Well I did it. 20 miles. Done. I sort of think of this as a right of passage. I remember the first time I ran 10 miles and that was a big deal. It still is actually, but this is bigger still. It isn't really a milestone in my marathon prep or anything, because I still have a long way to go and I know it, but I feel a huge sense of satisfaction having done it. For those that have been paying attention, you'll recall that I did 15 miles at an 8 min pace, then I did 18 miles at an 8:20/mile pace, and last night I slowed down further still to 9 min per mile. I was on the treadmill for 3 hours and I'm sure the people at the gym thought I'd lost my mind. The reduced pace really helped as today I can just feel a little tightness in the legs, but could do a run today if I wanted to ( but I'm not planning on it ).
So..I got the run done, and my goal is to learn a little more about myself and long runs in general on each one of these. Things I learned:
1. The gym attendant on Tuesday nights is great. It's no coincidence that I choose Tuesday for my long runs.
2. Good friends are a good thing. Relationships are a source of strength and are worth every ounce invested in them. I have some work I need to do here, and have a clearer idea how to go about it now. There's nothing like a long run to give you the time to tie down the lose ends running around in your head.
3. Eric Clapton freaking rocks. I may have to remove his songs from my long run playlist as I really have a hard time keeping the pace slow with him blasting in my ear. Sure, I could turn him down, but Clapton at low volume seems like a waste.
4. I have met the monster called Chaffing, and it is a bitch. Holy crap !!! During any run I've always been really lucky in that once I get into my rythym, my pain threshhold goes way up. Sometimes this is bad, as I don't realize I'm getting a killer blister until it's huge or formed and broken. Most of the time, it helps keep little nagging nuisance issues from slowing me down. The only thing I was aware of during the run was muscle fatigue, and how soaked my socks and shorts were. No pain, no discomfort, nothing. I got off the treamill after a cooldown walk and became aware of some irritation on my upper thigh. No biggie..it wasn't even red, it just stung a little. I chatted a little, went home and got in the shower for a nice relaxing rinse off of the run. I've never actually been on fire before, but that's the best way to describe the sensation when I stepped got in the shower. The water stung my chest, stomach, thighs, nipples, and manly parts in such a way that I wasn't sure if I could complete the shower. It was BRUTAL !!! Today everything seems to be ok excelpt between my thighs, and the nipples are still a little tender. I don't know how to address this issue except to use a little body glide, and switch around some of the clothes I wear...but man oh man. So...my final words of wisdom for today are: BEWARE THE CHAFFE !! and of course....just don't stop running.