I've been really looking forward to (and dreading) this run for a long time. Saturday marked the peak of my marathon training and I had a 22 miler on the books. I just have to say first and foremost thank you so much to each and every person who has ever run with me. I couldn't imagine logging so many miles (almost 190 this year so far!) without such wonderful people by myself. Those who train alone really have my respect because that is DEDICATION at its finest.
The alarm went off at 6 am, waaaaay to damn early for a Saturday, but my girls always happen to get up at that time anyway whether I have plans or not. I woke James to get them breakfast while I slipped on my running gear and prepared for my long run. I realized as I got in the car to head to the waterfront that I had no GU's, chews, engery bars, nothing. Anything less than 10 that's fine, but I knew I wouldn't make it through 22 without some nourishment so I swung by Safeway. I grabbed a raspberry lemonade low calories gatorade drink, um so good. I haven't drank gatorade in YEARS because I thought it tasted soap but this stuff was delicious and only 30 calories and 7 grams of sugar. Not too bad. I filled 1 waterbottle with gatorade, the other two with water (6 oz bottle) and headed to the waterfront. I met Mike for 5 "starter" miles. My friend LaRee was running 17 and I did not want to have to do 5 AFTER she left so I decided to run them before.
Mike and I got back to the waterfront and LaRee pulled up with a whole group of ladies to join us. The more the merrier. This was an interesting run though because everyone was doing different distances from 4.5 miles up to my 22. We dropped a few people off at cars cleaverly staged along the route, and even picked someone up to finish the final 12 with us. Because of the transitions we did get a few rest breaks to refuel and stretch out our legs. I know I won't have that during the race, well I mean I could stop but the clock doesn't of course. I stop my garmin everytime I take more than a 5 second pause. I only want to record my activity :)
I got nervous as we neared the 15 mile mark because my tummy felt a little off. If you read about my 19 mile run, you'll know why. It didn't last though, within 1/4 of a mile the feeling was totally gone and I was charging on. After the 13th mile there weren't really too many hills so it was nice to end with a flattish route. My legs definitely were getting heavier but our running pace was consistently in the 9's- yes throughout the entire 22 miles!! WOWZA! Of course I'm a HUGE believer of the Galloway method so we took a 1 minute walk break every 3 minutes (3/1's).
At mile 19.5 we were back at the cars. BOOO. I had already run 19 miles before so I had to get into the 20's for this run to feel like I was progressing. By this point the sun was out, it was already turning into afternoon, so we stopped at the cars to shed our jackets, waterbelts and my "tough mother" headband ;) and headed back out on the road for another 2 miles. Do you know how much it sucks to leave the car and continue running after already putting 19+ miles on your legs? It sucks! Ha-ha. But I was so happy to know we only had to run a mile out and then we could turn around and come back for good this time.
Just a hair shy of 22 miles but I called it good. Today it's Monday, and I have had no muscle pain (praise the lord), nothing feels tweaked and I'm going to do a 3 mile shakeout run after work today. This is really happening. After all the times I've doubted my ability to run, I've stood at the starting line scared and wanting to weep out of pride AND disbelief, I'm going to run a marathon. Less than 6 weeks now, BRING IT!