I am in full blown recovery/taper/panic mode all at the same time….I’m such a head case!!!
I was supposed to head out on Saturday morning and knock out my last long run before the marathon which is at the end of the month. Well some things came up, our scheduled changed, and I took the opportunity to sleep in a bit on Saturday morning. Then I was at our church sports field all day for a football clinic then went back later that night for service. After church service the whole plan was get my stuff ready and get to bed for a nice LONG run Sunday morning.
I woke up around 3am to hit the road by 330am. Drop a water station for myself at the half way point then head to where I was starting my run. Everything was moving along just as I had planned. I had two main goals for this run…1) Get my legs used to 20 miles and 2) get a good look at the first 10 miles of the marathon course. No real pacing goals just wanted to keep everything around 10 min/mile so I could take advantage of water and walking breaks.
Let’s be honest, I have lived in Arizona all my life and I have desert blood. It was about 50* when I started my run and I was freezing. I was wearing shorts, a long sleeve, and a regular running t-shirt…and I was still freezing lol. Ok so there was about a 20-30 mile wind this day but I was well aware of the fact that it was pretty good running weather.
So I pulled off my jacket, laced up my shoes, situated my water pack, and headed on my way to 20 miles. The first 10 miles work uphill as I back track over the first 10 miles of the marathon course. It was a pretty good grind climbing about 800 feet over the 10 miles. I hit the half way point right at the 10 min/mile pace I had set for myself. I think I worked a bit harder than I wanted to but I was sure I would make up time on the second half because it was mostly downhill. Took extra time here to drink some water and take in some food. Started back down and quickly started clicking off miles at 8 min/mile pace. I hit mile 12 and there is a bit of a climb here and I was dead set on keeping that 8 min/mile pace even with the climbing…(I think in the long run this was a big mistake)…I knocked out that climb and started descending again still clicking off miles at 8 min/mile pace. Around mile 16 my legs started to get tired, started to tighten up, and I started to feel twinges in my left hamstring. So I backed off and started to alternate jogging and walking to just get myself through the last 4 miles. Those last 4 miles were dreadful…as I started to slow down and walk occasionally my body was ready to stop. I was able to get back to the car but finished at 19.56 miles lol. So not quite 20 miles but accomplished that one last long run before the marathon.
Recovery – My legs are pretty thrashed. I expect to be sore and tight after 20 miles of running but I need to make sure I’m rehabbing because I want my legs to be ready to go come the 27th.
Taper – Of course that leads to letting my legs wind down over these last two weeks. Mrs. Schlub signed me up for a trail race this upcoming Sunday which sounded like a great opportunity to go out and throw down a strong effort two weeks before the marathon. Its only 4 miles and my thoughts before the long run were to go out and see how well I could fare and maybe grab an extra medal or something. Well we will see how that goes, right now I just want my legs to stop feeling like they are dead.
Panic – My feet are pretty beat up as well. I’m stretching, icing, and everything else I can do to fend off some PF. Having PF early last year, this doesn’t feel the same way so I’m assuming my feet are just beat up like my calves, knees, and hips but I’m doing all the TLC that I can at this point.
I’m going back and forth about the advantages and disadvantages of my long run this weekend. Of course the pain and soreness in my feet and legs does not leave me with a lot of confidence. Yet, there were a ton of positive aspects to this run. “ALMOST” 20 miles is still quite an accomplishment, definitely feels good knowing that the distance itself wont be a problem. A good look at the course was hugely helpful!! I didn’t quite know what to expect when I was looking at the course profile and now I have a really good idea. I will really have to pull back in the first half of the race because you can really come out flying in those first 10 miles. I would hate to be clicking off at 7 or 8 min/mile pace and blow up around the 20 mile mark.
Be honest, did I take a huge risk throwing down this long run?
What is the max distance you like to hit before heading into the marathon??