….my confidence is back! Going into today’s 20 mile training run, I was nervous. That’s an emotion I don’t usually have pre-long run, but today was different. Lately, I’ve felt so many aches and pains and mysterious twinges that I really worried that I wouldn’t finish. And having missed my first scheduled 20 miler two weeks ago, I just wasn’t feeling confident.
I started out at 9:30 pace and stayed here for two miles. During those two miles, I did the “check” – shins, quad, all-other-running-relevant muscles – CHECK. From there, I fell into a pace that stayed pretty consistently in the 9:15 – 9:20 range. Perfect. The pace felt good and more importantly, my muscles weren’t pissed off. Joy!
My planned pit stop at home was perfect too, signifying mile 13 and a fresh grape Gatorade #2 and pretzels. I then turned to go back out the same way I came to conquer the 7 mile loop. The key with planning a stop at home mid-run is to not think about it – I just head right back out. I repeat, there is no thinking allowed.
By the beginning of my 7 mile loop, I knew I had this today. I kept an eye on my watch to make sure I didn’t do anything stupid at this point and kept on pace. Much like last week’s long run, I tried to stay cognizant of my pace without letting it rule my run. Monitoring/feeling pace takes practice, but I seem to have a knack for it. Once I honed in on my pace for today, I “guessed” it would average in the 9:20 range. And I got 9:20 even. No, that does not mean I strive to be a pacer at a race someday (I don’t know how they carry balloons/flag/whatever to lead their pace groups – blech!).
So 20 miles is finally in the books for my Spring marathon! Best of all, I feel quite good. Today could’ve gone a few different ways, but I knew once I got myself a plan and then got my head into the plan, I’d stand a chance. Today’s run provided the confidence boost I needed. Let the domino effect begin….