The whole week my mind was going crazy just thinking about how far that run was going to be. It's a scary feeling and an anxious feeling, and definitely an excited feeling. I knew the moment I completed the 20 miler I would feel like a million bucks. I knew I would also feel a huge weight lifted off because I would have just run 20 miles and I can check that off my to-do list.
Last Saturday was our last long run. We have officially entered taper season and I am more than happy. All of our hard work in climbing the miles has paid off and I can officially run 20 miles (which is marathon life means you are ready for 26.2). I will say, however, that mile 19 was probably not considered running but I finished so that's all that matters. :)
So, let's talk about the run- pre-game, game, and post-game.
I've found that the best meal the night before the race is pasta, go figure. I loaded up on Olive Garden for my half marathon, which was my best run to date, but last Friday was Fazolis. Basically, I choose a meal with minimal protein at dinner time and not a lot of spices/flavor and accompany my dinner with a lot of water. By Thursday of each week, I start to make sure I'm very hydrated and I try to be more mindful of fuel.
On Friday I went to Fleet Feet to pick up my fuel, because I knew I would need a little more than I've used in the past and I wanted to make sure I was stocked up. I planned to take fuel 3 times during my run, the first time at mile 6, then 11, then again at 16. Mile 6, I planned my Gu (strawberry banana flavored), Mile 11 was my strawberry honey stinger waffle, and 16 was just a few sport beans.
Our meet up for last Saturday was at Lipscomb and we were scheduled to start at 6:45. Lipscomb is my favorite running route of all! We started off near the baseball fields and ran down Belmont, through Music Row, down Demonbreun, around Titan Stadium, up to East Nashville, ended up right outside of Shelby Bottoms Green-way and turned around. It's so crazy starting from one end of Nashville and ending up in a completely different area, it makes it feel a lot longer. My favorite part of the run is always Belmont through Music Row, it's just really pretty out there and I like the distractions it provides. I will say, that some of the run was complicated because Natalie and I got lost. Yep, we got turned around and ended up heading towards not the greatest part of town. Luckily, our coach tracked us down and told us to turn around before we got too far :).
So, for most of the run I felt pretty good. Miles 1-4 were mentally tough because we still had a loonnnggg way to go and it's tiring just thinking about it. There were times throughout the run that I felt done but my legs were still moving. 13-16 were surprisingly good as well. My body started it's breakdown at 17. I figured this would happen since 16 was the farthest I had gone. My knees started hurting worse than they had been, my quads felt tight, my foot even started to hurt. Obviously as I start feeling all.this.pain I started to get worried. I do NOT want to get injured at this point. That would be devastating but it can definitely happen. My knee has been hurting a lot since my women's half marathon so I'm attempting to take it easy while still getting my miles in. At this point, I'm just praying my knee holds up.
My post-run routine this past weekend was a little bit different. I knew after I finished that I would have to, 100%, take an ice bath. During the run, an ice bath actually sounded quite glorious. I called Matthew right when I got done and asked him if he could go pick some ice up for me. Last time I picked it up and after running 16 miles, and picking up 50 pounds worth of ice and dragging it to my car was not a pleasant experience. I got home and Matthew had the water all set and ready for me, all I had to do was pour my lavender scented bath oil in (I like to make it somewhat pleasant). My ice bath routine is that I hover over the bathtub for a good 5 minutes giving myself a pep talk.
Anyways, so after my ice bath I head downstairs to finish up a wedding cake that I was making. I was so nervous about this wedding cake because I wasn't sure how I'd feel after 20 miles. Luckily, I had my lovely sister Lauren there by my side and Matthew too. Matthew is the official dowel cutter and Lauren was the icing smoother and pep talker. It took us about an hour to finish up the cake and then we loaded up and headed to the wedding.
Thank you for the picture, Mallory! :)
This weekend we have 14 on the list. We are less than a month away from the marathon and I'm almost to my goal of $1,200.00. Remember, I'm running this marathon for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and each mile/dollar is dedicated to saving lives. I feel so honored to be part of this program and I know that what we are doing is helping. I appreciate EVERYONE'S support, it has blown me away and I couldn't do this without everyone's help. THANK YOU!