This weekend's 20-miler turned the tables on me. After feeling great two weeks ago and running a fine race last week, Sunday's 20 miles chose to teach me a thing or two about a thing or two.
The first 10 miles I ran at a comfortable 10:06 pace, despite some stomach issues (rumble gut) that forced me to stop at Mile 3. My diet the day before didn't do me wonders.
The second 10 miles were a different story. A lack of proper fuel and hydration caught up to me and forced me to walk long stretches of the last four miles. I required another bathroom stop. And despite my well-nippled new water bottle, I couldn't seem to shake the cottonmouth. Oh, and the cool morning had become 80-some degrees by midday.
My mind was playing tricks on me and telling me to give up. But I managed to regroup for the last two miles. However, my total pace for the run skyrocketed to 10:57 per mile after mostly sub-10s for first half. No matter how you do the math, that equals Brutal.
That two-weeks ago post, "Killing It," gave some indication that I drank some funny Kool-Aid from Runner's World about sticking your legs up on a wall to recover from a long run. I said I wasn't ready to declare the technique gospel. Well, I am now. (And I finally found the link too.)
My legs are hardly sore today. Though, to be honest, I also took some naproxen immediately after my run (mostly to stave off some recent ankle tenderness) and then had a nice, long walk that evening. However, my new friend Legs Up made me feel refreshed a lot sooner after the run than in previous non-Legs Upped long runs.
Less than a month ago, I was bemoaning my failures and wondering if I'd make my goal of 1,000 miles this year. Three weeks later, I'm four miles shy of 600 and my failure margin has decreased to 36.6 miles (about half of what it was on July 29). As I'd hoped, my mileage peakage has significantly closed the gap. According to my shoddy math skills, I'll need to average 22.4 miles per week from here on out. I might just achieve one of those of goals after all.