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Who says you gotta be training for a marathon to run a 20-miler

Posted Feb 28 2010 7:43am
Woke up Saturday morning for my first 20-miler since I ran a marathon last December.

Didn't know what to expect since my longest run since then had been last weekend's 14-miler. And with no marathon in my near future, I kind of wondered to myself, "why am I running 20?" But Team Rogue, some of whom are preparing for Boston, others for the Eugene Marathon in early May, had 20 to 24 miles on the schedule, and since I didn't wanna run by myself, I decided I'd at least do 20.

I figured I'd use this long run to practice fueling/hydrating myself in the way that my body needs it. That is, I've told myself that I really don't need a lot of water or GUs during a run, so this would be the first run to practice that theory.

I like the results.

I had a salt tablet and three little cups of water to wash it down at Miles 6 and 17. That's it. No water anywhere else. No GUs. I did have a little brain bonk at about Mile 15, but I kept up the pace and by the time I had my last salt at 17, I felt better. Still, things were a little painful. My legs were just wobbly, and achy the whole run.

But I got a boost at about Mile 19. Some of the sub 3-hour marathoners who train at Team Rogue passed me when we got on Rio Grande. Muz, Jim, Damon. They looked really strong and I felt sorry for myself that I was at Mile 19 and for them, it was Mile 23. Then, figuring there were were just two miles to go, I decided to try to run with them. And then I passed them and stayed in front of them for about a mile.

I looked at my watch. 6:30 pace, buddy. Now at this point, nearing the end of a 20-mile run, I wasn't throwing all the coals on the fire, but the bag was emptying. I finished Mile 20 in 6:31 and there was still about a half mile to go before the run was over. I'm just holding on now, and all the sudden, I hear Muz, Jim, and Damon coming up behind me. Then, swoosh, they were past me. Like I was standing still. I was doing 6:30s, which meant they had to be in the low 6s. They were still talking and Muz, in fact, was telling them to watch the cars up ahead.

When they passed me, I felt a little relief. I could slow down - which I did, to about 7:30 pace and finish the run in one piece, which I did.

So, my first 20-miler since December and I got it done in 8:15 pace and I had no GUs, two Succeed SCaps, and what amounted to probably 24 ounces of water.

And I feel good enough to run 7 more miles today.

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