Surviving 20 – The Aftermath

It’s the day after.  The day after 20 miles.  First let me start by saying: I DID IT!  Okay, now that that’s out of the way my journey:

I got up at 5 am to start prepping to go for the run.  Made some toast with peanut butter – needed time to digest, filled my Camelbak with water, and bottles with electrolytes, and got dressed.  Well, with 20 miles there was a lot more to getting dressed.  During the week, for 30 minute runs, I’m up at 5 and out the door by 5:45 for the run, which includes getting dressed, a little bite of something, walking the dogs and feeding them.  Yesterday, I had to consider sunblock – It was going to be sunny and I could be out there 5-6 hours depending on how it went, Body Glide, knee brace, sweat bands, just to name a few things.  Another issue:  it was only 55 degrees when I started, and I had been getting cramps in my calves which I’ve always had when it’s cold.  Had to switch out my sparkle skirt with pockets (if you are female and do not know what these are, they are only the best running bottom ever with plenty of storage and super comfy, no chafing and cute!  sparkleskirts.com) for my capri tights.  Next up, stretching and a little warming up of the legs.  And finally, the dogs.

By the time I got going it was 6:30.  I started off with my legs feeling heavy.  I decided to follow the plan I had mapped out the night before which kept me somewhat close to home.  Go out 6 and back and then the other way 4 and back.  I felt nervous and kept thinking about the 20 when I realized I needed to stop and just go and not worry about it.  Listen to the music.  Feel the beat.  Run to it.  Or walk to it.  Or dance to it.  As long as I was moving forward.  Once that started and I popped out of my neighborhood, through the wetlands and landed on the beach a town over, the world seemed so bright.  There wasn’t a cloud in the sky.  Bright blue water.  Mile 4, let’s try that Vanilla Honey Stinger Waffle.  It was ok, but I’ll stick with the Clif Shot Vanilla if I want the vanilla taste.  Strawberry is still my number one flavor if I do the waffle thing.  Running down the coast….on the bike path with curves.  I pass a lot of runDisney folks out for their runs in various race shirts and a “Fairy Fast” tank (assuming she ran Tinkerbell).  A bunch of little kids (high school?  middle school?) zoom past me.  That’s fine….My race, my pace.  The turns on the path let me see sand, water, hills, surfers….it’s all good.  I get to mile six and decide that I like this path, so change of plans, I’ll stay here until 10.  I wonder how far up that is…..

Mile 8, still running my intervals, feeling good.  An Untapped Maple Syrup packet.  Goes down easy.  More view.  Past the trailer park as I watch the families playing on the beach.  Up a small hill, so now I’m above the beach, nice view.  Even though I drive the road above every Sunday, I don’t really get to look and appreciate the surroundings.  I also pass a large sign for the street where I watch football every Sunday.  I know if I have an emergency, I can walk up there and ask for help.  Mile 9….A lady pops out onto the path – she wants to know if training that this time of day is different than earlier because it’s hotter (maybe it was near 9:00 but I’m not sure), so I tell her yes, that time of day does matter because of heat and other factors your body is used to.  She tells me she’s doing her first “marathon” next week – not sure if it’s really a marathon, or just a race (a lot of people use the term interchangeably because they don’t know their Greek history), but now she’s running in her long skirt and sandals up the path.  I’m not sure what’s happening with that.   Mile 10.  I pause my Garmin and take a few pictures of my view.  The halfway point.  Feeling good.  A few breathing issues, so I use my inhaler and all is well to start back up.

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Mile 12 – Clif Shot Vanilla.  Thicker.  Glad I have the Camelbak.  But I’m noticing the thickness that never bothered me before.  I think I’m getting used to the Untapped fuel.  The bike path is getting more crowded as people wake up on the way back.  I realize this was the right choice because it’s wider, a lot of runners are using it, and while there are a lot of bikers, there are not nearly as many as if I had headed north.  I’m also not dodging dogs or people on cell phones not paying attention and wandering aimlessly.

Mile 13.1….a flock of seagulls.  Not the group – while I love 80s music, they are not part of my running playlist.  Where’s my medal?  Where’s my banana?  Oh, wait, that’s next week….. Two hours and forty-six minutes.  A little slower than my race pace, but not that much slower.  And during races, I usually stop in the bathroom once in the beginning when I can which adds time too.  So slower….Still doing my intervals.  Yes, I’ve stopped a little longer to fuel but for the most part I’m still going.

Mile 16, I’m crossing back over through the wetlands, and using another Untapped fuel packet.  The water in my Camelbak is warm from the sun on my back.  That’s ok.  It still hydrates.  And I’m still running.  That’s more than I did three weeks ago.  Just before mile 17, I get a stitch in my side.  So I walk.  And I realize I’m having some breathing issues.  I am not sure I want to use the inhaler since I’m walking now.  Going to ask the doctor about that tomorrow.  The stitch passes and I try to start up intervals again around mile 18.  Thirty seconds in, I get the hiccups.  Really????  And they are the kind that hurt.  So I drink water and walk.  I decide to walk until just before mile 20, and then I’ll run to the finish.  I come around back to home and realize I’m half a mile short.  What????  How did that happen?  I may have missed a turn, but I didn’t think so.  So I walk past my turn home and down the beach.  But I’m tired.  I do the math wrong and end up short by 0.2 miles.  That’s ok.  Just run the last half block.  But I can’t.  Didn’t have it in me.  But, either way.  I finished.

Home at last, reporting in to my Firsties group to let them know I am done – we all report in to be accountable so no one slacks on their training.  It’s supportive.  I realize my pace was under a 13 and half minute mile, which is AWESOME for me.  I’m so happy.  Under four and half hours.  I feel ok.  Exhausted, but ok.  I start drinking a protein drink and jump into the shower.  Ouch!  Stupid capris, chafed.  UGH. Glide didn’t help.  I swear I will never cheat on my Sparkle Skirts again (which means I can never move to a cold climate or run in one!).  I leave and drive up to the facility where Harry works – his new one with state of the art sports performance equipment.  Cryotherapy session scheduled.  Second time with this and it’s so much colder than the first time.  I feel like I have a sheet of ice on my legs.  But after it’s over I can move.  Until I defrost.  Then I’m sore again.  Some food, relaxation, Advil, dinner and to bed.

I wake up this morning feeling ok…a little sore, but definitely not 20 miles worth.  Only nine weeks to go.  I’ve got this!

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