After a tough couple of weeks and attempts at running 20 miles, I finally broke the barrier. What a relief! Mentally and physically I think I can now conquer NYC. I still want to get one more 20+ run in but knowing that 20 miles is behind me is giving me the confidence I need to getter dun’ (that’s what we say in Florida).
Saturday morning was finally a bit cooler than it has been so I was able to “sleep in.” My alarm went off at 4:00am and I started my prerun ritual of getting dressed, taping up my feet, picking out gels that won’t make me gag all while eating a Snickers. I was out of the door by 5 starting my first loop of three. Because of the cooler temperature I was able to keep a steady 11:15 min/mi pace without struggling, which was nice for a change. The first 8 miles went by fairly quickly. After a quick water stop I went out for the second loop. This was supposed to be another 8 miles but my insides decided otherwise. The amount of caffeine I have ingested decided it was time for an unscheduled pit stop. So the second loop was cut short. After that last break it was time to finish up the last 8 miles. By this time the sun was starting to come up and heat up the world like it always does. Conveniently my watch was dying as well. I knew this last leg was going to be tough mentally. To break up the monotony the last loop was around the neighborhood and down the road to another that I rarely go into. A bit hilly it provided a good challenge for my tired legs. I cranked up my music (which you really shouldn’t do!) and finished up around the lake with my watch dying before the last mile was done. At least I knew how far I needed to go to get to 20.
20 miles done in….wait for it….3:50! Under 4 hours. I am still in disbelief. Amazing was a little bit of rest and a dip in the temperature can make.
It’s Monday now and I’m still sore and the bottoms of my feet are on fire but I feel good! This week will be just maintaining and eating well. I can now say the NYC Marathon is next month. Am I ready? Maybe. Am I excited? Heck yeah! We are almost at the finish line, but it is easier said than run.