Yesterday was my first 20-miler of this training (I will do two more 20's before race day). A group of Sole Sisters met at 8am for our weekly long run. We all run different paces and distances, but it is so nice to be able to start together. Schedules and weather have been crazy the past few months, and I feel like I haven't been able to see the Sisters as much as I'd like to. Thus it was a blessing to see so many smiling faces on a sunny Saturday morning.
I planned a big "lollipop" route for my 20 miles - starting in East Peoria, heading out the River Trail of Illinois, making a big loop around Morton and back. I really like the diversity of this route. I find the mixture of trail scenery and city neighborhoods break the long run up into three 7mile segments. The first three miles are a long gradual uphill and then the rest of the miles are pretty flat - with a long decline at the end (which feels fantastic by that point!).
The first 4-5 miles went by so quickly since I was busy catching up with Karyn and Heather. By mile 8, it was down to Patty, Barb and myself. Each of us are training for a different spring marathon, but make great training partners since we run relatively the same pace. I can't even express how great it is to have someone to train with for this marathon. Thinking back to last summer, I can't believe I did all those long runs by myself. What was I thinking?
The homestretch - 3 miles to go and looking strong!
20 miles was the longest run ever for both Barb and Patty!
It's really fun to have friends that understand the desire to
CHUG CHOCOLATE MILK after 20 miles!
20.2 miles in 3:36 (10:41 pace)
The entire run felt really really good on my body. I went through two water bottles of nuun and two packets of blueberry GU Chomps. I actually had a third GU on me, but didn't feel the need for it. That's how great the run felt! Several weeks ago, I ran an 18.6 miler along the same route and was also surprised then at how good I felt. Again, it's hard not to compare to my previous 26.2 training... the 18-20 mile runs were difficult for me and very hard on my body. I am so pleasantly surprised this time around!
Is it because I'm 20 lbs lighter?
Is it because I have training partners?
Is it seasonal - winter/spring training rather than the busy summertime?
Perhaps I'm just a stronger runner than eight months ago?
Whatever it is, I'm very happy (and painfree) training for this marathon! Woop!
The dreaded morning-after came and my legs still felt good. It was a beautiful Sunday morning, so I headed out for a recovery run. The kids were wound up and a little stir-crazy, so I took them out on their bikes with me. Little Girl only lasted about a 1/2 mile, but Big Girl rode 3.5 miles with me! She needed a little help on the hills, but otherwise did great. I ended up with 5.1 miles at a 10:10 pace. The recovery run capped off my week with 39 total miles.
Big Girl and I during our bike/run together
Pictures like this make me sad how BIG she's getting!
How was your runs/race this weekend?