20 Miler

There comes a time in everyone’s marathon training when they are scheduled to run 20 miles.  This is the longest training run and most people usually do it 3 weeks before the big race.  The best thing about this run is that afterwards the tapering begins!  With my training partner (mom) out of town, I decided to sign up for the 20 Miler at Busse Woods.  This is a supported run, so no time chips involved but lots of volunteers and water stops to encourage you along the way. 

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Last night, I got home from work late and was pretty cranky. I had been snacking most of the day and wasn’t super hungry, but I wanted some extra carbs before the run.  I roasted up some fresh veggies (eggplant and zucchini) and added them to whole wheat pasta with some olive oil.  I figured it was a good time to try out some pre-marathon dinner options.

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I woke up super early this morning.  I made some black tea and heated up a TJ’s frozen oatmeal.  I call this my ‘doctored’ oatmeal because I added in half a banana, some chia seed, and a little bit of milk.  I scrambled up an egg and then took my oats to go. 

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I hit the road for Busse running slightly late.  Good thing there is no traffic at 6:00AM, unless you count all the cars pulling into the parking lot.  Man, runners are an early group of people!  It was a beautiful morning, a little chilly, but perfect for a run!

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I checked in, got my race packet, and geared up for the race.  I debated whether or not wear my long sleeve shirt and eventually decided to go the short sleeve route. It’s tough to predict what the weather will look like 3 hours later, but I was happy not to have the extra layer!  I hit the port-a-potty line (always a long one with the running crowd) and then got going on the run. 

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I started with the 9 mile pace group and by mile two worked my way up to the 8:30 group.  I found a new first-time-marathon friend and we proceeded to chat through 18 miles of forest preserve.  I learned some nice race tips, walk through the water stations to give your body a rest, and we chatted about running, our love of Lululemon, work, boys, and life.  It’s amazing what new friends will share during a 20 mile run…chaffing stories anyone???  I’d love to say that time flew by but when you are running for 3 hours, that is never the case.  However, each mile came and went and we had a nice strong finish over the bridge at mile 20 (a personal mileage high for both of us).  My secret goal was to finish in 3 hours and I happily completed the run in 2:59:57.

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I think I stretched twice as long as I usually do enjoying the gorgeous day and fun conversation.  There was water, music, and snacks as everyone spread out to stretch in the grass.  It was so funny to watch us ‘athletes’ attempting to get up from the ground after sitting.  It looked more like a nursing home.  It’s rare to have this much support during a training run, and I loved it.  Runners are always so friendly cheering each other on throughout the run.  This really pushed me, especially during those last 5 miles.  I am feeling more confident now that I will actually be able to tackle the 26.2 miles on race day.

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I headed back home with one quick stop at Jewel for some cream cheese (to complete today’s whoopie pie filling) and also found a few other treats.  Chocolate milk is what researchers suggest for post race recovery and this is my all time favorite soda.  Since I haven’t been drinking soda this summer, I thought it would be a fabulous treat for after my nap.

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I am heading upstairs for a nap before my real weekend begins.

Let the TAPERING BEGIN!

 

Marathon Count Down: 3 weeks

Weekly Miles: 35

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