Today I was NOT looking forward to running 20 miles because running 20 miles is hard and it hurts and I’m not built for that sort of thing and I just didn’t want to do it but it was in THE PLAN so do it I did. I wanted to make this 20 miles a mirror of my marathon to see how I would do. Would I make it? Would it hurt? Would I have to test my will? Would the Cytomax make me puke? Would I want to cut my head off and curse the day I ever decided to train for a marathon? Yes, yes, yes, no and yes.
I decided, in my infinite wisdom that the best thing to do would be to run around for a couple of miles and then tackle a huge hill because that’s what happens on the SF course. Here are the elevation maps of my run today(on top) and of the marathon course (on bottom)
Note – The huge hill is that first dramatic bump at about 7 miles – the long climb is pretty gradual and it is only the camel humps that really seem like hills.
I think the scale on those 2 images is comparable and I think it is fair to say that I worked maybe a little harder on this run than I will have to work on the marathon and that’s a good thing. It’s a good thing because my total time (including a couple of fairly luxurious bathroom breaks complete with running water and paper towels) was 4:06.35 and there is no way I could have covered the last 5.2 miles (turns out I ran 21.06) in less that 54 minutes. I was too pooped and my feet were throbbing and it was hot. I did not do the run 5 miles, walk 2 minutes thing and I wish I had. I think that’s a really good methodology and when I did that last time my average pace was 20 second/mile faster.
At the end of the run I was totally discouraged and hating myself for ever signing up for this thing. My feet were killing me and I felt worse than poop on toast. I could barely choke down a string cheese when I got back and I was deeply disappointed in my time. I seriously considered just giving it up and not running the marathon – why bother? Fortunately, a shower and a little rest later I felt okay and decided that if I don’t make a sub 5 hour marathon it isn’t the end of the world. If don’t PR you may never hear from me again but that gives me another 16 minutes to work with so let’s all keep our fingers crossed, shall we?
Parrot predictor calls for 4:55, McMillan calls for 5:11.
Lessons learned –
1). No need to kill yourself
2). Having water bottles along the trail is good (I hid them from view so they were there when I needed them)
3). Cytomax sports drink is manageable as long as the quantity is low
4). Cytomax gel rocks
5). The hotter it gets, the harder it is to run
6). The run/walk thing has some advantages