A new day, a new distance conquered on the way to 26.2.
My Sunday started off bright and early, with my alarm clock gong off at 5:14. I never set my clock to go off on numbers that end in 5 or 0...weird, right? I was already feeling tired, but thought after some breakfast and water I'd be in the mood to run 18 or 19 miles.
When I met up with my running club, it was apparent that most people in my pace group were doing either 18 or 20, which was perfect. Our typical pacer, R, is out of town for the next 3 weeks so I got promoted to pace with M. I've gotten to know M quite well this summer, having completed the majority of my long runs with him.
The first few miles felt good, and then they started to feel harder. The 8:22-8:28 pace that we were running felt harder. At mile 7, I took a Gu. I think I'm getting better at taking them. This one went down fairly easily. My current problem is that I cannot get the package open. Seriously. Last week and this week I've had to have other people open them for me. I think I need to practice to get the hang of it. It also doesn't help that I don't want to bite the package, which was what M suggested.
Mile 14 came and our group divided, with the 18s going back to our starting point and the 20s continuing on. However, there were only 4 of us that continued on. M and I ran together for miles 14 - 16, but they were faster than I wanted. We were running 8:05 pace, so I told him to go ahead and I'd run the last few with the 2 others that were behind us.
I waited for the 2 others at a water stop and ran with them. They were going much slower, a 9:00/mile pace. It was interesting because I slowed down to that pace as well and it felt tough. I know running is mostly mental, so I decided to continue on without them for the last 2 and was closer to an 8:30/mile pace.
I ran a total of 20 miles and am pretty happy. Last weeks run went better and I felt better, but not all runs can be great. After looking at my Garmin, I realized I averaged exactly an 8:30/mile pace.
I came. I ran. I conquered my longest distance of 20 miles. Now, I will rest.
Do you have trouble opening Gu? Do you have any suggestions?