Monday, February 1, 2010

20 Mile Long Run

This is a belated post probably because I've been too exhausted to even write anything down.

Let's see. I knew I wanted to run a 20 miler this past weekend. I didn't run at all the week before last so I was worried I wouldn't be able to complete a long run.

Saturday morning I was also afraid I hadn't carbo-loaded enough, but nothing I could do then. I just had to go out there and try.

I got up at around 10 am. Ate a peanut butter sandwich with a little bit of nutella (I could not resist the brand new jar I had sitting on my counter). I packed 2 GU packets and a bag of sport beans into the small pocket on the back of my Nike running skirt.

I needed something to motivate me during this run so i decided to wear my LA marathon tech t-shirt from last year's race. I've never ever run 20 miles by myself so I really needed to remind myself that I could do it. I had to remind myself that I am mentally and physically strong enough to conquer those 20 miles.

So at a little before noon I headed out to conquer my longest training run ever. Took it really easy the first few miles. Did my usual loop on the grassy median up and down Chandler Blvd. The first 5 miles were ran at about 9:40 pace...just trying to ease into it. I've found that running that first mile slow really helps me settle into a nice pace afterwards.

So after I reached the North Hollywood park, I decided to take a detour from my usual route and explore some new running territory. I can't say that I liked the route I ended up doing. In fact, I kind of hated it and maybe that's why my splits ended up being faster than usual. The streets where just too busy with traffic and there were too many commercial establishments throughout it which equals a lot of different driveways and stupid drivers to avoid.

I felt like I was cursing ever couple of minutes. Calling some driver an idiot because they weren't watching where they were going. I had so many hard stops trying to avoid being hit. Ugh.

Anyway, miles 6 through 14 ticked away on my Garmin pretty effortlessly. I started feeling the pain beginning at mile 15 and I just knew the next 5 miles were not going to be easy. But it was just another 10k 'til i could get home and be able to relax. So at this point I knew I just needed to hang on and not quit.

I ran back into the North Hollywood park after my loop of NoHo, Toluca Lake, and Studio City. I started eating sport beans and drinking water after each half mile at the park. I decided to do 2 miles there and then head home and try to push the pace for the remaining 3 miles.

Everything was hurting at this point. At about mile 19, I was feeling pretty focused and trying to remain strong when the unthinkable happened...a bug went flying straight into my right eyeball! GAHHHHH! I screamed! And then I cried while bending over trying to get the damn thing out of my eye. I'm sure if I hadn't been in so much pain I would've felt humiliated at the thought that someone may be watching this go down but at the moment, I was just so frustrated...

After about a minute of this pathetic scene, I started running again. Just about a mile and half left so I pushed the pace as much as I could. My last mile was 8:20 and I was half sobbing...hahahah...

Finally, my Garmin hit 20 miles and I was so glad to be done. I still had a few blocks to get home so I walked those and like always, they were excruciating! I felt lame walking so slow but I had just run 20 MILES!

After I got home I iced a little bit, took a shower, tried to nap (and failed) for an hour, and finally got back up and got ready to go out with my friends for the evening. Danced the night away 'til 2 am. And spent the rest of the night with the boy.

All in all. Saturday was all kinds of fantastic and I'm proud of myself for accomplishing such a run and with a pretty consistent pace. I even had negative splits for the second half :)

Two days later, I'm still pretty sore and the toes on my right foot are killing me! I tripped and nearly fell flat on my face on mile 15 and my poor toes took a pretty big hit. Now they are swollen and it hurts to walk on them :(

I hope they feel better tomorrow.

Happy running.

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