Monday, August 16, 2010

Trail Run - 8/15/10 20 miles 04:35:51

Well there it is, the big 2-0.  It doesn't get any bigger than that until marathon day.  We have two more 20 milers scheduled and I'll miss one since it's the Sunday of the Philly half marathon.  Oh darn.

I didn't have high hopes for this run (and I wasn't disappointed).  We'd been on vacation the week before and had only gotten in one 3 mile run which didn't go particularly well since we were extremely hot and not very well hydrated.  My right thigh was bothering me for most of the week though when we sprinted through the Houston airport Thursday night to make a flight that was delayed anyway I didn't notice any pain. 

We were doing what they call the Bethesda loop, starting at Capital Crescent and heading down to Georgetown before heading back up through the zoo and Beach Drive to the stables in Silver Spring then back to Bethesda.  The trip down to Georgetown was uneventful, I felt mentally tired but physically fine.  It helps that the trip out is all downhill for the first five miles.  (Bo ran out with us for the first 5ish before turning around making for his longest run ever, he rules.)  After a stop at Thompson's Boat House in Georgetown I just never really got back on track and after mile 12 or so I really started dragging.  At mile 12.3ish we were greeted by a member of the 11 minute pace group who, while rehabbing an injury, decided to support us by setting up a table with pretzels, jelly beans, ice, water and popsicles.  That was AWESOME.  We stopped for quite a few minutes to munch and recoup before continuing.

Every step from mile 10 on was steadily, slowly, up hill.  Some steep hills but mostly just a gradual climb to the end.  And it started pouring rain around mile 14 or so and while I don't mind getting wet I really hate having water in my shoes.  The little blisters and hot spots were made much worse by the sloshing and I really started struggling with about 5 miles left.  My chest hurt (nothing serious, just some costochondritis flares) making it tough to get a deep breath so I kept having to stop just to breathe in.  We stopped at the stables for another break and I got a bit of a second wind but it didn't last too long.  I wanted to make the last two miles a steady run but it didn't happen, I did have some energy left but the chest pain was just too much to struggle through consistently.  I took three walk breaks during the last two miles but finished feeling okay.  My Garmin read 20.06 miles but a lot of other people said they showed 20.76 for the same route (including the mile 18 "shortcut" up some of the most ridiculous hills I have ever seen). 

The group leaders said this is the toughest run in the program, tougher than the marathon even.  I didn't have a good run but all things considered an average pace of 12:51 for 20 some miles isn't too shabby.  I feel okay today, a little sore but not as bad as I would have thought (though sore enough to have ordered The Stick from runningwarehouse).  I guess if I can do this I really can finish this marathon.  I just wish it would hurry up and get here, I can't believe it's still two months away!

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