Not that my pace will shock and awe any of you (especially if you beat my time by a half hour), but my 20-miler felt about as amazing as a 20-miler can feel. The weather was perfect: not too hot or muggy. There was a decent breeze. And through the first 16 miles, I was killing it. My LSD goal pace is between 9:22 and 10:22, and my pace for 16 was 10:17. The last four miles were challenging, bogging me down to 11:45 pace. However, this was by far the best 20-miler I've ever run. I finished at 3:31:37 (10:35).
Aside from feeling good throughout the run, I also recovered pretty danged fast. I may have been inching along directly following, but after some naproxen, some stretching, a new move, a cold shower and some rest, I was bounding up stairs just a couple hours later.
The new move came from the latest Runner's World, which arrived at my door Friday. Though I've had very little time to read it, one thing caught my eye (which sadly I can't seem to find online yet) about long run recovery. I only skimmed enough to get the gist, which was after your run lie on your back and prop up your legs flat against a wall for 10 minutes to let the fluids drain. I'm not ready to proclaim this the new gospel, but I'll be trying this move again.
This week, you're all expecting some smack talk between Vanilla and I regarding this challenge. Instead, we've decided to run a clean campaign as we approach our respective Aug. 9 races. Sorry, but I will not be making any more references to his lacking intellect. I will not talk about my historically minute edge (as in, two to four of them) over his best times. I won't even mentioned how Vanilla hasn't even toughened up and entered a marathon so that we can actually compare that fourth major distance. So, if it's a snarky back-and-forth you're looking for, well, you're just going to have to go elsewhere.