20 long miles

That was the plan today.

2015-03-08 07.48.37I got my waist pack out and washed, and put some bear yoyo’s and a nakd bar into the pocket. I couldn’t decide in clothes- parkrun yesterday was OK in a t-shirt, but I was going to be out for a long time, and the wind was up. In the end I wore a t-shirt with a thin long sleeved top over, which I could take off when I got warm.

I was up early and had breakfast (pulsin bar again) so was ready before 8am to head off. I kept having to stop at first- first at the end of my road because the pack was bounding about- I think I used to wear the bottle on my hip, but I couldn’t get it right and the bottle was banging my back and making a very annoying sloshing noise. Then I got stopped asking for directions, and I am sure something else happened too.

Anyway I did the same route as last week, only I had mapped out an extra small loop in the middle to add on the extra 2 miles. The first 10 miles were fine- I didn’t look at my watch at all so had no idea of speed or distance, so just tried to enjoy the podcasts and the sunny morning. I have been reading Tracks (about a girl hiking the Pacific Crest Trail) and she is having to carry several days worth of water as there are miles between water sources, so each time my pack was annoying me I tried to think how much worse it was for her.

At just after 10 miles it had got quite warm, so I took my top off, but that ended up being a longer stop as I had forgotten to loop my headphones through. Anyway, although my legs were tired, they were OK, and at that point I was over half way so I felt quite optimistic. At that point I convinced myself that I needed the toilet, but luckily I pass some public ones at around 12 miles, so I stopped then (had to leave my pack on the side and tuck my phone into my running bra as I didn’t want to take my water bottle into the cubicle)- it turned out I did not need it- so more minutes wasted stopping.

I started having a few sips of drink then, as it had really warmed up. At around 12 miles and 14 miles I had my Bear yoyo’s, and then started with my nakd bar at about 16 miles but I didn’t finish it as my stomach felt quite full then. By this time I was wanting to stop and walk, but knew I was on the home straight. Although I also realised that I was too far from home so it was going to end up being over 20 miles. I thought I knew a slight short cut, so I took that, but I am not sure if it was in the end. The final mile was more of a shuffle I think. At 20 miles I was tempted to just stop and walk, but of course walking takes much longer and I just wanted to get home, so I shuffled on to make it 20.6 miles.

I realised when running that I have only ever run that distance twice before- once at the South Cheshire 20 miler, and then in the Stockholm marathon itself- never on my own or out of a race situation. So I have taken from that a lot of positives- it took me 4 hours to do that, although Strava helpfully tells me my moving time was 3.42 which sounds better.

2015-03-08 12.06.39I had washed my face by this point, so I think I agree with Andy that I didn’t look too bad again.Β 

Andy got me a drink and then after a brief collapse on the bed I headed for a shower. He bought himself a little smoothie maker this week, and so when I got out the shower he made me a protein smoothie with banana, frozen berries, almond milk, peanut butter and oats. So good. Although I put Deep Freeze gel all over my legs, and I keep forgetting that it takes a while to kick Β in, so that combined with a cold smoothie meant I was soon shivering.

A little later I had the energy to go and cook some pancakes, although my plan was sweet potato pancakes (I had cooked some earlier in the week) but totally forgot at the time.

2015-03-01 15.32.04

This was from last week (French toast instead of pancakes) but minus the banana it was pretty much the same- pancakes, blueberries cooked to a sauce, some almond milk yoghurt and vegan butterscotch sauce (which comes from here in case anyone is interested).

2015-03-01 15.17.24

They were on offer in Waitrose last week and I fancied trying them- they do have soya too, but I don’t mind that- the almond one has been good this week, but I haven’t tried the coconut one yet.

A walk is good for recovery, so after pancakes we headed out on a short walk (more of a hobble for me to be honest) and then I went for a little afternoon nap.

Next weekend I *only* have to do 12 miles- that sounds blissful to me at the moment!

Now I need to decide on the other 20 miler- I have penciled in a local race- they are training runs really- you just turn up on the day with your Β£5 and form, but it will be a faff to drive there and register. I did think that it would be a bonus having a route mapped out, and water en route, but now I am not so sure as I do find that sort of thing stressful, so I might just moderate this route slightly and do that instead. Decisions.

Did you have a good weekend? Would you prefer to run on your own or as part of an organised event?

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15 thoughts on “20 long miles”

  1. The race for the next 20 miles sound alike a good idea; a slight faff getting there but not to have to carry water in my eyes is a HUGE plus

    1. Yes, good point, and it will probably be warmer then. It just takes up almost the whole day it feels.

  2. I would always go for an organized event because they help me to test out strategies for race day, and also they act as a more useful training run because I’m inclined to push the pace more than if I’m just running alone. I also hate it when water sloshes about (I took ages squeezing the air out of my Camelbak last week so that the movement and consequent sloshing was minimal!) and carrying it is such a pain, so I try to avoid it if I can.

    Congrats on a great long run!

    1. Yes you’re right, I would run faster probably with other people.
      Camelbak packs do look really annoying- I imagine the sloshing would be hard work, plus it would make your back all hot.

  3. Argh. it’s frustrating having to stop for no reason! I had to stop today to take my jacket off (was raining when I left) and then again because my podcast had finished, that turned out to be a bit of an ordeal too because I was trying to make it snappy, but in the end I got all tangled up!

    20 miles is a long long way. That’s a great time!

    Corinne x

    1. Yeah stopping is annoying, but that is why I like Strava as they work out your moving time for you, so you get a bit of a better idea.

  4. Well done Maria! There is always something so satisfying about ticking off the first long run in the twenties each season.
    I had a rubbish week of training last week only fitting in one run (very rare for me!) and we have four days of inspections at school this week but I’m hoping to be more organised and fit my runs in still. I have a twenty mile ‘race’ which I shall use as a training run in a few weeks time. I prefer using a race for my longest long runs as it means no stopping for traffic, no worrying about carrying water and having people around to keep me motivated.

  5. Nice run!! Well done πŸ™‚ So many people I knew were running 20 miles this weekend so it was a bit crazy on social media for me and made me very jealous. I *only* ran 9 miles but it felt pretty good and I cannot wait to (HOPEFULLY) get to the bigger mileage in a month or so’s time. I just love a long run. But I’ll need to think about taking water…I have a belt as well but it is annoying and jostles about. Or I could just hold a water bottle…
    Oh and the person asking you for directions – don’t they know you’re on a run!? How dare they πŸ˜‰
    That Tracks book sounds a lot like Wild (which I loved). I heard Mark Kermode mention the Tracks film and have added it to my rental list for LoveFilm as I thought it sounded interesting. Didn’t know it was a book! Definitely going to look for it.

    1. I was jealous of all the people running half marathons- I think they are preferable to full marathons! But I am still not fast enough- other people in my club did 20 miles in 3 hours so I am way behind them really- but we must not compare ourselves to others!
      I am reading the book before we watch the film- I would rather do it that way around usually.

  6. I did my 20 miler yesterday too, woop go us! I find the 20 miler the hardest of all the marathon training long runs. Especially yesterday as it was so wet. I’m going to try to squeeze another one in also, maybe in 2 weeks time. A few from my club are doing the Trimpell 20, but as someone said above you will run faster in a race (even if you’re not racing) and I want to rest my legs a bit so will take my next 20 miler a bit slower I think. I had pancakes after my run too but french toast also sounds like a good idea.

  7. That’s a great run- well done. I think doing an organized event as training is a good idea, but mentally it’s quite good to do longer ones on your own too. I don’t remember the last time I did a 20 mile training run-I had to go and look it up- apparently it was last April when I was ultra training.

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