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20 turned into 16.5

This weekend I really wanted to get in a 20 miler in preparation for the LA marathon which is two weeks away. I had been pumping myself up all week because I hadn’t had a great long run in a long time. I always started feeling really tired and sluggish around mile 8 on my recent training runs, which is a problem when you are running 26.2 miles. I at least wanted to feel strong. I took a resting week of miles in preparation so I wouldn’t be tired. Finally Saturday came and rain was the in forecast. I knew if I didn’t get up early I would have to start my run in the rain which would not work well for me mentally. The hourly forecast said it was going to start raining most likely around 9 am. I knew if I got up early it would be just towards the end of my run and I would rather run 3 miles in the rain than 20.

I got up at 5:30 on Saturday morning, ate an Oh Yeah! Bar and got my stuff ready. I was going to try to eat sharkies on this run. I tried them  at the Surf City Half, and really wanted to see if they would work for me. We all know I have ‘fueling’ problems :) and they worked during Surf City so I thought I would try them out on a longer run. I packed everything up and took off. I was feeling great once mile four started and I totally fell into the ‘zone.’ That can be my biggest problem, I never get into the mode where I can just keep going and it’s constantly a battle if I don’t get into the ‘zone’. I can find the zone a lot easier on the shorter runs I do, but long runs sometimes I am too all over the place and can’t relax. I actually thought about a post that I wanted to do while running called the anatomy of a long run and where my mind is during the different miles, so look for that a little later this week.

I started off with my handheld (which I will discuss soon!) and my double iFitness belt (another review coming you way, but you can see my previous review of it here), which held my iPhone in a plastic bag in case of rain, my 2 bags of sharkies and I had my garmin and iPod loaded up. The beginning was fine, I just started off and went my planned route. I had a small hill in the beginning but was feeling good. Mile 4, hit the zone no problem and was in the zone for about 4 miles. I ran through a lot of residential areas and did an out and back because I knew if I was doing loops by my house I would be tempted to stop. At mile 10 I turned around and took a little bathroom stop at mile 12. From mile 12 to 16 I started to feel really strong, but it started to sprinkle just a little bit. The entire time during my run I could look into the horizon and saw the big gray clouds up ahead of me. It was crazy how I literally felt like I was running into the storm.

The air around me was changing and I could feel the temperature dropping. I saw leaves starting to swirl in the wind and I knew the storm was quickly approaching. I have never been in weather like that before that changed so drastically so quickly. I powered up a final hill and I knew that I was feeling great and could have finished the 20 miler if it didn’t start dumping down water. All of a sudden I was running under a tree and by the time I was about to leave the cover of the branches it was POURING, and mind you this tree was not huge. I would call it ‘flash flood’ pouring. It was crazy how much water came down so quickly and accumulated everywhere. I looked around while I was under the tree and realized it would be in my best interest to call DJ and have her come get me.

Being the good roomie that she is, she came right over and picked me up on the corner. If I wasn’t feeling as good as I was, I would have not cut it short, but I also was worried about the safety of Claude the Garmin and my iPod. It was funny too because when I pulled out my phone to call her, she texted me about 2 minutes earlier, OMG! Stay Alive!! Which I realized was right when it started the downpour at our house and it took it two minutes to get to where I was, four miles away. Anyways, for the safety of electronics and my health I called it short. Last thing I need is for those to crap out right before LA. Since I felt confident in my efforts I called her. I’m a little bummed that I didn’t get in the full 20 miler, but I feel great about my training and miles. By the end of my run the only thing that was really sore were the bottoms of my feet. I think they are a still getting used to the Kswizzles, but I am happy to report that there was no blood, and only one bathroom stop. The sharkies are delicious and I am confident in taking them with me to LA. They are so good I want to pack them in my lunch!

So, it wasn’t a full 20 miler, but I am glad that I got in the miles and felt so good doing them. I was able to fall back into the zone from miles 12-16, but the sudden downpour, which, as me and DJ discussed later, happened at precisely 9 am on the nose, was a little bit too crazy for me. I’m glad I have my health, my iPod and Garmin are fully functioning and I was just missing my confidence, which was what that run made me gain back. What’s done is done, now it’s taper and race time!

Yesterday I ran a bunch of errands and then went to the gym and swam 1000 meters. I swam the last 8 laps really hard and really pushed myself and focused on my arms. I feel great today so I’m glad to know that I am still in good shape. :)


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