The Long Run

I’ve written about long runs before. But tomorrow, I attempt The Long Run — the only 20-miler I’ll be doing before the Marine Corps Marathon, per my doctor’s instructions, making this kind of a mini climax within my training period.

The first time I ran 20 miles, I remember thinking there was something distinctly different about it. Even when compared to other long runs, 20 is long enough to feel more like a hike or other outdoor excursion than a run. It requires more planning than any other venture during marathon training, and requires you to prep your body as you would for the full marathon. Here are the nitty-gritty details for this one:

Pre-run fuel: Roasted vegetable lasagna, homemade pizzatopped with farm-stand veggies, pumpkin-dark chocolate muffins. (I know … you’ve seen these before. Stick with what works, right?)

Route: Variation of the marathon course.

Tunes: Four-hour playlist almost done (playlist rule: always, always overestimate your finish time!). If someone can tell me how to copy and paste a playlist from iTunes, I can post it, like, yesterday.

Gear: Champion shorts. Ancient Reebok technical T-shirt I soaked in fancy sports detergent to get three years of stank out of it. It’s white, and is the exact replica of the pink one that used to be my lucky, go-to distance-running shirt, but that’s no longer wearable thanks to unremovable stank (seriously — it distracts even me).

Fuel: Water stops at memorials. Double espresso Gu and latte-flavored PowerBar gel obtained. Pre-run Luna bar ready, post-run Odwalla Protein Monster chilling in fridge. I’d make my post-run protein shake, but I’m going to be all the way across town, and want to be able to refuel sooner rather than later.

Weather: Looks. Freaking. Amazing. Overnight lows in the 50s, 60s in the morning. Yes, yes, yes!

Ego-boosts: My three previous runs. On Saturday and Tuesday, my early-morning five-milers in Florida came in under 8-minute miles, making me realize just how far I’ve come since hills ate my quads alive when I first moved back to the land of the seasons and elevation. Then, last night, I ran sub-8-minute miles on a super-hilly 5.5-mile course back home. No matter what pace my 20 ends up coming in at, I feel a serious burst of confidence knowing I can go fast, for me, on a pretty consistent basis.

Wish me luck not going crazy on my off-day leading up to it, and on the run tomorrow! Again, if you’ve got any last-minute playlist suggestions, leave ’em here!

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8 Comments

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8 responses to “The Long Run

  1. I don’t think I’ve ever prepped so much for a 20 miler… but I might just have to in a few weeks. Good luck girl and I can’t wait to hear and read all about it!

  2. KateKirk

    Go get ’em!

  3. You sound ready and prepared! Good luck with your 20-miler this weekend!

  4. trialsoftraining

    ah, you’ve done the Planning! i think you’re good to go 🙂 can’t wait to hear how you do.

    i use the water stops around the memorials too! just hope they’re working for you tomorrow. gah, i’ve had days……not fun.

    gooood luck!

  5. Pingback: The accidental 21-miler, fueled by two Gu’s at the same time « Amy’s Training Blog

  6. sometimes all the prep-work is exactly what i dislike about long runs! i’m trying to be more “independent” on some of the long runs without hauling a whole picnic basket along with me. i do enjoy a good long run though, oh the dilemma.

    hope your 20-miler went excellently! always feels good to put one of those in the race-prep bag. 🙂

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