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***CONGRATULATIONS to Rebecca of Strength & Sunshine who won the Reebok CrossFit Nano Speeds

I did it once before and finally — I did it again. For several weeks now I’ve been planning the dreaded 20-miler. For whatever reason, it is SO daunting and making it happen is really hard.

I tried a couple of times to no avail, stopping due to back issues or just plain exhaustion. What’s the big deal, Ericka? You’ve done this a million times!

I don’t know but I finally felt ready on Monday. I woke up at 4:30am and was on the treadmill by 4:40. I guess this shin dig would take me a little over 3 hours. I was right.

Treading on the Treadmill

I don’t mind starting out on the treadmill with a magazine. I have to when it’s dark out, but after like 8 or 9 miles, I’m really tired of that thing. I went through the latest issue of People and Shape magazine both before hopping off the wheels of boredom at 13.5 miles in.

I had taken 1 espresso Gu at this point and felt kind of tired. My right leg has seriously been acting up and I the calf was tight, my knee achy. I had 6.5 miles to go — didn’t sound like that much bu it’s longer than it seems after 13.5.

Finally, The Sunrise

I strapped on my Camelbak and went to it starting with half a PB Gu, which I finished a few miles later. Perfect weather and a gorgeous sunrise did help matters but my legs were achy and I was just thinking — man, I’ve got to get these legs in better shape if I want this marathon to be enjoyable in the second half at all.

Took some great pictures along the way but start slowing down a ton in the last three miles. My right leg was really bothering me, especially the knee. I finally made it home at just over 20 miles and feeling so done.

I knew it was essential to get the right fuel right away for any hope of surviving the day in tact. Immediatly down a full glass of water, then another one with Nuun. I took a shower and had 2 eggs and more water. After throwing my lunch together, I put another Nuun tablet in my water bottle and caught the metro to work.

Then, I got a mocha because I needed caffeine and this doubled as chocolate milk recovery at the same time — perfect!

Amazingly, I went through the day feeling completely normal. I was not exhausted, drank extra water and didn’t feel at all like I had run 20 miles in the morning. My legs were a little sore — the right one kind of a lot — but otherwise I was so impressed by recovery. I’m blown away — again — by the power of proper post-long run refueling!

I feel relieved to have gotten that 20 miler in. My back didn’t hurt at all before, during or after. I wore a back support brace the entire time — and all day at work, as directed by my chiropractor. I’m sure he won’t be thrilled to hear I ran 20 miles but he didn’t “outlaw” running completely so….

I’ve been taking more rest days (a lot more) in the past month and it’s helping. Only God knows how long before I can return to weightlifting but until then, I’ll just have to suffer through missing it.

Anyway, not sure what the rest of this weeks’ workout/mileage will be but my main goal was accomplished thank goodness.

Running 20-milers on the weekday before are not exactly easy but mentally, they can be easier for me. I’m such a weirdo but I know at least one other person gets it! 🙂

How was your training this weekend?

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