Training Run: 20 miles!

Holy hell!  I ran 20 freaking miles this past Saturday!!

Screen shot 2013-11-14 at 10.42.54 AM

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.