The 20 mile run

I did it! 20 miles.

When I started off for my run, the weather app said it was 25 degrees, “feels like 9”. The wind was also crazy. Nice, huh? It really made me angry because last weekend when I didn’t have a long run scheduled, it was 55. Whyyyyy.

At the beginning of the run, I warmed up quickly and I was feeling fine for 7 miles. Then I noticed I wasn’t feeling so warm. Meanwhile, I was wearing my Fuel Belt, and the tops were leaking. I know for sure that they were closed properly; it’s that the water drips out of the spout that you drink from even though I know it’s pushed down all the way. My jacket is slowly getting wet from the water. Then I notice that the leaking water is starting to turn to ice! Both on my body and on the outside of the bottle. The wind was not letting up either. It was so fierce that street lights and street signs were rattling around. I was just plain cold. Seeing the ice in my water was the breaking point. I said, “Really? Ice water? Fuck this shit.”

I arrived home at mile 10.5, went inside and changed my clothes, then finished the remaining 9 miles at the gym. Even with my fleece-lined special tights, my legs were red and very cold. By the way, the food and water that I had left outside as my aid station was also partly frozen! During the first two miles on the treadmill, I was close to crying because I had this crazy thought that I would be cold FOREVER.

As I struggled through the last 2 miles, I finally thought to myself “What if I can’t finish the marathon? What if at 20 miles I can’t run anymore, so I can only walk and then the bus comes and sweeps me?” This was the first time since I signed up for the marathon that I thought maybe I wouldn’t make it.

Technical stuff:

  • I wasn’t planning on drinking the night before, but we went to a bar to watch the Manny Pacquiao fight. I had one Jell-O shot (so random) and one corona but I think I finished two hours before going to bed so I like to think it was out of my system.
  • I borrowed a Garmin watch. This helped me keep a nice even pace the whole time when I was outside. It definitely helped keep my energy stable and I never felt like my heart rate was out of control.
  • I forgot to buy Gatorade. I drank water and two servings of Nuun. My belly felt full towards the end but I was still 3 pounds down when I weighed myself after. I don’t know how I could have fit more water!
  • Instead of my ritual breakfast, I ate a pudding-filled doughnut. I don’t think it made me slower.
  • Food eaten during the run: Nothing for the first 10 miles and I felt fine. During the last half, I ate half of a frosted donut, a chocolate and sea-salt rice ball, and a cinnamon roll (the last two are from Feed Zone Portables). A total of 300 calories. Immediately afterwards, I ate another rice ball and cinnamon roll.

I noticed that for the last two long runs (17 and 20 miles) when I switched to homemade fuel, I am not insanely hungry right after the run. It must have to do with not having the insulin spikes that come from Clif Shots. The Feed Zone snacks are working really well for me.

Muscle-wise, I’m actually feeling pretty good. On the 1-10 pain scale I’m like a 5. Energy wise, I’m in the gutter. Desire getting 7 hours of sleep last night I feel like a slug. I even have bags under my eyes today. I’m also really hungry! Of course I left my wallet at home.

I just need to make it through today and tomorrow then I’m off to the mountain west.


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