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:
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!