[141] 20

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!

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2 Responses to [141] 20

  1. Great job on the first 20 of this training cycle! That must be nice to have one under your belt so early in training so you don’t have to be nervous about it in the later weeks.

  2. David H. says:

    Awesome job knocking out the first one! I can’t believe Shamrock is actually so close already.

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