Holy heck and shoot fire! Twenty miles is not for the feint of heart! Saturday, November 23 I ran 20 miles. TWENTY FREAKING MILES!!! I have never run that far and it was mind blowing! I prepared a 6.63 mile loop that I ran three times and then tacked on a bit more to get an even 20. I started just before 6:30 in the morning. I had gotten up early to eat a bowl of oatmeal and drink some water. My nerves woke me up early and I could barely finish my oatmeal. I threw a Clif bar in a Ziploc bag and planned to much on it during the run. I brought four gels and took them every four miles. I had my hydration vest full of water and my fuel belt was full of nuun (two 8 ounce flasks up front, two 10 ounce flasks in the back). The temperature was 64, feels like 64 with 94%+ humidity. The minute I stepped outside and felt the humidity I knew it would take longer than originally planned for this run.
As expected, the humidity really weighed me down. I started munching on my Clif bar around five miles. Take a bite and swig some water. I have found that I get incredibly hungry mid-run and I need to eat something or my stomach growls so bad it feels like severe stomach cramping. Taking gels every four miles really worked. My run/walk ratios were 4/1 (minutes). About 15 miles in, I decided that I was absolutely crazy for doing this! I even ran into my neighbor and told them that I was 15 miles in to a 20 mile run, he and his wife just looked at me like I was crazy! I admitted to them that right about then, I was either crazy or incredibly stupid. I felt both!
I can honestly say that this was the hardest physical run I have ever had. I struggled to keep my mind in the game. Knowing that I had three loops made it easier. The first loop was just that, but by the second loop, I was telling myself that I only had to pass that house one more time. I only had to pass that tree one more time. That really helped. About 18 miles in, my body decided to start fighting me. I guess it had enough of the abuse. My IT band got incredibly tight and started affecting my knee. I could feel some major blisters on my feet. I pushed on through and had to walk more than I’d like those last 1.5 miles, but my garmin read 20.01 miles when I finally got home! And yes, I immediately took a picture of it!
What worked this time:
My hydration was good. I could have brought more nuun since I burned through it due to the humidity. I think I will bring my 16 ounce handheld full next time and strap it into my hydration vest
Fueling was epic! The Clif bar really helped and the gels did their job.
Body Glide got all of the hot spots from the last run so no chafing.
Mentally I was able to hang on and stay in the game.
One more flask of nuun for humidity.
Body glide my feet for blisters.
Try my Aspaeris compression shorts to keep my IT band in check
Overall, this was an epic run and I couldn’t stop telling people for the next 36 hours that I had run 20 miles! I can’t wait to say that I am a marathoner and to put that 26.2 magnet on the back of my car!
Next up: I will run 23 miles on 12/14. I am actually going to run a half down at City Park and then tack on 10 more miles. I will need to remind myself to not race this event, but treat it like a long run. I’m notorious for blowing my wad in the first 10k of a half and struggle on through.
It’s a great day for running y’all!