Saturday, September 18, 2010

Twenty Miles!

As this post's title suggests, I ran twenty miles this morning!  It was so different from last week's attempt; even at the end of the run I felt good.  I made two major changes, so I don't know for sure which one helped.  I think maybe both of them did.

First off, I ate an drank a lot more during this run: 20 ounces of water, 16 ounces of Gatorade, 2 Hammer Gels (espresso) and 1 package of Honey Stinger Chews.  I guess I need a lot of calories when I run.

Also, this run wan't completely alone.  I ran 4 miles before meeting up with some friends (and speedsters) at 7:00.  Seeing the sun come up over Country Park was gorgeous.  I ran with the group for 12 miles and then ran 4 more on my own to finish up.  Saying that I ran with them for 12 miles is not entirely true; I ran about 200 feet behind the pack, catching up at water stops and when I cut one corner through a parking lot to dodge part of a hill.  Even watching the backsides of ten running buddies is better than running solo for three hours.
I haven't completely decided what to do for the three weeks left in my training.  Originally, last week was supposed to be 20 miles, this week a relatively short 14, and next week 22.  Since I did 20 today, should I do 22 next week without a week off, do 14 next week and 22 two weeks before the race, or skip the 22-miler altogether?  I wanted to have three weeks of taper before the race, running 10-14 mile long runs. Is two weeks of taper enough?  Is 20 miles really enough for a long run?  I know a lot of training plans max out at 20, but I've always been skeptical of leaving 6.2 miles to chance.

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