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?

Comments

  1. Amazing! Talking about making it work 🙂 Can’t wait to see you crush your marathon girl!

  2. Great run! I love the idea of breaking up a long run into sets like that. I have never done it, but am definitely going to remember that for my next marathon training cycle.
    Oh, and I am also the girl getting up and running hungover at my college roommates’ reunion weekend, although I’ve never done a 20-miler that way! That is total badass!!!

    1. Hi Beth! Yes before this training cycle, I’d never broken the long run up like this, it helped so much! A run, long or short and lot’s of water might be the ultimate cure for a hangover. haha! We are in the process of starting a yearly girls weekend in the summer and I’m sure I’ll be that person like you up and running!

  3. Shanna

    I just discovered your blog and I love it! I’m an aspiring runner and mom to three. My longest run (so far) was 6.53 miles last weekend at an 8:15 mile pace. Your pace is blowing my mind! Thanks for inspiring me to get out there this weekend and get an even longer one in! 🙂

    1. Shana- thanks for checking it out- if you are already running 6.5 miles, you aren’t an aspiring runner anymore… you ARE a runner. 🙂 8:15 is a kick ass pace too! My paces weren’t always this speedy, it has taken years of hard work and the mental game places a HUGE role. I’ve also bought into the whole “you come back faster after having a baby” and trying to tell myself that’s true! Good luck with your training and seriously let me know if you ever have any training questions about pace or anything! Cheers!

    1. Thank you Kassi! I was very pleased with it and am sooo looking forward to what these training runs at these paces will do for me come race day! Thanks for reading!

  4. Leona

    Great job Lindsey! Running hungover? That was my punishment for many years…ran my first marathon hungover (which I do NOT recommend). It was Napa and it rained the ENTIRE race! I have never been sicker in my life. Thank God that pesky alcohol stuff is gone for me! 18 months and counting :).

    1. Hey Leona! I will most certainly NOT be making a habit of it- but made myself put the run in the back of my mind and enjoy the girls night… which I don’t get to do too often now that Marshman is here! 🙂 Hoping that the marathon might feel like cake now compared to that 20. Thanks for reading & congratulations on your continued sobriety!!

    2. Leona

      You are a phenomenal runner. Looking forward to hearing about the marathon! Kill it!

  5. AWESOME!! I am seriously impressed and inspired. I really like the way you broke up the 20 miles and as I have a 20 miler scheduled for this Sunday looming over me, I really appreciated reading your post. I started a blog about my attempt at my first marathon…coming up quickly this April..check it out if you’re remotely interested: britsytoboston.blogspot.com

    And again, thank you for fhis post in particular and the entire blog is awesome!!

    1. Hi Britsy! Thanks! Breaking it up is totally the way to go… even if there aren’t dramatic pace changes, it helps so much it the mental side of things.

      I hate the looming 20 miles- and every single time I finish I wonder why I let it bother me so much. No matter how many times I run that far, it is mentally hard to grasp before I head out- that I will be running that far. And every time I do it, I’m on cloud 9 for the remainder of the day.

      Will this be your first 20? Boston is an amazing race- lot’s of hills! Good luck and I will check out the blog!

  6. Lindsey — I just found your blog via another friends blog (the title caught my attention). Your pace and discipline are so inspiring. Seriously, incredible. I love the handful of other posts I read too. Many parallels and points of identification. I applaud your decision to stay at home. It’s not an easy choice, but one I’m sure you won’t ever regret. I started staying at home 8 years ago when my oldest was 11 months. I know for me, miscarriages were a lesson in not taking the role “mom” for granted. Like you, I feel beyond blessed to be able to be with them. We live in Jasper, but my 3 boys participate often in the Kids Tri Series in Indy. I imagine we’ll see Marshall on the circuit in a few short years! Sounds as though you have a full in two weeks. Can’t wait to read how it goes and be further inspired. I am planning to run my first full at Carmel next month. I’ve run five 1/2’s in the past 6 months and the miles are starting to come too quick, so I figured it was time. Your blog may become my virtual training partner. I’ll channel you during tomorrow’s repeats!

    1. Hi Tara! Thanks so much for the sweet comment! I have a good friend from Jasper and was jut there for their wedding in August. (my first time there!) Oh man, I can only imagine what kind of activities he will be into- but the Kids Tri series does sound fun. How young were your kids when they first tried it out? I do have a full in two weeks, I am incredibly nervous about it as of late… the whole taper thing, I’ve been excited for the rest, but has me ansy. That is so great you are doing Carmel full, I’ve done the half and the 8K and know the race organizers, who are really great! It’s a flat, fast course. I plan on doing the half. What training program are you doing? Perhaps we can meet on race day! Do you have a blog also?

  7. Ahh, I was hoping given your history of back to back races your might be pacing at Carmel! This isn’t my first time training for a full. I over-train and have proven to be injury prone once I get over 40 miles/week. I was registered to do the NOLA full last weekend, but had trouble recovering from a stress frac that I finished fracturing during the Monumental half. I took 7 full weeks off in a boot and have only been running again for 4 weeks. I’m loosely doing the “Run Less, Run Faster” plan. It’s a delicate balance for me between training sufficiently to achieve my goal (a BQ) and injuring myself and putting in another DNS. I only run 3 days a week and max out at 32 miles in two weeks. We’ll see. Feels very insufficient, but I’d like to actually make it this time. I’m trying to trust my time in the pool and on the bike to make up the slack. And, clearly, hoping to BQ in my first full is not advisable, but since I read your husband’s post on San Diego, I think I might be singing to the choir on that one! I’m old (38), so the bar is not high. Indeed, it would be lovely to meet you there. If my training holds out, I’ll be lining up in the 3:30 area. My half pace this fall was 7:30, so 8’s feel reasonable and are more than enough for a BQ.

    My oldest started doing tri’s when he was 7 and my two others followed a race behind at 6 and 5 respectively. I think technically they need to be 7 (USAT age), but we have fall birthday’s so they’ve been younger than that on race day. I’m working with a group to organize our first Kid’s Tri down here on 7/27. Without a conscious choice, this has become our family “thing”. Our garage became full of Fugi kid’s road bikes almost overnight. We are doing a family trail run in French Lick in the morning and then my oldest and I are headed out for a 20mile ride. Something to look forward to…

    I don’t have blog. Honestly, haven’t even considered it. Best of luck in your taper week. Trust your training; sounds like you’ve nailed it!

    1. Tara- That is a really good idea and I am now entertaining it! I won’t be an official pacer, but perhaps I’ll pace you if you are interested? As long as I hit my goal at Shamrock next week, I don’t plan on racing Carmel so that would be fun! Let me know if you would be interested- and I definitely think if you hit 7:30’s on a half, you can hit 3:30 for the full. Key will be keeping it steady the first half and putting the hammer down the second half. I’ve tried the run less run faster plan also- think it can work well for some and you might be the perfect person for it.

      I love that the Tri group has been “your family thing” and although I don’t want to wish away this time in our lives, I am excited for that time- it sounds like a blast.

      If you’d be interested, I’ll email you about Carmel- my email is lirander@gmail.com. Talk soon!!

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