The Tale of the Terrible 20-Miler

It looks like I’m headed to the Mississippi Blues Marathon for the full 26.2!

After 10 days off last week I was pretty worried about being ready for the race. I told myself if I could get a 20-miler in this week then I would commit to the full marathon, and not switch down to the half. Well one absolutely brutal and miserable morning of running later, I knocked out all 20 miles. It wasn’t pretty, but I made it!

Screen shot 2012-12-12 at 1.38.48 PM

Normally the first three miles of a long run are the hardest for me. After that, I’m warmed up and in the zone. Today, I just couldn’t get my mind off of all the miles ahead of me. The run just dragged on and all I could pay attention to was nagging muscle pain. By the end, I was verbally giving myself pep-talks every mile just to make it to the finish.

Yeesh! Look at those splits. The only 'negative' thing about them was how I felt with each mile!

Yeesh! Look at those splits. The only ‘negative’ thing about them was how I felt with each mile!

So what went wrong? I have a few guesses:

1. The obvious. My fitness slipped with the extended vacation from running. 10 days is a lot of time to be absent.

2. Fatigue. I ran 5 miles Monday and then 10 miles yesterday. That 10 miler was definitely silly to do right before a long run, but I needed to do it then based on my work schedule this week. It was a nice run with Abe though!

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3. Dehydration. I only had about 48 oz of water yesterday – nowhere near enough for me. An easily correctable mistake that I knew better to avoid!

4. Boredom. This is happening more and more for me lately. While I absolutely deplore running with music (for me it takes away from the introspection that I love and is also just pretty distracting) I think I need a change and this might be it. I need to get pumped up about running again!

Everyone complains about Bakersfield, but it's gorgeous!

Everyone complains about Bakersfield, but it’s gorgeous!

But 20 miles is 20 miles! My goal is to get in every single run in these 3.5 weeks before the marathon. Realistically I’m not going to PR. I’d love to break past 4:10 and maybe even through the 4:00 mark, but right now I just don’t see that happening. However, I’m still starting in the 4:15 corral and going to feel it out on race day just to see what type of fire I have within me just waiting for the big day to come out!

Screen shot 2012-12-12 at 1.48.18 PM


5 thoughts on “The Tale of the Terrible 20-Miler

  1. Kelly ,
    You’ve identified some good points, so I can tell you’re focused! Continue to work on these areas and you’ll be fine! We know up front we are going to face some self doubts, but mentally we are a tough group…we will persevere! Good luck in the rest of you’re training! See you in Mississippi! :-)

  2. Pingback: From 0 to 50 MPW in 1 week! | Race for all 50 States

  3. Well done on a fantastic week of tniirang. I agree with Mallory every run I do during the week is different in terms of route, pace and length to keep my interest up. I have a really long playlist that I have on shuffle, which keeps me guessing and sometimes I run withour any music.Cross-training wise, if I’m not feeling something, I’ll do something else as long as my body is moving. I am trying to motivate myself to keep up with strength tniirang though!

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