Saturday, April 9, 2011

Hitting the big 2-0... Now, I feel better

Today, I got up at 4:30 a.m. and ran 20 miles. Mentally I'm feeling great, race day is approaching very quickly and getting past 20 was a huge confidence-boost for the 26.2. Physically, my legs feel pretty much like you'd expect them to feel after running 20 miles.

This week was also my first 40-mile week.

The Cleveland Marathon is now 35 days away. May 15. Just over a month from now.

Most of the full marathoners were going early so I sucked it up, woke up at 4:30, and was at Thomas Worthington at 6. The first 9 miles were very peaceful, we ran on the Olentangy Trail to the gazebo, up through Worthington Hills and back to the school. Worthington Hill wasn't that bad the first time. The fatigue started to hit as we went up the hill to the school.

We met up with the full 10:30 MIT crew at 8 back at the school and headed out again. Things were starting to get sore, but I was distracted for the next three miles because the whole group was with us and they, just starting out, had a lot of energy.  (continued)

Things really started to get tough around Mile 13, when we hit Worthington Hills again. The hill -- which is hardly longer than .2 miles, felt like an eternity, and took some time to recover from. I really started to hurt on the way back down the hill, at about Mile 15. I tried to convince myself that 5 miles wasn't that far, but my brain wouldn't have it. I tried to convince someone else. She glared at me.

After the water stop at Mile 16 I dropped back with another girl in our group and we fell back to about an 11:30 pace. Two others that started early with us also ended up dropping back and we did our last three miles very slowly. We were all really hurting. It was a struggle to keep conversation going just to pass the time.

But that's ok, we got the time on our feet in, we did it, that's all that matters. And, when we got back to the school, there were all kinds of wonderful supportive people there to greet us.

I can't say enough about MIT and the 10:30 group, they are all really wonderful people.

A map of my route can be viewed on the Daily Mile. Splits were as follows:
Mile 1: 10:47
Mile 2: 10:16
Mile 3: 10:33
Mile 4: 11:20
Mile 5: 10:48
Mile 6: 10:30
Mile 7: 10:35
Mile 8: 10:42
Mile 9: 10:38
Mile 10: 10:31
Mile 11: 10:58
Mile 12: 10:38
Mile 13: 10:47
Mile 14: 10:58
Mile 15: 10:24
Mile 16: 10:25
Mile 17: 11:20
Mile 18: 11:31
Mile 19: 12:01
Mile 20: 12:41

This week was rough, and I'm really glad it ended on a positive note. I was sick at the beginning of the week, and work kept me really busy. Weekly mileage:

Next week is another fallback. We get two days off, then Tuesday: 5; Wednesday: 7; Thursday: 4; Friday: 4 and Saturday: 12. After that is the 22-miler, then two taper weeks, then race day.

In the meantime, I have all my grocery shopping done, the dogs are walked, laundry is in the dryer and I got a pre-made salad at Trader Joe's for dinner, so dishes can wait. Time to be a bum until Monday.


  1. Wow, way to go! You'll rock Cleveland!

  2. Glad things are looking up now. Passing those big even numbers are always good for building confidence (40 & 20)

  3. Way to go, Jessica! I love reading your details - I so admire your splits - awesome pace! Congrats on 20 miles. That is a great accomplishment!!!!!

  4. Great job, Jess! But 4:30 am-that's dedication for sure!
    One suggestion, start out a little slower and try to negative split your remaining longer runs.

    You're doing great.