Get ready Texas, my least favorite state, here I come!
One could say that the marathon course has some hills. Thank heaven it has been revised a bit since 2010 (see below). The black line looks a lot more friendly!
Since I totally bonked on my first attempt at a 20-miler a few weeks ago, I knew I had to make attempt #2 a success no matter what. In other words, I at least had to finish the thing! On the heels of last week's successful, yet hilly, 15-miler, I mapped out a 20 mile course. It would be no less hilly... but just HOW hilly it would be surprised even me. But first let me paint you a picture of my day.
Chasen and I committed to helping out at our church both on Friday night and Saturday morning, and I knew I'd be wiped out after all that, so in essence I needed to complete the run during the five hours that Isaac would be at Mother's Day Out on Friday. Yes, quite a switch for this Saturday runner, especially for such a big run which would usually require some support. So I arranged for a friend of ours to be "on call" during those hours. As it turned out, Chasen began to come down with a cold, so he called in sick to work. There was my support staff! Plus, I managed to collapse into bed early on Thursday night and get a much needed TEN hours of sleep. I have been exhausted, people.
I dropped Isaac off and headed out. My course both began and ended at his school. It was supposed to both rain and snow while I was out there (but never did, thankfully). Ick. So I wore 2 jackets and 2 pairs of pants! Mile 1 was very speedy, but I overheated rather quickly. I can now say that I have taken off pants and tied them around my waist while out running (remember, I had others on beneath the outer layer). I can say the same thing for my jacket!
Man oh man - what a course I chose. It was one hill after another. See below.
By mile 12 I called Chasen and I was ready to pack it in. I felt spent. But I knew I needed to build up my endurance and quitting was not an option. When Chasen met me at mile 14, he said "You have to make it to 20, even if you have to walk." Gee, thanks.
My strategy was to make it to at least 16, since I ran 15 last week. But I also kept thinking "Surely I can go 6 more miles. Plus, I no longer have to worry about being done exactly at 2 PM to pick up Isaac." So I got cookin' and was at mile 16 before I knew it. I have to say... while I was indeed tired, I actually felt OK out there. Like, strangely, unprecedented, OK. Wow.
Mile 17 was through a baseball complex, and I have never been fond of running through that area, even though it is pretty flat, safe and gorgeous. So getting through that was just a "grin and bear it" type situation. Then at mile 18 I was back on the "main drag" and could see the steeple of Isaac's Mother's Day Out church (yes, 2 miles away... it is a HUGE place).
I ran into the parking lot at 1:54 PM with 19.31 miles on the Garmin. Chasen also drove in. I motioned for him to go on in and pick him up so I could finish up. No sense subjecting everyone to my sweat! Next thing I knew, he and Isaac were following me around the huge back parking lot as I finished up that last mile. Then we all drove home together! Yay - best 20 miler ever! My average pace through all those hills was 13:09 per mile.
When we got home I was not hobbling like usual, which shocked me. I took an ice bath while Chasen and Isaac went to the library. Then we headed to our church shortly thereafter. I got about 5 hours of sleep that night and arrived back at church at 4:50 AM on Saturday. Yikes! I could not catch a nap on Saturday afternoon due to some home plumbing issues (grrr!) so the next thing I knew it was 1 AM on Sunday and I woke up with the start of a nasty head cold. Figures - I guess all this living has caught up with me. So for now I will take it easy and try to get better. After all, I have a mere three weeks til the big day!