This past weekend I went on my first ever 20 mile run. 20 miles folks. 2-0. It’s still a little surreal to me. I decided at the last minute to move my long run up a day early to have better weather and I’m so glad that I did. On Friday I went to the store to pick up some fuel – this worth mentioning because this is the first time I’ve ever fueled during a run. I’ve taken Gatorade and water but never anything more than that. So I bought some Clif Bar Shot Bloks, Honey Stingers, and nuun tablets.
I woke up Saturday morning not with the usual nervousness but with pure excitement. I was SO excited to get my first 20 miler under my belt and had no doubt in my mind that it would happen. I had my usual pre-long run breakfast (oatmeal with a scoop of Peanut Butter & Co. cinnamon raisin swirl peanut butter and black coffee). Then I got myself ready to go, taking the Shot Bloks and 6oz each of water and nuun with me, and headed out the door.
My legs felt good, my pace was very comfortable around an 8:40. The weather was great, cool temps in the 60s with partial clouds and supposedly some humidity but I couldn’t feel it. I know I start to get thirsty and tired around mile 8, so I decided to take a “blok” every 10k to get ahead of that worn out feeling. Shot Bloks are essentially big gummies designed to give you energy during endurance activities. I had the triple berry flavor and wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but it tasted good and went down easy (always chase gels/chews with water). I then tried the nuun water for the first time, lemon lime flavor, and thought it tasted really good, imagine lemon lime Gatorade with the sugar removed and watered down. Ok that’s a terrible description… but just trust me on this one! Before I knew it I was at the halfway point and it was time to head back. I was surprised how good I felt, not really tired at all and just enjoying the ride. When I finished all 20 miles I was tired but felt less tired than when I ran 18 miles two weeks earlier, which I was thrilled about. I think overall the great run had to do with the ideal weather, fueling consistently throughout the run, and my positive attitude.
After the run it was my usual long-run recovery routine: stretch, foam roll, tennis ball on my arches, ice bath, compression socks, and food/water. I think I’ve got my post-run routine down pat. This was definitely my most-accomplished and proudest run to date. Now only one more 20 miler on tap before MCM!
What’s your proudest moment during training or a race?