Swim: 0 m/112,725 m
Bike: 0/1,441.3 miles
Run: 26/731.6 miles
Yesterday I finished my first 20-mile run of this training cycle. As I’ve mentioned before, I have an unlucky history with the 20-mile training run (before yesterday, I’d only crossed the 20-mile barrier three times, and two of those were during a race). These long runs have always marked the onset of the injuries that effectively ended my two previous marathon seasons – shin splints and ITBS.
I was nervous this week as my long run approached. In fact, I’ve been nervous about the 20-mile distance ever since I started contemplating training for a marathon again. It’s not that I was worried about covering the distance (after all, like I said in my last post, I’m having a lot of fun with the long-distance runs these days), but I was certainly concerned about what injury would befall me during those 20 miles. In fact, I almost waited to sign up for Shamrock until my first 20 was in the books, but I later decided that I wanted to go ahead and make the race “official.”
Yesterday’s run went well. I covered 20.01 miles in 2 hours and 34 minutes, for an overall 7:43 pace. I started out very slow as my body loosened up and picked it up a little when things started to feel more limber. My last 4 miles were the fastest, still only at a 7:33 pace. The whole run was very relaxed and easy. The best part was that I had no pains or discomfort, either during the run or for the rest of the day afterward.
But I’m not out of the woods yet. When I suffered from those injuries in previous seasons, they didn’t pop up during or immediately after the long run. They usually showed up in a shorter training session days after the long run. So the lesson for me is to take my recovery as seriously as the running. That doesn’t mean I need to wrap myself up in bubble wrap this weekend. I need to keep moving – spend some time on the trainer or even get out for a short, very easy run – and keep stretching.
As good as it feels to have completed one successful 20-miler, there are four more to go before race day. The goal is to make each better than the last.
I hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas!