Sunday, May 22, 2011

Twenty is a 10k

Note: Do NOT neglect to apply sunscreen if you plan to run for five hours in the sun.
Phew! Yesterday I completed the longest training run on my plan. Twenty miles. TWENTY miles. 2-0. Yes. I did it. 20. The kind of sad part is that my garmin battery died just before the 18 mile mark, ah well. I still lived without it giving me constant feedback about my progress, pace, time, heart rate. Really? I look at all that stuff while I'm running? Isn't that a little obsessive? Yes. And I love it.

As I started out, I had the same overwhelming sense of What have I gotten myself into?! but I just kept putting one foot in front of the other and before I knew it, I was running past the high school. I had planned out my route (with about 400 turns) and meticulously wrote the turns and at what turns I'd stop for water, or a water and Honey Stinger combo. Luckily I studied it obsessively, because when I got home it was right where I left it. Folded lovingly on the counter. I only had to call J once when I was over the half-way point and had mapped in some tricky squiggly turns to get enough mileage in at that end of town so that I didn't miss any turns and all was well.

Instead of my normal fuel belt, I had J's fanny-pack style camelbak, which held 50oz, and had a pouch big enough to put in my iPhone, chews and a five dollar bill in case that wasn't enough water. Fifty ounces is a lot of water right? Well, I re-filled that with just over 6 miles left and drank it all. That's 100 ounces of agua bliss. When I filled it at home, I took the advice of my running sages SBS and Dimity and added a couple tablets of Nuun (which I love!). I am really looking forward to race day when the water and fuel will be provided for me, because I had to fiddle with the straps quite a bit.

But how did the actual run go, you ask? It was actually really good. I decided that I was no longer going to beat myself up for the times that I walk. At the point of twenty miles, I don't care how I cover that distance, just that I cover it.

As I got about 8 miles in, I had a surge of energy and felt great until about eleven miles. Then I realized I hadn't even run a half-marathon yet, ugh. Pushing negative thoughts aside, I tried to take in all the blossoms on the tree-lined streets, the beautiful houses that were for sale which I might someday afford and then I took another long draw on my camelbak straw and came back with air. Oopsie. Luckily, my son's school was just up the road, so I detoured to the playground and re-filled in drinking fountain, rinsed out my mouth and splashed water on my face. It felt fantastic. At this point in the run, I pitied anyone who had to walk past me and catch a whiff of my stench-tastic self, because I am one salty, sweaty beast!

The last 5 miles had me back out in familiar territory on the rural roads behind my house and before I knew it I was on the home stretch. Except for a little twinge in my hip, I felt pretty good. Ready to be done, but good. I chowed a banana and a cold glass of chocolate milk before making a cup of tea and prepping my ice bath. Bathed and showered, I felt like a new woman. My arms had a bit of sun, which progressively turned into lobster claws by bed-time. That's right, for the first time, I was able to wear a short-sleeved shirt on my run and I completely neglected sunscreen! I am the sunscreen queen, so I'm not sure how this happened. Lesson learned, and it's fine now, so all's well that ends well.

Sunday morning I treated myself to a massage, and scheduled another for the week I get home from Newport. Now, if I can just shake this chest cold, I feel pretty golden!

I thought I'd never run another, but I'm already thinking of strategies for my next training (after all of my kids are in school, so we're talking next decade) and found an awesome goal: I will beat Freddie Prinze Jr's time of 5:50:49...yes, 5:50:49 in the Los Angeles Marathon in 2006. I would really like to beat Mrs. Cruise nee Miss Katie Holmes' time of 5:29:58, but first it'll be Mr. Prinze Jr. When I first thought of celebrities who'd run a marathon, I wanted to beat Oprah's time; alas, it was Skinny Oprah with a trainer, so I'll never touch her time of 4:29:20 at the Marine Corps Marathon in '94. Want to see which celebrity time you'd like to crush? Go to Celebrity Marathon Times and be prepared to be a little surprised...looks can be deceiving! Which brings me back to the thought I've had all along: Marathons are ridiculously hard!


  1. AWESOME, SARA! I'm so so so proud of you. It has been fun and inspiring hearing about your training from Day 1. Now you are in the taper phase, right? Trust the taper, enjoy it, rest well, eat well and hydrate. You are physically and mentally ready. And it doesn't matter how fast or slow you go. 26.2 is a major accomplishment at any speed, and it's one that most people will never do. Ah, getting emotional thinking about your journey...I'm going to check out that Celebrity Marathon Times site now!

  2. Thanks Maggie! It does feel really weird to have 10 miles as my long run this weekend...and to trust that I'll REALLY be ready.

  3. You are AMAZING! I can't wait to hear all about and see PICTURES!!

  4. I can't believe you skipped over Mario López, right in between Prinze Jr. and Cruise :)

    I am so proud of you. I forgot to tell you that when I was in Newport last week with my students I was thinking of you because they had their marathon signs up! Getting closer!!!

  5. You're amazing! Truly and inspiration!! I'm headed out for a big ole 2 miles today b/c that is about all my hip can tolerate, the 1/2 6/25 will be walked for the most part as I should be at mile 9 in pitty for walking my friend, 20 miles is 20 miles no matter how you get there! Keep on going so long as your body lets you, it's the best reward in the world no matter how long or short those runs are, you did it and that's all that matters!