The week started with an "easy" 60 minute run. I ran at 9:55 pace. Honestly, the beginning of this week feels so long ago that I don't remember much of it. I think I ran the loop behind my apartment, at night? In any case, the Garmin says I did it, so I did it. :) After work on Tuesday, I did my normal gym circuit. Despite skipping it last week, I'm almost to where I was pre-surgery with the push-up number. I'm at 12 in 30 seconds for the first go round. I started dog/house-sitting for a friend on Tuesday night, so on Wednesday, I ran around the local golf course. I tried to push it because I know it helps for the longer runs. I ran at a 9:27 pace. I lifted weights on Friday and then did not prepare well enough for me 20 mile run (in my opinion and in retrospect). 11:48
I woke up at 6 am on Saturday and fed the doggies, then headed to the Upper Tampa Bay Trail for the run. Fortunately, a handyman left his headlamp at my apartment last week, so I had something for the first few miles - it was still dark out (and 64 degrees - red flag #1). I wasn't the only crazy - there was one other group of runners, and I did see the ranger on his Toro putting the water out and clearing the trail. I did have a bit of bad luck early on - at mile 3, my low battery indicator for my Garmin came on (red flag #2) - I squeaked another 6 miles out of it though and was able to find mile markers and time everything just right so I could figure out (and keep track of) the distance I was running. The first 10 miles were pleasant - I watched the sun rise at mile 6.5. And despite the sun disappearing behind clouds at mile 13 and remaining "cool," it went a little downhill from there - the run, not the terrain. I needed to re-fill my water bottles at mile 14 (they lasted me 18 miles two weeks prior) - red flag #3. I also stopped to use the bathroom at mile 15.5 (I kind of needed to go and I was advised to try it since I'm probably going to have to go during the actual marathon). Side note: I've run three half marathons and never used the bathroom once each run started. After each time I stopped, however, it was harder to get back into the running. I pushed myself mentally until mile 18 since I knew I had run that distance before and even though I tried really hard to keep going, it felt like once I hit 18 I lost all steam. I started walking at about 18.2 (I'm guessing since no Garmin) and walked until the end. Even with the walking, I calculated with the time I had on my iPod that it was an 11:48 pace.
I have several thoughts about this run.
One, I suppose it is good that I experienced all of these red flags now and not for the first time on race day, but it was still a little disheartening. Two, I realize I should have concentrated more on fluids in the days leading up to the run. I did feel I ate well the day before, the morning of, and during the run (energy gels). I just think more water would have helped...because... Three, it was 20 degrees warmer than my 18 mile run and that didn't help at all! I didn't even consider this because 18 came easier than I thought it would. Four, London will help a lot - the crowds, the sites and the fact that it's an actual race, with other people running with me, and it's for the rhinos. Considering all that, I'm happy, but I would have liked to done unbelievably well to give me more confidence. But, then again, like I said, maybe I got all of this out of the way now to help me on April 13th.