Akron Marathon Training: Week Nine

This week couldn’t have gone better if I tried. After last week’s long run was cut short, I was nervous about getting injured, worn down or coming to a wall in my training. Luckily that wasn’t the case. I started off the week by breaking in my new shoes. I had one last pair of the Asics Gel 1160 in the back of my closet and decided it was time to break them in. It felt good to run in a new pair of shoes, but I wasn’t quite satisfied with the support on my arch. Thursday I pulled out my second pair of new shoes, the Asics GT-2000. The moment I put them on, they hugged my feet and was reaffirmed that these are the perfect shoes for me. With less than two months to go, I’ll have just enough time to break in the shoes and get them ready for race day.

Asics Gel 1160 & GT-2000

Asics Gel 1160 & GT-2000

Monday: Off

Tuesday: 2 Miles

Wednesday: Off

Thursday: 3 Miles

Friday: Off

Saturday: 20 Miles

Sunday: Off

Total Miles: 25 Miles

I’m still not quite sure what to say about Saturday’s run,  but let’s start at the beginning. I had 16 miles on the schedule and was looking forward to running. I had decided I would join some of the MCRR members in a group run at Bonnie Park. I’d only been there once before so new scenery would be inviting. I was also looking forward to running with a new group, hoping that conversation would help keep my mind off the miles. The run was split up into three out and backs of 5 miles. The pace was set at 11:00, but I somehow found a way to pick it up on my way back each time.

I felt great the entire time and kept my hydration and fueling system in check.

  • Take a sip of water every mile
  • Refill my water after every 5 miles
  • Take a salt tab every 5 miles
  • Each two Sport Beans every 5 miles

I knew I’d have to do an additional mile after everyone was done, but when another women mentioned she was running 18, I decided I’d join her. I was still feeling pretty good, despite that the temperature was heating up. We came back to the parking lot just at my Garmin beeped for 18 miles. At this point I was at a cross roads. I still felt pretty good, and the thought had crossed my mind to try for 20. I knew it was on schedule for this next week, but running an additional 7 miles after a half marathon seemed a lot harder than finishing 2 miles right here. So I started off and knew I only  had to make it one mile and I could turn around for the home stretch. Those last two miles flew by and I could feel myself speed up the closer I got to my car. I finished the run with a “sprint” and heard the most amazing sound, the Garmin’s beep of a 20 mile run.

So much more than 20 miles

So much more than 20 miles

I was in complete awe of what I had finished. My first 20 mile training run and a milestone in my running. I had only seen 20 miles on my Garmin once, and that was during Columbus. But the last time my watch was sitting at 20 miles, I was in a breakdown in a port a potty in the Columbus marathon. At the 20 mile mark in Columbus, I wanted to give up, I wanted to stop, and I wanted to throw away running forever. This time when my watch clocked 20 miles, I felt so strong, so happy and craving more. This was the run that meant everything, and this was the run that almost nothing can beat.

I came home and took an ice bath like a champ wimp, forgetting how awful they felt, but remembered how good they are. For the record, an ice bath by yourself in a bathtub isn’t nearly as fun as an ice bath with your team in garbage cans outside of coach’s office. I followed up with my ProCompression socks, a 500 calorie cinnamon roll and a 20 minute nap. Still in shock of what I had run that morning, I tried to hold on that runner’s high as long as I could.

What I learned:

  • I missed running with a group. The miles fly by, and you learn so much. I ran with someone training for their first half marathon to a few ultra runners, and everyone in between.
  • The Asics GT-2000 are my go to shoe. Finding the perfect shoe for your feet make all the difference in the world.
  • Proper hydration, fueling and pace can help you go any distance, you just have to want it.
  • Nothing compares to the runner’s high after a perfect run. I’m still holding on to it, hoping I see it again soon.
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