Okay... so I started writing this post right after I did 20 miles and part of was deleted... I got mad and haven't blogged since. But I'm ready to be a good blogger again as the marathon is in less than 2 weeks!
Hello! So this past weekend I ran 20 miles (again). Two Saturdays in a row at 20 miles. I'm not sure that's very smart, but whatever, I paid for it.
So this weekend there was an organized run of the Baltimore Marathon course by the Falls Road running club. My friend Katie (Katie is my friend I have known the longest - we've known each other since we were about 4 or 5 years old!) lives in Baltimore and is also running the Baltimore Marathon. We thought it was a good idea to participate and check out parts of the course. The course is not bad at all. I was a bit concerned about the hills, but after running them, I am confident. They will be challenging, but not impossible and they are definitely not steep hills - just gradual inclines. Anyways... there were two possible loops for the day - a 21-mile loop or 10-mile loop. Because I ran 20 last week I planned to run 18.7 cutting off two parts to shorten the run. I guess there really isn't much of a difference between 18.7 and 20 miles, but for my crazy mentality there is.
Katie and I woke up on Saturday morning around 5:45 and prepared for the 7am run time. I woke up really thirsty and I didn't sleep well either. I ate an English mufffin with powdered peanut butter and we were out the door. The starting park was just a few blocks away so it was a quick walk. We signed our waivers, gave a donation and waited for the run to begin. A little after 7 we began. The run began in Patterson Park and this is approximately the 16-mile mark of the marathon course (and a pretty hilly part of the course). I felt good on the hills, but I was also not at mile 16! I skipped 1.3 miles around Lake Montebello and started running with some people that were doing a 10-mile loop. A water stop was soon and this is where our practice course split. Since I was doing the 20-mile run I went straight. I was ahead of the other runners as I skipped out on part of it and I was running alone. I wasn't nervous about this, but I did end up making a wrong turn and probably added about a half mile on my run. Eventually I turned around and saw a bunch of runners and followed them. Up to Druid Hill Park which is the highest point of the course and comes around the 3-mile mark. The hill didn't seem like anything that would scare me. So I kept running... kept running and kept running. This training course kind of played with my head because I ran the last 4 miles of the course last year with Sarah and I knew mentally that at this point during the marathon I would only have about 4 miles left, but during the practice run I had about 15 miles.
The training run really threw me off because I didn't know how much further I had at any point of the run. It was also really hot that day. Fortunately, the running club had water stops set up so that was really helpful. Everyone around me had fuel belts and I was so thirsty the whole run that I just wanted them to share their water with me!!!
So around mile 15 I really hit a wall. I just couldn't do it anymore. I started walking for a little bit, and then would run again.... walk again, run again... and then boom. I just couldn't do it anymore. My hips hurt, my legs hurt, my back hurt, my feet hurt... everything hurt. It was terrible. I didn't know how much further I had either so I just walked the rest. It took about 3:30 minutes and I wasn't really pleased with that time, but whatever... it was just practice.
I finally got back to the park and drank a lot of water. Katie was there waiting and we walked back to her house. I complained the whole way back. I just wanted to die. So after we took showers and I came back to life we walked to the inner harbor. After our 20-mile run we ended up walking about 4 miles through the city. It was a good idea because it loosened us up and the next morning I wasn't sore.
So that was the second 20-mile run and it SUCKED!!! Let's hope the marathon is better!!!!