some of my times felt, it left me feeling very good about this race.

Due to the fact that I did not want to literally run across Jacksonville, nor did I want to hassle with my Camelbak, I opted for several shorter loops. I also decided I would do something I haven't done since the spring: I would do the majority of this run in the daylight. There will be sun on marathon day, and as much as I like getting out early to beat the heat, I need to be ready for the sun, and I figured what better run for a dress rehearsal. I started at 5:30, which was amazing to get a full night sleep before a long run, and I didn't finish until 9am, so I had 2 quality hours of running during daylight, and I certainly feel prepared now.

The first 7 miles were in the dark, I wasn't really focused or super into the run yet, but I cranked them out flawlessly for the first easy miles. I made sure I didn't start too fast and just let my speed naturally increase as I got warm, I was pleased that it did naturally get a little faster and still felt easy, I think that is evidence that I have been focusing on the right goal pace.

Mile 1-  9:50
Mile 2-  9:48
Mile 3-  9:45
Mile 4-  9:42
Mile 5-  9:44
Mile 6-  9:29
Mile 7-  9:26

Something that was very different about today's run compared to the last few is that I did not have to stop, I was able to run miles upon miles before I took a break. There was no stopping to refil water, get gu, stretch, change, etc. I think that has a lot to do with why this run was so great, I really felt like it was a perfect dress rehearsal because it felt like exactly what I will be doing on race day. I was able to transition seamlessly from Loop 1 to Loop 2 with another already prepared water bottle that was waiting for me with gu already attached.  I took off with the 2nd 7 and felt amazing, the sun was just starting to rise slowly and I wasn't miserably hot yet as I was anticipating, I kept seeing quicker and super consistent splits, and it just left me feeling so optimistic that I hadn't gone and pushed my pace that I was just finding it on my own.

Mile 8-  9:37
Mile 9-  9:38
Mile 10-  9:38
Mile 11-  9:33
Mile 12-  9:31
Mile 13-  9:33
Mile 14-  9:37

Super consistent splits behind me, and I finally had to stop to refill my water and get more gu. I also opted to grab the ipod at this point, I thought I might need it with the sun out in full force at this point, and it would be a nice distraction, I ended up being right on this one. Starting back after a break was tough, it definitely took the first mile to loosen them back up, and then magically they fell right into their rhythm as soon as my Garmin beeped at 1 mile.

I felt fine in the sun, and it really didn't start to annoy me until the last mile and that is mostly because it was in my eyes as I was trying to finish. However at about mile 19 I started to hit a small wall, more like a partition. I hadn't taken the extra gu I grabbed, and I know full well that was why I started to fade, I just felt so silly taking a gu with only 3 miles to go, so I kept sucking on my water/gatorade mix and dealt with it. I think if I had taken the gu somewhere during mile 18 I would have finished much stronger than I did, but as I was wanting to stop I promised myself that on race day there will be no exceptions, gu every 6 miles no matter what mile marker we are at.

Mile 15-  9:51
Mile 16-  9:28
Mile 17-  9:24
Mile 18-  9:35
Mile 19-  9:38
Mile 20-  9:38
Mile 21-  9:39
Mile 22-  9:46

Total: 22 Miles- 3:31:50, 9:37 average pace

This run was exactly what I needed and what I wanted it to be. I hit goal pace without trying, I finished 22 miles and didn't hate it, I survived 2 hours in the sun, and my average pace for the entire run is still below my max pace needed to hit my goal, so I am thrilled!

An ice bath and breakfast later I am still stiff, but feeling good, and hopefully I recover quickly, I felt the 20 I did last week really wiped me out. I have only 3 true long runs left, and only one is in the 20s (another 22), and I feel really good about how the rest of my schedule is layed out. I am off to enjoy the rest of my Saturday which involves A LOT of football, have a good weekend!!!


  1. way consistent splits. you hammered those out like a machine! great work :)

  2. You ran 22 milers! That's crazy and great!!! You're so ready for this marathon!!! :)