Well, Sunday was the test of that belief. 20 miles on the schedule... that will test anyone's mettle.
If that run was a test, then I passed. With a solid A, if not an A-plus.
20.06 miles in 3:15:56 for an overall pace of 9:46.
It was an unbelievable run. It really was. I felt so strong throughout the run. I never felt that familiar muscle-tightening, cramp-inducing, brain-killing ache that just seems to drape over you during these really long runs. It was more like I had a bounce in my step throughout and no matter what distance I was at, I felt strong. I felt great at Mile 5, felt superb at Mile 10, felt splendid at Mile 15 and felt ridiculously strong at Mile 18.
I wound up running most of the run with one other runner (within a group of six). Two of the guys took off ahead at about Mile 13, and about Mile 18 my running partner and I took off. She felt strong, so did I and we went for it. Mile 19 we ran in 9:16 - our fastest mile since Mile 19 - and Mile 20 was our fastest mile at 8:15. I wasn't gassed at the finish either. It was encouraging knowing that I could have run more and been fine. My legs really responded in a big way and I never felt mentally out of it. I didn't look at my phone much to see what distance I was at, although I knew from the course, but I was always surprised when I looked at the distance because it just didn't feel like we'd run that far already, whether it was at 4.7 miles, 10.03, 13.27 or 16.24.
The best part about the run though was helping my fellow runners get to 20. My running partner felt a twinge in her leg at about Mile 12 but she powered through it, took a Motrin at one of the water stops and didn't complain about it afterward. Two first-timers were the ones who took off ahead and came in about three minutes before us and another first-timer came in about a minute after. Seeing them finish, congratulating them after such a memorable run and being a part of it all is really special.
And I couldn't have done it had I not worked so hard in order to put myself in this position.
That declaration that I so boldly made on Thursday... I think I backed it up today.
I truly am in the best shape of my life.
|All smiles once I got home.|