So, I actually did it. I actually got up at 5:30 on Saturday morning and joined the Nashville Striders for their 20 mile training run.
I left at exactly 6:15 and I pulled up at exactly 6:25. I swear I hit every single light on the way there. And there are LOTS of red lights between here and there. Anyway, I pulled into the park and it was still pretty dark at that time and there were tons of people, so many people that I had to park my car pretty far away from where the run was starting. I finally found a parking space, grabbed my hydration belt, took off my jacket and started to walk to the starting line. By the time I got close to there, I could hear the President saying... "everyone ready?" or something equally generic. And then everyone started running. So, it was kind of nice that I didn't have to wait around or anything. We started running at exactly 6:30. God, I love it when things start on time.
Here is a map of the route, I swear, I can never get the runningahead maps to show up on my actual blog page. It drives me crazy, because I try everytime... and then it never works. But it's always teasing you with that "put this map on your page!" button. Liars. Map Here Anyway, So, the route was the first half of the Country Music Marathon. And Then a loop through East Nashville and then back through downtown over the Shelby Street Pedestrian Bridge (which... I gotta say folks... is one helluva bridge to run, thank god its short) and up Church Street all the way back to the park. For 20.45 miles (according to my nano).
The run was spectacular. Like, literally. This was one of those runs that made me remember why it is I give up alcohol, sleeping in, and late nights. There were probably anywhere from 80-120 people there for the run, and even though I was mostly by myself for most of the run, it was the quickest 20 miles I've ever ran. It went by in a snap.
Now, it wasn't all ice cream and roses... I have to admit, there were a few times when I was feeling especially tired. But, really not until the very end. The last 2 miles was a particularly rough stretch for me. But, I kept my eye on the prize. I finished in about 3:20. Which I was thrilled with. For my first 20 miler this training round, the most important thing to me was just finishing it and getting the miles in. But, that time works out to about 9:55/mile. And pretty much right on target for my marathon pace.
Other awesomeness from the run: No stomach issues. No nausea afterwards. And you know what? I didn't take any gu, and I only drank water and a little bit of gatorade that I carried with me and I was completely fine. I think that the too much water, gu, etc has screwed me in the past. So, I'm over using the gu.
Also, it always amazes me... how even in the middle of a 20 mile training run... guys and girls still trying to get their mack on. Like, seriously?
I took an ice bath as soon as I got home and it helped a lot. Although yesterday, my thighs (all over) were very sore and also my feet and toes. I had a sluggish 4 mile run this morning, but I'm pretty much over the soreness for now.