I wanted post a training update since last week was a big training week for me! I got in some big swim volume but really the star of the show was my long run. My coach keeps my running volume pretty low in general with only three runs per week, but we’ve been building up the longer run distances, and this past Saturday I had a 20 miles on the schedule. I had been dreading it since I saw it appear many weeks ago, but I tried to not think about it until it got closer. It’s silly because it’s just a training run, and I ran 18 the week before, but I had knots in my stomach all day Friday worried if I could finish it and if I did, how miserable it might be (I know, way to be positive). The last time I ran 20 miles outside of a race was my biggest training block for Ironman Louisville back in 2014 (and before that was in 2007 for Chicago Marathon training), and it was miserable. However it was also in August so it was HOT and I had ridden 100 miles the day before…so… not at all the same scenario. I have also been having some nagging knee issues/slight random pain in my left knee, so that was also making me anxious if that would be the limiter. Friday night I laid out all of my clothes/gear and got my nutrition ready so all I would have to do was get dressed and go. No thinking, just go. The weather was looking great, the temps starting in the 30’s and probably in mid 40’s by the time I was finished, sunny and little wind.
Saturday morning I randomly woke up at 4:30a hungry, so I decided to do my pre-race meal (last week during my 18 mile run I opted to sleep in and just eat a banana), so I ate my toast with almond butter, went back to bed for an hour or so, then was up, got dressed, had my whey protein shake and Osmo pre-load and headed to the Forest Park to run. When I got there, I had my Honeystinger chews, got my Clif bloks/gel/key fob/iPod and Nuun active powder all stuffed in various places and was ready to go. I was glad I wore shorts this week which had bigger pockets than my running tights, as last week I ended up having to stuff things in my sport bra which was really annoying.
Off I went, running around a 9:40 pace for the first mile, and had already decided before I started to not worry about the pace, just GET IN THE MILES. So, that was the goal. No pressure. I was also running the same route I did last week, but doing a few extra out and backs to add in the additional 2 miles, so knowing where exactly I would be running also helped with the ‘no pressure’ theme. The miles ticked by and I settled into a 9ish pace which surprisingly felt good. I took 3 Clif blocks at mile 6, and at mile 10 I was back at my car to drop off my gloves, hit the bathrooms and refill my water bottle. Then I headed back out knowing I was more than halfway done, which was a little bit of a relief. I took 3 Clif blocks again at mile 11, my stomach got a little angry this time but fortunately it calmed down. I think I was getting anxious to get the run done because soon my splits were sub 9’s, and I was still feeling good, but a little faster than I had planned on, but I was just going to go with it.
Around mile 15 I started to get tired and really had to focus on my form and cadence. I took a Huma gel at mile 16 and then at mile 16.5 I was like ‘Hey! Only 3.5 miles left, I can do this!’ and felt like I had a little more energy. I was shocked as I hit the stop button at mile 20 feeling like…I could have kept going. I definitely wasn’t going to keep going and I was very happy to stop, but some long runs have felt like ‘dear god these last two miles are killing me’…even up to the last .1 I’ve had my face all scrunched in pain. My knee felt a little funky during the beginning miles, but after that either I stopped noticing or it went away, and around mile 18 my right foot started to cramp, but that was it. I am sure this was mostly due to the fact that I was running on fresh legs AND the weather was amazing, but I also think I’ve got my nutrition dialed in better than I have in past training cycles which helped too. I am so happy that everything came together as it made for an amazing and uneventful long 20 mile run at a sub 9 pace!
On Sunday I went to Hot Yoga and then did an easy-ish hour on the trainer, but that was it. This week is a RECOVERY WEEK! I am pretty pumped and will be soaking it up as after this week I will be back to hitting the training pretty hard, including longer trainer rides which I’m slightly dreading….unless we get some magically warm weather and I can get them done outside, but I won’t keep my hopes up.
Happy Monday :), I’m having a nice relaxing one over here! 🙂