Holy hell! I ran 20 freaking miles this past Saturday!!
The days leading up to this long run were nerve racking. I was so afraid that I would not make it through, I wasn’t sure if I was adequately prepared. My previous long run was two weeks prior and it was supposed to have been for 17 miles.
I never did the 17 miles though—I competed in the Empire State Half Marathon instead, but didn’t have energy left at the end to tack on the extra 4 miles. I could only hope that the level of exertion I put forth was enough to cover the missed mileage.
Well, I guess it worked! I was able to run the full 20 miles without a walking break. There were many times that I wanted to stop and walk, but I kept reminding myself that runs with walk breaks are more stressful for me and that I wouldn’t have the same stamina.
The major difference for this long run was that it was much colder outside–I wasn’t facing 88 degree heat like I had for my 15 miler in October (seriously 88 degrees in October WTH!?). I woke up at the crack of dawn stomached my first gel and was out the door by 5:30am.
It was dark and cold (in the 40’s), but I made sure to wear bright and warm clothing. I also decided against the camel pack this time around–I wasn’t impressed with it during my last long run because it was quite cumbersome. I wore my new large water bottle fuel belt (packed with 3 Clif Energy Gels) and it was sufficient enough to sustain me through the run. I decided to take a gel every 5 miles and to take water as needed.
I definitely noticed a difference in performance soon after each shot and despite them being super thick and ridiculously sweet they were instrumental to my performance. I def plan on purchasing more for my next long runs.
The hardest part of my run was mile 17, I really slowed at this point and felt that I needed a walk break. It took every ounce of mental strength to keep pushing forward. I needed to remind myself that I only had 3 miles left and that 3 miles was nothing. If I gave up then it would have been ridiculous and I would have been mad at myself for getting so close. I kept repeating the mantra “this is when the real workout starts..”
Soon enough I hit mile 18, then 19 and I used every last bit of energy to “sprint” through that last mile. I was so excited to hear the 20 mile prompt and had such a great feeling of elation. The downside was that I was spent, I didn’t want to move. My feet ached and my legs felt like jelly and I was still a mile from home. I walked it out for a quarter-mile and called my husband for a ride, but he was occupied with toddler bath time. I was forced to either wait or walk–it was freezing out so I chose to walk it off.
In retrospect, I’m glad I was able to walk it off–I think it definitely helped get rid of any lactic acid build up. My legs didn’t hurt that bad and I actually felt pretty great and much better than I would have expected. What I didn’t anticipate was waking up the next morning to severe pain in my left ankle/foot. It hurt to walk and it look rather swollen. I was confused and frustrated. I hadn’t rolled my ankle and it felt fine during my run. What the heck was happening?
Doctor Google says that I have peroneal tendonitis. I am all too familiar with overuse injuries and am 99.9% certain that this is what’s going on. It fits all the criteria: no recollection of trauma, improper footwear (my sneakers were at 300 miles and lost most of the support–new ones hadn’t arrived yet), and increased mileage.
It’s been 5 days since my 20 miles and I still haven’t gone for a run. I feel SO lazy! However, I would rather give it some recovery time because I know that pushing myself would be the wrong answer. Today, I can walk without a limp, but there is still a dull ache so I am not running. I will aim to run on Saturday or maybe tomorrow, but for now RICE and cross-training with biking or rowing will have to do.