OK… Today is going to be more of a box score than a couple of stats…
Distance: 20.2 mi.
Number of long runs left until marathon: 0 (that’s ZEEE-roh…)
Number of weeks until marathon: 4
Number of hard training runs left: 1 (Columbia Half Marathon Challenge)
Number of high fat, caffeinated beverages swigged in celebration: 1
Type: Triple Grande 3 pump Cinnamon Dolce Latte (with WHOLE milk… baby!)
Guilt: 0 (that’s ZEEE-roh…)
So many words describe how I feel. Thrilled, shocked, proud, sad (yes, sad), amazed, etc. I think the biggest word, though, is disbelief. I can’t believe I’m here. I can’t believe it’s over (the long training… anyway). I can’t believe I just ran 20 miles at a 9:30 pace. I can’t believe I didn’t walk once (except for a brief emergency at the most beautiful and well placed porta-potty I’ve ever seen). I can’t believe how good I feel. I can’t believe how fun (yes, he said a 20 mile run was “fun”) that was. I can’t believe I want to keep running long distances (maybe not marathons, but close) after this is all done. I can’t believe I almost cried during the run because it hit me how lucky I am. I can’t believe how good that Latte tasted.
I started off today with a goal. I wanted to see how many 9:30 miles I could put in. Now I know the answer… All of them. I am certain that if I had had enough supplies (i.e. water/gels/Perpetuem), I would have easily been able to run the full 26 at this pace. It almost makes me wonder if running a little faster isn’t “easier” than trying to run slow. To me, running this pace was easy. It didn’t hurt, I didn’t feel like I was working hard at all and I was even able to push the last mile and run an 8:50. When I TRY to run 10:30s or 11:00s, it starts to hurt after a while and I stiffen up. Is there such a thing as running too slow? It would be an interesting question I may pose to Coach Joe or Coach Dean…
I think I have the “during the run nutrition” thing dialed in for me. Water and Gels for the first half, then water, Perpetuem and an occasional Gel for the second half. I’m going to have to carry the Perpetuem with me, but that’s cool. I had to get a new fanny pack thingy because mine broke and the new one is MUCH nicer. It’s lighter, cooler and better designed (made by Nathan).
You know, I think I’m ready. I know you can never be prepared for everything. If it’s 10 degrees or 100 degrees or raining or snowing or we get invaded by aliens, whatever. I get that. But mentally, I’m ready. I have confidence. I know my pace. I trust my system will work for me. I’ve put the miles in. I’m not in it to win, I’m in it to start, survive and finish under my own power.
But now… I’m absolutely certain I am going to take a shower because I’m caked in salt and I REALLY stink… more than usual.