Few things are as daunting in life as running a marathon. But before you take on the 26 mile challenge on race day, you need to put in the training miles, which for most people includes the dreaded 20 miler. Ugh. In addition to the scary task of running 20 miles, I also had to worry about the heat, since I live in Arizona. With the Detroit Marathon just 5 weeks away, I had no choice but to suck it up!
I picked my route based on routes where I felt comfortable on previous long runs. Some locations are just bad mojo. I asked my friend Anna, who is training for a half marathon that was one week away, if she wanted to join me for any miles, and she was on board for 10. Score! Then, unbelievably, my co-worker Claudia offered out of the blue to run the last 6-8 with me. How sweet is that?
The run was broken down into 3 phases:
1) Crack of dawn 3 miler by myself
2) 10 with Anna
3) last 7 with Claudia.
Here's me at 4:30 AM before I headed out for 3 miles!
After 3 miles by myself in the dark, I drove to the park to meet Anna. I grabbed some bread with peanut butter and tried to get something down on the way there.
Things clicked along pretty well until I realized 4 miles into the run with Anna that my paused my Runkeeper app and forgot to hit resume. #$%!%!! So it only showed 3 with her instead of 4. The rest of the run went smoothly as it started to heat up a little - but thankfully was a little cooler than it has been recently.
Now for the transition into phase 3 - I felt like a triathlete in a transition area. I brought a change of clothes - new shirt, shoes and socks - to make myself feel more human. Claudia unleashed a barrage of snacks - she made me a PB&J sandwich, brought me bags of pretzels, homemade peanut butter energy balls, vitamin water, a banana and regular water. I wish I had taken a picture of the considerable bounty that was before me. She's the biggest caretaker I know. Everyone should have a Claudia in their life.
Here's my post-transition photo, all fresh for Phase 3!
We had full-on sun for Phase 3, close to 90 degrees. We finished strong. My overall average pace was 10 minutes, 7 seconds per mile. I obviously would like to see that come down. Considering the weather, though, I'm happy!
Here is Claudia and myself at the end of the run!
Facing such a big run really requires more from your mind than from your body. Thankfully, both held out for me this time. I have one more 20 miler coming up in 2 weeks, I hope it goes just as smoothly - and maybe just a little bit cooler!
Hi, I'm Emily! I'm an avid runner in Arizona with a passion for travel and racing around the country!