Yesterday marked the first 20 mile training run I have ever done in my short-lived running career. It also marks my longest run of the year and a great confidence boost for Chicago marathon. We are now 2 weeks away from marathon number two!
I was really nervous going into this run because I had a lot of aches and pains going through my legs on Friday. The knee wasn't perfect. My calves were really tight. My hips were sore. I really didn't know what to expect honestly. At this point in my training last year, I was hobbled, praying to get better in time for my marathon, and spending a lot of time inside on the elliptical and stationary bike. I am so thankful that this time around I was able to actually log a 20 mile run in my training schedule. Sure, it wasn't perfect or even at the ideal time, but I was pretty pleased with the results yesterday.
The weather actually turned out to be pretty nice. Temps in the low 60s and no wind. The clouds even did us a favor and blocked the sun for an extra 30 minutes to an hour after sunrise. It was a perfect way to mark the end of a hot, humid training schedule. I am such a happier runner when I am not miserable and hot.
For this run, my Chicago counterpart and I met up with the Oklahoma City Running Club, affectionately known as the Land Runners. They did a course very familiar to all OKC runners. We left from Nichols Hills Plaza and ran towards Lake Hefner and utilized part of the Hefner Trails to supplement the road running. A portion of this run is also a part of the OKC Memorial Marathon course so it's nice to run part of the course from time to time. After Hefner, we backtracked to Nichols Hills and then went out and back for another 3 miles. The reason for the out and back twice was that the local Redman Triathlon was being held yesterday so most of Lake Hefner was being used for that event.
For the most part this was a rather uneventful run. In my opinion, you can't really complain when you say you have an uneventful 20 mile run. Running with Katie helped pass the time and the knee only gave me minor problems throughout. It would hurt for a bit and then I would push it out of my head. It would try to sneak back in, but then I would change my thoughts. It's manageable so that's all I can ask for at this point. The scaled back schedule has definitely helped and the 20 mile run added another level of confidence for Chicago. I am excited and ready.
As far as pacing goes, Katie and I ran pretty well. Our pace ended up averaging 9:06/min miles and that included all of our water stops and my bathroom break. On race day, my water stops will be much shorter and hopefully I won't have to stop and use the bathroom. We both felt pretty decent after it was over and left feeling the sub-4 hour marathon was a real possibility. It was just what I needed to round out the build phase. It's now taper time. Only a few runs left the next two weeks and we will be toeing the start line.
Is it too early to start obsessing over the weather? I hope not, because you are going to get updates on my blog with every post. My official source will be Accuweather due to their 15-day forecast. Today was the first day that 15 day window included Oct 10, 2010. Here you go. Looks like great running weather to me!