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20 Miles with a Stroller.

Today’s 20 miles. I don’t know why I do this to myself, but I was agonizing over this run for like 2 weeks. The distance seemed daunting. I hadn’t ran that far since the Monumental Marathon last year– which I ran with a friend. It’d been over a year since I’d ran 20 miles and I was going to run the Monumental this year whether I did this run or not but knew if I wanted to have any confidence at the marathon, or not be miserable starting mile 17 I needed to run this 20.

Ideally, I would have ran it this past Saturday, three weeks out, but I had our big Back on My Feet race that day and I was absolutely exhausted on Sunday so it wasn’t happening then.  I planned on taking a day off work this week to recoup from the relay and figured Tuesday would be my best bet.

We have no babysitter on Tuesday’s. My mom was coming up to Indy to do stuff with their new house, so I thought maybe I’d run 10 with the stroller and then drop Marshall off at my Mom’s and finish out the other 10 sans stroller.

At 9:30am Marshall was ready for his first nap, so I thought, if I’m gonna do even 10 with him, I better go now. 86th street is my turn around on the monon for a 10 mile run. At 41 minutes, I was 5 miles in and felt good. I figured I might as well go up 2.5 more miles and that way I could knock out 15 and only have 5 left when I drop him off. BUT, the farther I ran, the more I just wanted to do it all with the stroller and hang it up for the day.

Marshall woke up around mile 6. Oh no, that is early on in a 20 mile run. I trucked on past the Monon center at mile 7.5. Marshall still awake but just hanging out. I needed to go north 2.5 more miles. My hope was that I could at least get back to the monon center and if I needed to stop and feed or change him I could. I’d be 12.5 miles in and it would be a good break point.

Miles 9-12. He started losing it at mile 9. Oh boy. I turned around at mile 10 only to realize I’d get to run straight into a nice headwind the whole way home. Baby crying, headwind, legs starting to get a little tired, 2 little hills. Yikes. There are essentially only 2 hills on the entire monon and they are right around miles 11 and 12 on a 20 mile out and back for me. I probably looked like a mess. Struggling pushing the stroller up the hill, while trying to stuff a pacifier into a screaming baby’s mouth. If the people who saw me knew I was attempting 20 with this baby, they’d think I was nuts. Mile 12 turned out to be my second fastest mile as I was trying to book it to the monon center.

Marshman at mile 10. In between a freak out session. Half way done buddy.

Literally 2 minutes before approaching the center, he calmed down and went into a trans like he might fall back asleep- so ON I WENT. I thought I’d try to at least make it to the bathrooms and benches at 96th street. By that point, he was out cold. 6 miles to go. The nice thing about all my worries about him crying and what not- it kind of distracted me from obsessing over how I was feeling at each mile.

Whenever I run a far distance north on the monon, I always just think- get me back to 86th street and I can handle the last 5 miles. Then whenever I get to 86th street, it’s – get me to Broad Ripple and I can handle the last 2.5.

OUCH. Those last 2.5 were freaking hard. (take a look at my last 2 mile splits. I worked for those slower miles… they hurt bad) My legs were shot, my body was tired from pushing  into the headwind and I was ready to stop. Not to mention my water bottle spilled and I was without water for the last 3 miles… unwilling to stop at McDonalds to fill up. (Are you kidding me? Stop? Baby is sleeping. If I stop this stroller, he would surely wake up.)

We made it over the Kessler Bridge and Marshall woke up with one mile to go. I could handle a screaming baby for 1 mile if I had to. But he just stared at me bright eyed the rest of the way. We finished in 2:44:36 and I knew my last two miles were my slowest, but I didn’t care, I just wanted to finish without slowing down to a 10 minute mile.

The lactic acid build up in my legs once I finished felt the same as when I’ve finished some marathons. It was intense. I scarfed a banana and some of my morning smoothie while I fed baby boy. So happy and proud to have finished 20 with a stroller at a great pace. It was really rewarding and special to finish my first post baby 20 miles with Marshall. We’ve essentially been running together since day one and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. He ran the Monumental with my last year and although he won’t be running it with me this year, he trained with me! I love our special running times together.

I’m going to run the Monumental on November 3rd. I don’t think I can PR, but I do think I can run around a 3:30-3:40 if I have a good race. Although we won’t go back to Boston anytime soon, I’d like to at least qualify as a goal. I don’t really have the training or miles in to realistically PR, but I’m going to believe it’s possible and we’ll just have to wait and see what kind of game both my body and mind bring to the table for the race. And I can’t help but already be praying that Marshall doesn’t have me up all night the night before. 

Stats from the 20 today: 

Splits:

Mile 1 – 8:37
Mile 2 – 8:02
Mile 3 – 8:08
Mile 4 – 8:25
Mile 5 – 8:11
Mile 6 – 8:07
Mile 7 – 8:17
Mile 8 – 8:08
Mile 9 – 8:03
Mile 10 – 7:59
Mile 11 – 8:10
Mile 12 – 7:56
Mile 13 – 8:04
Mile 14 – 7:59
Mile 15 – 8:14
Mile 16 – 7:52
Mile 17 – 8:00
Mile 18 -8:36
Mile 19 – 8:39
Mile 20 – 8:55

The weird thing about running this time, is usually when I go out for a stroller run, I do 3-5 miles at around a 9 minute mile. Never a serious run. Before today the farthest stroller run I had done was 6 miles. Who said we couldn’t do it. 

Time: 2:44:36 
Pace 8:14
Hydration & Energy: 1.5 mini bottles of water (not enough), one honey stinger and one citrus GU.

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