Well, it's on my mind so I may as well blog about it. Sunday's 20-mile run is looming large this weekend.
I'm actually looking forward to it. I really am. It's not often you get to run the longest run of your life. In fact, I'll have this run, then the 22-mile run on Jan. 17, and then the Marathon itself, as longest runs ever. I am not sure if I will ever run an ultramarathon, which is essentially any race longer than 26.2 miles, but that would be the only other run that would qualify as the longest run ever.
Basically I have three of these left. And I need to make them all count.
Some random thoughts about the 20-miler...
* I'd been feeling some lingering discomfort ever since the Cedar River Run. My right hamstring was tight and it was threatening to give me fits. I felt it pretty good last week and I'd say over the weekend it seemed it was at its worst, and "its worst" wasn't that bad. I just felt it and it felt tight and I was worried that it could lead to something worse.
My pace leader, though, said that it takes the body one day per each mile of a really long run to recover from nicks and bruises and minor issues; really long runs, like 18-plus. Still, I wasn't quite sure about this. I'd read that before but I'd assumed it only really worked with total rest. I wondered about all the other runs I'd done since, which included three 10-milers, a 15K race and Sunday's 12-miler. Those would have seemed to have slowed any sort of recovery process.
But today, my hamstring felt different. It feels like it is healing, as weird as that sounds. It feels as if the worst is behind. Now, I won't be able to confirm that until I go running again (I have a soccer game to officiate on Tuesday, joy). Wednesday will be my next day of actual running, so we'll see how it holds up to both Tuesday's game and Wednesday's run. But I feel better about it today than I did on Saturday and Sunday.
* A playlist for my 20-miler, RG was wondering. Well, since it's a Loper run, I won't actually take my iPod. I don't take it out to the Lopers. I've only taken it once, during an 11-miler, and I felt like I was betraying my group members. I spend the time talking, trying to talk anyway.
* How long will it take us to run the 20 miles? If we stick to 11-minutes-per-mile, 20 miles would take us 3 hours 40 minutes. Wow. That's 3 hours 40 minutes of running, with some walk breaks thrown in the midst as well, but still, most of the time will be running. That's a lot of pounding for my feet. I can't really wrap my head around that to be honest. I hope it doesn't take us that long but I may as well get used to it. I won't get anywhere near 3:40 come Surf City.
* My plan is take four Gu packets and use them at miles 5, 10, 15 and then keep the other just in case. There are water stations along our route so there will be other things like pretzels and maybe candy as well, M&Ms or other chocolates if we're lucky. Also water and Gatorade, in addition to my own fuel belt. I should be set when it comes to that.
* My blog buddy Christy also has a 20-mile run scheduled for Sunday. How awesome is that? She'll be running 20 miles somewhere in Florida while I'll be running it here in Southern California. Now that's blogger solidarity for you.