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The last 20. Hungover & Tired.

I was nervous and anxious about this damn 20 miler for like two weeks. That’s the way I operate. It’s a tough workout and it was my last HUGE effort before tapertown. I’ve put a lot of really great workouts in and wanted to make sure I killed this last big run. 
I had heavy miles last week, probably the most miles in one week I’ve ever run…. 60. I basically did a tempo run on Monday and Wednesday. (Monday was unplanned tempo with the stroller, but felt good so went with it) My legs were done after Wednesday. A good thing, I had worked hard and my body could tell.

In general I enjoy getting my long run in on Friday’s so that I don’t have to worry about it on the weekend. I had a lot of good family and friend time going on this weekend so getting the run in on Friday was even higher on my list of priorities than usual. I really wanted it crossed off my list.

On Thursday, I went to Crown Point to meet our new nephew, Evan. I was so excited to head up and meet him and hang out Glenn’s family. One reason I’m excited to be staying home- impromptu mid week visits without worrying about work. (hasn’t fully happened yet, but we are working on it… I’m moving to part time next week until they get someone to replace me)

With baby Evan- 8 lbs, 8 oz. Seemed so tiny but over 2 lbs more than Marshall was

Friday morning I woke up with intentions to maybe do the 20. My sister in law (not the one who had the baby haha) and mother in law agreed to watch Marshall for me while I ran. I had ate pretty terrible Friday night (even had ice cream, which I just don’t do before a long run… GI would hate me for that) On top of that my body didn’t feel ready. I knew I was still tired from Wednesdays run. AND, the roads were not cleared and I was dodging cars the whole run. (I picked busier roads to run on because I thought they’d be more cleared, but 8am on a Friday, lot’s of people who have those things called jobs were driving to work) It wasn’t fun.

Within two minutes of running, I texted my sister in law and let her know I would only be doing 10, no way was the 20 happening. I ended up running 7.5 at a slower pace than I’ve ran since probably November. I felt defeated.                                                  
As much as I wanted to get the 20 over with, I knew it would have been a bad idea. I knew I wouldn’t be able to execute the run I needed to. 

On Saturday, I had plans with my friends to go to Louisville, I had four hours of car time and lost an hour coming from Crown Point- the run wasn’t happening then either. Plus, legs were still tired. buh. This run was seriously hanging over my head.

I was agonizing over it on the trip down, we weren’t totally sold on going out late, but I know we’d start with dinner & drinks and see what happened. I was whining on the phone to Glenn about it and he said don’t let it ruin the night and just see what happens. After all if I needed to I could just get up on Monday AM and do it… another day blah.

Best Friends. So glad I didn’t let a silly run ruin our night.


I took his advice and we went out on Saturday and I stopped worrying about it.

By the time my head hit the pillow, I’d had a lot to drink and it was 3am. My internal alarm clock started waking me at 5:30 and I restlessly tossed and turned until 8:45. Are you kidding me? I have no baby waking me up and I still can’t sleep in successfully. I finally just got up, chugged water paced around the house, went back and forth in my head if I could or should try to do the 20, made some toast, took an immodium (are you kidding me, I usually take one if I have a 15 mile plus run, but a hard 20 hungover? It’s necessary)

To be clear- of course I knew I could do this run at any time- but it wasn’t that I was just running 20 miles, it was a key 20 miles. It wasn’t a steady, slow run. It was a monster run.

I texted Glenn and let him know it was going down. He responded: “Hammer it. Get it done. You’ll have a great run.” I needed to hear that and I repeated in my head for a lot of the run. There was no reason (other than going out till 3 and drinking too much) that I wouldn’t put in a good run.

Meghan was up, but the other two girls were sleeping, I headed out at 9:45 and told her if all went well, I’d be back at 12:15. At the time, that sounded like an eternity away.

It took a half a mile for my GPS to kick in- once I got out on the main roads out of Meghan’s neighborhood, it was on. I was carrying a hand water bottle, which I have never done and ditched at the neighborhood entrance- it wasn’t going to fly. I hated how it felt.

I had no clue where I was going- never been in this area, I just ran. I used the main road outside her neighborhood as my guide so I wouldn’t get lost and just would turn off on side streets and neighborhoods here and there. The way out was WINDY. And HILLY. I was really happy about that because even though it would make the run even tougher, it was the perfect combination for a great training run for race day. My plans when I headed out where to not pass back by the neighborhood until at least 10 miles. If I ran by any sooner, I’d be doomed to feel like I was years away from finishing.

I ended up running a good amount without my music because I was on some pretty deserted roads. I felt safe, but it was deserted. Mostly just by farms, lot’s of cows. I’m not one to have to have music or not have music when I run, I can go either way and I don’t use music when I race.

During the run, I kept reminding myself how pissy I would be if I was laying on the couch wallering and putting it off. I love being with the girls, but laying on the couch feeling hungover with them was not going to make me happy.

The workout:

3 X 5 Miles at Marathon Pace 
(1 Mile Warm Up, 1 Mile in between sets, 2 Mile Cool Down)

Mile 1– 7:49 (warm up)

Mile 2– 7:29 (set 1)
Mile 3– 7:12
Mile 4– 7:18
Mile 5– 7:19
Mile 6– 7:22

Mile 7– 7:41 (rest mile) 

Mile 8– 7:18 (set 2)
Mile 9– 7:15
Mile 10– 7:16
Mile 11– 7:08
Mile 12– 7:14

Mile 13– 7:44 (rest mile)

Mile 14– 7:00 (set 3)
Mile 15– 7:07
Mile 16– 7:04 
Mile 17– 7:18
Mile 18– 7:08

Mile 19– 7:20 (cool down) 
Mile 20– 7:32 

Breaking the run up into the three sets helped a lot mentally and while I would usually scare myself out of slowing down for that rest mile, afraid that I wouldn’t be able to pick it back up, I did as the plan told me to do and it worked. Had I not, I think that last set would have been a disaster. I kept myself honest on the rest mile and made sure to not slow down too much- had to keep my head in the game.

At mile 12.5 I took one hammer (espresso… my fav) and had a glass of water at a gas station.  This was right before my last set of 5. I needed it. It was perfect timing. My next mile was the fastest mile of the run and I started the set thinking, “get through this first mile and you’ve got 4 hard ones. Just 4. You can handle that.

While five miles seemed like a long stretch at a time to hit marathon pace, it was totally fine- I kept reminding myself to stay in that mile and then work on the next. It’s all a mind game really- get to two miles and you are almost half way through the set… once you pass the third mile in the set you are smooth, you roll over mile three and you have less than two to go. The legs might hurt, but this stuff is all in the head people!!

It’s fun to be able to run calculated. To tell yourself when you will speed up and slow down. It makes you feel in control. Because you are. 

My goal marathon pace going into this training was 7:26. Based on the last few weeks, I believe if race day is a good day, I can accomplish that smooth sailing. I won’t say I will be happy with any kind of PR, because I know I’ve put the work in and I have a huge PR in me. Based on the runs, I think 7:15-7:20 pace is doable- I hesitate to throw that out there but honestly it will only hold me accountable and push me that much more on race day.

I’m on to my taper now– and my body/legs need it. On Wednesday I’ve got some speed work lined up and Saturday is a 14 mile progression run, with easy/steady runs on all the other days. This doesn’t sound so bad compared to the training week last week.  

And the moral of the Story

Don’t let your running, work, whatever it is you are focused on get in the way of life. Those 20 miles meant A LOT to me, I am proud of them, I needed that run to polish of many weeks of hard training, BUT my friends are more important than the run. I had an amazing time with them and relationships are more important than running.

While I do take my running seriously, I’m dedicated and it’s what makes me happy- it’s not my job. I’m not an elite runner, nor will I ever be one. Yes, I want to get faster and I thrive on seeing what I can do, but it’s not my life, it’s a part of my life. I think it’s a little silly to take it to the place where you live like it’s your job when it’s not.

I won’t be passing up opportunities to go out with my friends, I’m OK with having multiple drinks in one night (did it last night on a Monday while watching the bachelor) I will never quit because I’m having a bad day or race I will embrace the kind of run or day I’ve been given and move on. All the while, I will continue to eat clean for the most part, get adequate sleep, for the most part and try to have a healthy balance. This isn’t my job, it’s my fun, my sanity, my peace. Let’s try to remember that.

Oh and also- I forgot how much I enjoy running hills. What goes up must go down.

Have you ever killed a workout hungover?
What’s your favorite long run workout?
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