So, I know... typical training plans have your last long run 3 weeks out. It's supposed to give you ample time to heal your aches and pains and give your legs the rest they need. But, as usual... I only use training plans as a "suggestion."
My last 20 mile run was on Sunday morning, and as I was leisurely relaxing after dinner on Saturday night (kickass home-made pizza... ahhhh yeah, keeping my pizza streak rolling), I started to think about the marathon and I realized... I couldn't remember what pace I had to run in the marathon (big surprise, eh?) and even though I KNEW Vandy-Montana was going to give me shit, I casually threw it out there, as if I were asking what the score of the game was or something... "ya know... I don't remember what pace I have to run for a 3:59." And it was like I could feel his eyes rolling before he sighed with something like... "of course you don't."
What ensued was the rallying back and forth of paces between the two of us... I kept saying WAYY slower times and he kept telling me I was wrong, that it was faster than that. And once I realized that it was likely somewhere in between what we were both saying... I freaked out.
And not like a minor freaking out. No, sirree bob. Like totally... sitting there trying to keep my cool, but feeling like I was about to have a panic attack.
Indulge me for a moment and allow me to lie down on the couch here...
So, all my life I've been the overachiever who underachieves. Which translates to: High expectations and massive disappointments. It sucks, but it's how I roll. I always set out to do great things... big, wonderful things... and then I usually get lazy, don't put in the time and effort and fail miserably at the end. And my past marathon training is no exception. So, it's no wonder that I freaked out. I mean, let's be honest... a 3:59 marathon? That's not going to be a cakewalk for me. And I've been running slow. Like... really slow lately.
Anyway, It was a good 10 minutes or so before I kinda snapped out of it, but I seriously had a mini-meltdown.
I finally decided that it's not doing me any good now to worry about it (save that for my the week of taper, when I'm always already freaking out and questioning every moment of my training). Once I snapped out of it, I was fine. And ready for the Kroger to Kroger 20 miler the next morning.
This is my favorite of all the 20 mile training runs. You start at one Kroger (it's a grocery store) in Franklin, TN and you run 20 miles through beautiful country-side, a few neighborhoods and a park and wind up at the Kroger in Belle Meade.
We got to the Kroger with about 10 minutes to spare. I ran inside to try and use the bathroom (of course) and the line was pretty long. I chatted for a few minutes while in line and then decided that I wasn't going to make it to the bathroom in time and jetted outside to get ready. I had to figure out a way to carry my packet of shot blox and my drivers license and debit card. I ended up stashing the cards in my bra and the shot blox got jammed into my shorts pocket.
By now, you could all guess... I had to stop at a porta potty at mile 10. (It was inevitable, right?) and at that point, Vandy-Montana went on (I was holding him back, anyway) and I finished up the entire run in about 3:30. I felt great. I took it easy in the end, deciding that two weeks out was not the time for me to be pushing it.
I ended the week with a new high mileage total: 62 miles.
And now it's time for the taper. Which, I hate. Running keeps me sane. Tapering drives me loco.