run 20 miles

running20100128

32.00km 3:46:02hr 7.03min/km

Most marathon training programs get up to 20miles (32km) 2-3 times and then starts tapering 2 weeks before the race. The idea is that race day adrenaline and training will push us the additional 6 miles. This way, we’re not training so hard that we risk injury or burn-out.

So today was the day for the first 20-miler. It’s only 2 more miles compared with the 18-miler last week, but I was feeling more pressure. Milestones have a habit of doing that. It’s still very hot, when I went out at 3pm the sun was beating down pretty hard. I took 2 bottles of gatorade, a cereal bar, gu and chomps with me. I went out slow. Very slow. Tried to conserve energy and stay hydrated.

Ran all the way to the boat again, a longer route than last week. Took 3 walking breaks, total around 10mins. Ended up making a mistake in estimating distances and finished over 1km from home. Yikes. It was a long and painful walk from basically the 147 Berwyn stop. My knees, calves and feet were so tight I didn’t know which leg to limp on. I’d read somewhere that walking is a good way of cooling down, and true enough, by the time I’d shuffled home the stiffness had abated enough for me to be able to climb the stairs fairly normally.

I had a tepid ice bath, part of the RICE recovery program. Sat in the bathtub, ran cold water and added the tray of ice from the freezer. I admire anyone who can climb into an ice bath. The effect lasted about a hour, tops. Still needed major foam roller and additional ice pack treatment. And hopefully a good night’s sleep tonight.

Do I feel like I can run the full marathon? Not today, not tomorrow. Not without major pain. Then again, it’s part of the training plan, there’s 6 weeks to go. Will I be able to run the extra 10k by October? I think so.