As I mentioned on Friday, I had my last 20-mile run planned for Saturday. Amy has been helping me get through a large chunk of the miles for my long run, but this weekend she needed to get her miles done pretty early. I almost had a panic attack thinking I was going to be solo for 20 miles.
Thankfully, I have found two more running friends over the course of this training. Let's just say that during the last two solo miles I was thinking, "It takes a village." I was also thinking, how many people does it take to help one runner train for a marathon? You know, kind of a joke but I couldn't come up with a punch line, because it's really true. You need far more support than you think you're going to need and it comes from a variety of sources.
Saturday morning ended up being another randomly warm day, and super windy. How was I wearing double layers in November yet tank and shorts in December? I knew this could affect my run negatively. I sweat, a lot. Which means I have to really pay attention to electrolyte intake.
I headed out around 7:30 to get in 6 miles before L and C were going to meet me at 8:30. I went out way too fast because I got concerned about time, getting back to the house on time. Silly because I had given myself plenty of wiggle room. So I started off with an 8:30 pace and knew I had to slow myself down or I wouldn't make it.
I went ahead and took my first gel and sipped on some electrolytes then when they arrived, we quickly got moving again. L was really helpful with pacing. She asked what I was shooting for and was vigilant about keeping track, as was C if we started going too fast.
We headed downtown then across the bridge into North Little Rock to run along part of the river trail. Unfortunately, this time of year, all the nice, convenient water fountains are shut off. Not good when you are out for a LONG run and really need the water.
L and C had initially planned on 10 miles with me, but then decided they could go farther, so we ran farther down the trail. They needed gels and I needed another, but there was no water to refill my bottle, and they hadn't anticipated needing any. So I shared and hoped we'd get to water soon. I knew where we could refill once we crossed back into downtown.
My tummy started giving me some issues, so I asked that we just head straight to my house instead. There we could all get water; I could take a potty break. C was having issues with her shoulder and asked to stay behind. L decided to go ahead and do another 2 miles with me, not wanting to leave C alone too long but also not wanting me to have to be solo again for long.
See, it takes a village. These ladies were so amazingly awesome to run with me and even run farther than intended. My heart was full. I finished out my last few miles and ended up with 20.5 total. Part of me wishes I would have stuck it out just a tad longer for 21 miles. But my legs were fairly done and tapping out at the end. You know that running in mud going nowhere fast feeling? Yep.
So, just like that, it's time to start tapering. I have a half marathon this coming Saturday and then the miles back down even more. No more long-run-Saturdays. I guess I've got no excuses now for ditching the chores huh?
Just a few quick notes about post run: I felt pretty good after this run. I had gotten my electrolytes rights, maybe a tad dehydrated but remedied that easily enough. Huge frosty protein shake for the post-run fuel win. I soaked in an epsom salt bath after some gentle stretching then napped. My heel was tight and painful when I woke up, but not nearly as bad as last week. And gentle stretching helped. I think a 2nd nap could have happened as I was asleep by 8 pm and slept until 7 the next morning.