Back to 20

This morning I completed a 20 mile run! It felt good overall — it’s been a little while since I last did 20.

In fact, the last time I ran 20 miles was on November 17, about 3 months ago. Before that I hadn’t ran 20 miles since the Foothills 50K Frenzy on October 3. I feel that running a 20 miler means I’m back into full training mode. I may do a 21 or 22 miler between now and my next marathon, but sometimes 20 is my max.

Why has it been 3 months? After running the Turkey Trot 10k on Thanksgiving, my Achilles was sore. It remained that way all through December. I was able to somewhat maintain my conditioning by doing one run per week and cross training, but it’s just not the same as running 30+ miles per week.

In early January I began carefully ramping back up, gradually increasing my total weekly mileage as well as my weekly longest run mileage. Two weeks ago I hit 17.5mi on my long run and last week I did 14.7mi. This morning I woke up at 4:45 and set out in the 28F weather. It was cold, but I was excited to get a good run in. I was hoping to do hills this week, but there aren’t any by my house and I decided I can focus on hills after my full base is established.

That led to a wandering run criss-crossing freeway overpasses so that I could at least get a tiny bit of hill work. I was carrying a water bottle and a flashlight, so despite wearing knit gloves, my hands suffered through much of the run. Around mile 13 and 14 my hands were painfully cold and numb and it became pretty distracting. Somehow I managed to get my last gel out of my pocket and holding it and eating it managed to warm me up. I kicked for the last 2 miles to hit marathon goal pace (~6:50/mi). It felt pretty good and I was happy I had enough energy left at the end to get that in.

Cyndi had some warm French Toast waiting for me when I got home. I slathered them with peanut butter and a little syrup and nothing ever tasted better 🙂

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