Wednesday, September 26, 2012

One 20 mile workout down, two to go!

Wednesday is my day off, so I took advantage of my free time (and avoided doing house chores!) and planned to do my first 20 mile workout before the marathon.

Here are a few things I learned: 

1) I like knowing the route.  

Last week, Aaron helped map out a 16 mile course for me, and I felt anxious not knowing where my next milestone would be.  I set up a 5 mile route that I already knew, and I ran there and back 2x.  Knowing the route helped me plan and set my pace. 

2) I like setting up my own aid stations. 

When Aaron helped me the week before, he set up my aid stations for me, and because I didn't know where exactly they'd be and how far they would be spread apart, I got really discouraged.  One aid station took about 7 miles to get to, and because it was so hot out, I ran out of water in my fuel belt.  Yep, feel free to laugh.  I sport one of these when I run outside : )  

3) I actually really like running outside. 

Over the summer, I ran indoors solely because it was so dang hot and humid out.  I enjoy taking in the surroundings, and the best part is that I get to look behind myself and see how far I've run!  I recently bought a watch to help me keep on pace.  The one thing I did NOT like was the fact that people will let their dogs run loose.  One dog did about half of my workout with me.  She is friendly dog, but she nearly was hit by a car numerous times.  During one pass by her house, I actually knocked on the door to return her, but nobody reponded.  

I feel like I did pretty well overall - I kept track on my watch, and most of the time, I was coming in under my goals.  However, on my last 5 miles, it started to rain pretty hard, and I had a fairly strong head wind that made me feel like I was running no faster than I could walk.  So, I started to walk with about 3 miles to go... and I couldn't get started again.

I am doing a walk/job combination for the race, but I never walk more than a few minutes at a time.  I walked through this strong wind for about 12-15 minutes, and my muscles just didn't want to go any more. I tried running several times, but my legs felt like lead weights.  The time for my last 5 miles was not so great, but I FINISHED!!!!   

Aaron met me at the 10 mile and the 15 mile marks, and it was SOOO good to see him.  

I am doing at least one more really long workout before the marathon on November 3rd - my plan is to do 23 miles and if I have time, I will do another 20 mile workout.  I am unsure if I will have the time to do it though; you are supposed to taper your running the last few weeks before the marathon, and I may run out of time to my last 20 mile workout.

Here are a few photos from my run today (they have been instagrammed):

My route took me through the cornfields of Johnson county.  The cornfields and the cooler weather make me think of fall.  
These beauties were across the street from where I parked.

These cows were so sweet and curious.  They were slow moving and seemed to look at me quizzically as if they wondered what the rush was all about.

Total side note, but they got me thinking... I don't think I could eat meat any more if I wanted to.  I decided to go vegetarian in 2009 because I hated factory farms; they are horrible for the environment, and the living conditions for the animals is terrible.   I don't necessary oppose meat consumption, but I DO oppose factory farming.  Even cutting down on your meat consumption helps.... side note over : )

I also saw some cute horses during my run as well.  Their two companions are not pictured.

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