Saturday I ran 19 miles. No, really, 19 miles. And the best part? Aside from walking a couple of times to swallow salt pills, I did no other walking.
I met up with the group super bright and early at Roosevelt Island and off we went. This time, we were going to run at the C&O Canal Trail (unpaved), which starts parallel to the Capital Crescent (paved) but follows (duh) the C&O Canal. I hadn’t ran on that trail in a loooong time. I think it’s been a year and a half. Karl hates it because it’s so damn boring — trees on one side, C&O Canal on the other. On Saturday, as I was out on my own, he agreed to tag along with me on that, even though he was concerned whether his Five Finger shoes were appropriate for the unpaved full of pebbles trail (he had no issues with it, as long as he avoided stepping on big rocks — which you should do regardless of the type of shoes you’re wearing, no?).
Guess what? Once you leave DC the trail gets really really really pretty. No wonder so many DC bloggers love that trail! Unfortunately, past the Fletcher’s Boat House around mile 3, there are no bathrooms anywhere else. I had to dart to the bushes to pee (how classy), and I was surprised of how freaking gorgeous the place where I was peeing was. If I had any energy left, I would have pulled out my camera, but turns out that when I’m out running that long, I can’t multitask at all.
Kathy also tagged along with us for most of the run.
I won’t say that I wasn’t tired, or that I didn’t want to walk many many times. But the weather was perfect, in the low-70′s at that time so I figured I should at least suck it up for 15 miles, since my longest run where I didn’t have to take a break to walk had been 15 miles so far. Of course, once I got to 15, I figured it’s only 4 more and might as well aim for it.
I hit my wall BADLY at mile 17. I was DONE. But I kept telling myself it was only 2 more miles (trying to ignore how many minutes 2 miles actually translate to), and pushed it through. My last mile was my fastest, around 10:30 pace (not because I had any energy left, but because I wanted to be DONE with), but I finished my run with my usual slow pace average of 11:53 min/miles (it took me 3 hours and 46 minutes to finish the 19 miles).
Only 2 more long runs left until the marathon (YAY!). This run also made me rethink my training once more… I have two 20 milers on the schedule (and I’m tempted to take C&O again for that), for my last 20 miler run, my plan is to complete the 20 miles then walk another 3 miles. At least I’ll have 23 miles under my belt by the time the marathon comes along. We’ll see…
I got home, went straight to the shower, and my legs were SO tight. I got some compression socks this week, and finally tried them out. I was surprised, within half an hour, my calves had no soreness anymore at all. I know people swear by them, but I had no clue they worked this well. If you haven’t tried compression socks yet, do it now! Totally worth the money. Amazing!
Yesterday we tried out Bikram yoga again. I’m TOTALLY sore today. A good sore. We’ll see if we can go again on Thursday night, before our trip to VA Beach to run the Rock n Roll Half (which was my first half last year).