Properly carb loading for a big run can be challenging.In addition to my frosted delight from Friday, Anthony made me a big bowl of ravioli that night. We had wine that was red — not purple as suggested by this photo!
A really pretty sunrise across Connecticut Bridge.A friendly cat who jogged next to me for a few miles (also his eyes were not neon green as camera suggests) by the National Cathedral.The DC Road Runners, who joined me for 9 miles around the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, and Capital. A visit to a handful of water fountains + Gu. I know, Espresso Love sounds disgusting, but it’s actually one of my favorite flavors.A nice couple miles along the Potomac river:A elephant statue painted like a watermelon — DC has lots of weird donkey and elephant art around town.A beer and a book, just left after someone stopped at this trail for some light reading? When Giants Walked the Earth. Random.And, of course, a mattress.
20 miles done! The end. I was sort of nervous before embarking on this one after my 18.5-er didn’t go so hot the other week, but this long run actually went really, really well. Here are some reasons I think I felt (mostly) great for the entire run:
- Staying hydrated. I had plenty of water and some gatorade (and, okay, some alcohol too!) the night before — and, during my run, stopped for more water and gatorade.
- Starting out slow. It’s always tempting to fly through your first miles, but I kept my slowest pace at the start, saved the speed for the middle miles, and finished off nice and easy. (Okay, the last mile was extremely slow, but as always, I had to trek up the massive hill that I live on in order to make it home.)
Going out too fast can really screw up your run. It’s all about managing your heart rate and energy levels — and burning too much too fast can leave you with nothing at the end. This article gives a good overview of proper pacing.
- Getting sleep. Yes, I could have gotten more, but I at least got a nice 7 hour rest in before this run. Better than most days!
- Breaking up the miles. My run was basically split into 3 segments: 7 miles alone in the wee early hours (minus my time with the cat), 9 miles with the club, and 4 miles running home after the group run. I got a little break + gatorade between each segment, and also a nice change of scenery. It helped me mentally cope with the massive mileage, and kept my thoughts fresh and positive!
- Going out early. In this heat, you’ve got to get out before the sun beats you. It’s just a no-brainer.
But maybe in the end, it was the sprinkle donut that really saved me?
Actually, I’m going to figure that out right now! A local running store is giving a presentation on training and race day nutrition today. And I obviously support anything that involves food and running.