This past Saturday my coach threw in a 20 mile run. “Cool!” was my first response. Then I started thinking…
I started thinking about when my last long run had been and I couldn’t remember. I guessed it was about a month ago if not more. Hummmm……”That’s cool” I thought again. “I got this in the bag! No biggy that I haven’t run for more than an hour in about a month. I’ve got this!”
I headed out early on Saturday morning to Bear Creek Lake Park. See this wasn’t going to be one of those nice easy flat 20 milers. This had to have some rolling hills in it. “Cool. I got this! Bear Creek is the perfect place for this and it’s close to home.”
I got going on my run and felt spectacular! “Cool! I got this!!!” My run was effortless. I even was being careful not to go too fast given how good I felt. I did my usual pit stop 40 mins into the run (all that darn water in the morning) and then just kept going.
About 1:30 into the run I stopped back at the car and refilled my water bottles. I was feeling awesome! Strong. Quick Cadence. Good rhythm. Everything was working as I headed out from the car for another adventure through the trails as I ticked off the miles.
I got halfway through my run and thought “Cool. 10 miles done and I’m doing fine!”
This run was mostly a Zone 2 run. I just kept clipping along. Cadence good?- check. Forward lean?-check. Arms swinging back?-check. Things really were going smoothly.
I started to approach the 15 mile mark and wanted to make it back to the car for more water because what coach had me doing next was going to take some effort and I didn’t want to run out of water. I got back to the car with 15.98 miles on my Garmin.
So far so good!!!!! “Cool!” I had been feeling fantastic! I hadn’t gotten tired one bit. My nutrition (Amrita Bars and GU) were spot on! Along with plenty of water I was ticking off the miles without feeling like I was hurting! “Cool! I got this”.
Then came the magic miles of 16-20. This was when coach was going to put the hurt on me! I was to run in high zone 3 for the last 4 miles. “COOL. I got this!!!” And off I went for the final four.
I choose to run uphill first so I would have a gentle downhill on the way back. 2 miles out and 2 miles back. That’s all I had to do. I hit the lap button on my Garmin and I was off! Just 4 more miles.
I have to tell ya. Those 4 miles were not hard! “What you say??” They weren’t that bad at all. What I mean by that is- I wasn’t dying. I wasn’t hating life in that moment. Yes I was getting tired but not that painful tired. Not that how-am-I-going to-make-it-back-to-the-car tired. I just kept running. Fast cadence, good posture, arms swinging….it all stayed together! I didn’t falter once!
I actually made it back to the car about 20 minutes quicker than my coach thought it would take me to run. “Cool! I got this!!!! Wait a minute! I really do go this!!!!”
So what I got is a level of fitness where I can go out for a 20 mile run without a run longer than 1.5 hours in the past 4 weeks while my last long run was 16 miles 4 weeks ago. I can’t believe it! I was a bit sore the next few days but nothing out of the ordinary.
So where did THAT come from? The ability to pull 20 miles out of my rear?? Kinda like off the proverbial couch?? Huh? How?
I’m thinking it’s because I’ve been running 20 miles since February. I don’t know. All I can say is I’m tickled pink!!!! And that’s what Ironman training can do for ya!!!!