This morning was my much anticipated 20 mile long run, the longest run of my marathon training schedule. Once I realized that my 20 miler was fast approaching, I started to get nervous about it. I was especially nervous about it since my 16 and 18 mile long runs were really tough. After both of those runs I was seriously doubting whether I'd be able to run a marathon. I'm happy to say that this morning was another story. I started out really slow, and was able to pace myself really well for all 20 miles. I knew going in that the reason my last 2 long runs were tough had to do a lot with the pace I started the runs at and the heat, so those were the things I changed to make this run easier. I started my run at 5 am to avoid the heat as best as I could, and made myself run 2 minutes/ mile slower than my normal pace. It took me just over 4 hours to finish my run, and by the time I got back to my car this is what the temperature was reading according to my car!
I don't think it was quite that hot outside, but it certainly felt like it was in the low-mid 90's by 9 am this morning.
Besides being the first time running 20 miles, this morning also marked the first time I've kissed the pavement since I started running. Considering how clumsy I can be from time to time, I'm surprised I've managed to keep from falling for this long. This morning I completely wiped out not once, but TWICE! Even though it was slightly embarrassing falling the second time since people were around, I felt pretty tough running with bloody knees.
Overall I'd say this run was a great success. I finally feel like I can complete 26.2 miles on race day. Now I get to rest up and enjoy some shorter runs until race day in 5 more weeks!