So today was an actual scheduled rest day. Lettin’ those leg muscles relax and repair for tomorrow’s big 20-miler. I spent the morning hunting and gathering supplies (a girl must have her Gu and recovery drinks) and even snuck a new running shirt into the purchases (feeling pretty makes me faster). I spent the afternoon calmly cleaning, folding laundry, snuggling with a sleepy babe, and helping the older monkeys primp and dress for their Grandparents Dance this evening. The route is mapped; the fueling is planned and procured; the proper steps have been taken. And, after all, it’s just a training run.
But…twenty miles. TWENTY. MILES. That’s kind of a lot. Since I started running longer distances, one of my new OCD quirks is to reset the trip odometer and find pride in knowing I’ve run longer distances than I typically drive. I know the back roads around here now, because I have run them over and over again, slowly learning their intersections and loops. I have run past the kids’ old daycare, past our church, past the lake I long to fish in, up the mountain and back down, across the Delaware River and back…but TWENTY MILES suddenly seems a ginormous number.
So let’s break it down. Anything less than ten miles feels silly anymore. So the first half of this run is a warm up, right? Right. I ran my Rock N Roll Half Marathon last year in 2:37. Now I am typically at 14.5 miles in that time, still feeling quite strong and closing in on home. At that point tomorrow, I will be on the verge of a fuel break, replenishing my water supply and eating an energy bar left on the front porch by Cheerleader Hubby. Once the fuel belts have been swapped out, I am off for one last loop around the daycare and back – what I have come to view as a quick and easy run that averages anywhere from 1:15 to 1:30. Assuming I keep my past pace, I ought to be done in just over four hours, with my usual pauses for stretching and Gu-ing. Four hours, though a freakish time to some, doesn’t sound bad at all. I can do four hours.
Now that we have made everything sound so reasonable, let us not speak of that other number. At least, not until it is under my belt and I am once again Fully Awesome and Ready To Brag. If I set off at 6:00 am as planned, I ought to be Bragging by 10:30. Log on, little Readers, and I will regale you with each step, song, stretch, and moment of doubt (to always be quickly followed by Moments of Greatness, naturally). I know you’ll be thinking of me tomorrow as I chug through the Water Gap, and perhaps you will be motivated to lace up your own running shoes. Which would be FABULOUS, because then we can start signing up for races together. I need more running partners. Currently, I have only myself and my Ego (and that chick just keeps getting bigger all the time).