Best Run of My Life

Dear Blog Readers,

I had such high hopes for today's blog. After an incredible run this morning (which I'll get to in a moment) I was full of energy and ideas . While soaking in a tub with a 10 lb bag of ice this afternoon, I mentally drafted a humorous "How to Take An Ice Bath" blog. Coming out of the tub, I peeked outside where Blair was building our Halloween set, to find our neighbor's 6-year-old son "helping" him. He had run inside to get his plastic tool kit and was helping "hammer" and "drill" the wood, all the while talking non-stop in that excited, high-pitched voice kids have, asking what else Blair needed help with. Kicking myself now for not having grabbed my camera.

I made some yummy sweet potatoe french fries and planned to blog the recipe. But alas--it is 7:30 PM and I do believe the effect of today's run have kicked in, making me sleepy and hesitant to blog anything that requires any real effort on my part. Bottom line: you lose. Apologies.

Today's Run: Oh. My. God. Today's 20-mile run, our last really long run before the marathon, is one for the history books. I think it's fair to say it was my best run EVER. I checked off twenty miles like I was whipping out a 5 mile run. When I got to mile 16 and still felt not only fine, but really, really good, I knew it was a bright day.

What accounts for the stellar run? Who knows. I ate horrible yesterday, including 2 fudge brownies and almost no water, not to mention almost 6 hours spent stuffed inside a car as we traveled to a family reunion in Fayetteville. I ate my body weight at dinner, with a plate of spaghetti, a salad, two bowls of cereal, handfuls of nuts, and two cups decaf coffee.

The run didn't start out great for me. I felt tired the first four miles. But something clicked after that and everything fell in place. Part of it was I didn't try to run race pace, and instead focused on a nice, steady pace. I thought I would come in 20-30 minutes off my race pace but I must have picked up speed somewhere in there, because I ended up with a 9:12/mile pace (3 hours, 3 minutes)--only 3 seconds slower per mile than race pace.

The weather today made me grateful to be alive--beautiful Carolina blue skies without a cloud in sight, sun, no wind, and 50 degree temperatures. Setting out water this morning for the group, I passed a huge, beautiful buck off to one side of the road. I stopped the car and we stared at one another for 10 seconds before he ambled away. And while running Owl's Roost Road, Chris and I passed two does quietly eating grass in a side yard bracketed by trees. They were beautiful.

I'm going to make a list here in a second of everything i did today, just to try and replicate the magic. However, what it really comes down to is some runs are good, some are a struggle. I lucked into a great rhythm today (thank you, Chris) and everything just clicked.

Okay, here's what I did:

  • Steady run Thursday night, no running Friday or Saturday
  • Dinner on Saturday: spaghetti, salad, cereal - 6:30. Two cups decaf: 8 pm.
  • Light stretch morning of run.
  • Tagamet and 2 Advil-- 2 hours before run
  • First Gu - 1 hour 20 minutes
  • 2 more Advil - 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Second Gu - 2 hour 20 minutes / 1 orange slice

Sigh--I'd pay good money for a replica of today's run at Richmond. We'll have to wait and see...