When I first started my faux "training plan" for the NYC Marathon, I knew I would have to eventually tackle a 20 mile run. The majority of runners I have spoken to say that if you can get to 20 in training, you can get to 26.2 on race day with the adrenaline, crowds, and rest. It seemed daunting and insane. When I first did 14, I couldn't imagine going another 12.2, never mind even another mile.
I had a bad training week, topped off by a 7 mile run where I was crying by the end because I felt like a failure. I'm pretty sure it was a mix of a terrible diet (daily snacks of Chex Mix, ice cream, and chocolate chips) and a complete lack of sleep. I was averaging maybe 6 hours a night, but that was often interrupted because I would set my alarm for a little earlier and then reset it to get some extra sleep. One day I ever overslept for work as a result. I skipped runs and felt miserable when I was running.
After that miserable run, I revamped some things. If I'm getting up at 5:15 for the gym, I'm in bed by 10:00 pm, no exceptions. Otherwise it's 11:00 at the latest. I traded my Chex Mix for oatmeal/peanut butter, and I've felt better as a result.
How did the run go? Well...
It wasn't pretty at first. I was sore and tired from working legs Thursday, spin class Friday, and a 5K on Saturday, so there were a few moments where I had to tell myself 6 week still NYC. Suck it up. 19 was on my schedule, but I figured I would tackle this hurdle while I was out there. I have one more long, long run in my plan, and I'm hoping to hit 21 or 22. I know that 20 should be the limit, but it will be a much bigger confidence booster if I can go a little longer. I was a lot sorer during the last part of the workout than I would like to be, and my time is a little slower than I'm hoping for race day, but it is what it is.
I fueled with a Larabar (chocolate chip cookie dough) and a slice of peanut butter toast. During the run I had two gels, but I may bring 3 along for the next run since I was starting to get HUNGRY towards the end. I messed up and put the wrong playlist on, but it was perfectly fine sine I was able to run to different music. 20 down...22 to go?
I'm Jenn! I'm a baker, blogger, sorta-runner, and writer living in Jacksonville, Florida!