Tuesday, September 23, 2014

20 miles. DONE!

So, I did it.

20 miles. On the books. All done.

It was a beautiful run; cool, cloudy and breezy mostly. I did the first 16 miles with my husband because we're going to run Chicago together, so you know, train how you intend to race, right? Well, because I was with him I got brave and we took a new trail. It was filled with animals, it was so cool!

In mile 3, we saw a toad, just sitting in the grass, not bothered in the slightest by me getting close to get a pic. (Apparently on the way back it moved onto the trail and I nearly stepped on it, according to my husband! I would have felt awful!)

That ain't no leaf!

In mile 5, a deer! Just standing there, being all deer-like and munching vegetation. I didn't try to get close obviously, since it was huge, but I took pics as we ran by.

Deer butt!

That concluded the unique animal portion of our run, but it was definitely fall; my favourite lake that I post pics of occasionally is framed by bushes turning a beautiful crimson colour now.

So, most of the run was done at - obviously - my husband's pace. It's funny, because this used to be my pace, and he used to do his best to scale it down to run with me. (He whinged a lot, but I have to give him props - when we ran together he stayed with me.) He has been able to train so little this year that our places have switched and now I'm trying to stay back with him; he needs more credit, because it's harder to slow yourself down than I thought. We're doing the runs at about 13 minute miles, with his goal to do the marathon at around a 12 or 12 and a half minute mile.

It's interesting to think about, because his race pace is now slower than my training pace. Training runs with him ... by the next day, I am fully recovered. You'd think with 20 miles I'd feel it the next day, because after my 18, which was my slowest (and hated! because HOT! HUMID! yuck!) was 11:30ish, I felt it. I still felt fine, but I could tell I'd run. Right now as I write this, the day after the 20 miler, I feel...fine.

On the one hand, it makes me wonder if these runs are really preparing me to run a marathon if I'm not doing it with my husband...and on the other, it makes me wonder if Chicago is just going to feel like a long training run instead of a race. He's been encouraging me since the training cycle started to sign up for a second marathon close to Chicago, but I thought he was undestimating the wear and tear it would have on my body. With how I feel right now, and given that I won't be leaving it all on the course for the marathon...I'm beginning to wonder if I should listen.

I'm not ready yet...because I want to be excited about Chicago. But I am definitely thinking...


  1. Good point on if the slower runs are training you to run a marathon on your own. They may not be. You'll have time after Chicago to "shop around" a bit and train some more for a late fall race!

    1. That's actually really worrying me. It doesn't matter for Chicago and to tell the truth I feel rockin confident about that now - I could have easily added 6 more miles on Sunday - but if I then try to do one on my own at my pace, do I still have the training base for it? The Higdon plans say you can't do your LSD runs too slow, but at the same time I have to kind of wonder if I'm pushing that. I love the runs with him, but I really wonder if I should be recovering /this/ fast.

      Any late fall races to recommend? I was kind of eyeing Naperville, I read your recap last year and was ready to write it off but they changed the course this year to be flatter, apparently. It's only a month after a Chicago though, although I know a handful of people doing both.

    2. Well, this was your second LR with your husband, right? I don't think that will be too detrimental to your training, but I do think average 13 pace is too slow for your LR pace.

      Naperville was a really good race. That is the only one I have run in November that I can recommend :) I would wait a few weeks after the marathon to sign up though. If it sells out, that's a sign ;)

    3. Yep! We staggered our 19 so that 14 of it was done at his pace (he ran 5, I joined him for 14, then I ran 5 - that way his mom got an easier intro to babysitting two kids, haha) and then for the 20 we did 16 together, then he pooped out. (In his defense in addition to the stuff I mentioned yesterday, the baby had also had us up from 1am to 4am, so not ideal sleep for a 20, haha)

      Well, it will be interesting to see what lots of long slow miles do for my fitness base! Definitely an adventure.

      Yeah I am not signing up until after Chicago...I don't want to be unrealistic, so it's definitely a wait and see approach. Either way I feel like I've learned a lot this training cycle, although I don't think I will ever do another marathon with my husband again. I enjoy the time running with him, but since it's not a passion for him it's unfortunate. Shorter race together next time!

  2. Wow, congrats on making it through 20 miles! It's awesome that you feel so good afterward! :)

    Slowing your pace down is definitely harder than it seems. I always thought it'd be easy (since everyone slows down to run with me), but when I run with a friend who is getting back to running, we go about 1:00 more slowly/mile, which is definitely challenging for me sometimes. I just want to speed off!

    I think it's definitely a good idea to consider a second marathon this fall, and it's smart to see how you do at Chicago first.

    1. Thank you!!

      It is..and that's embarrassing because I always sort of resented that he made it sound so hard, lol. "Slowing down is easy, it's not like I can speed up!" It's definitely not as easy as I thought it was, so have to give him major credit.

      That's awesome that she has you to run with though!

      Thank you! I think I change my mind about it every day, so it's definitely good to not sign up yet, lol.

  3. Hal Higdon has a "between the marathons" plan for Maniacs like myself. There are definitely some great (smaller) races you can do in November if you have a specific time in mind, but Chicago is SO GREAT for first-timers.

    Taper time! Have fun and don't lose your mind :)

    1. I have been looking forward to tapering actually, I love running but it's nice to know there's a week where I don't have so many hours I have to do!

      And I went and looked that up after you said that. That doesn't look too bad...I'd probably be running about that anyway...so really it's just the race..."just" the race...haha..

      Ack. I dunno. I'd hate to do Chicago and find out I hate and am stuck doing Naperville too though, lol!

  4. Woo Hoo!! That's so awesome! My husband and I used to train together too, but he'd ride his bike while I ran. Kinda nice, he used to carry my water bottles!! You're gonna be awesome come marathon time!!!

    1. Yay, you're back!

      Yeah I've done that with my best friend, we did a 10 mile run a couple weeks back. Sort of nice to have company but I felt bad slowing her down SO much, haha.

  5. Naperville is almost full if you are looking, we might be out to 'volunteer' at our own 'booth' V is too young to officially volunteer

    1. I know, I saw they have less than 100 slots! :( That may make my decision for me, I'm not convinced I want to commit yet...I mean I do...but...what if Chicago is more drainign than I thought?