Let me just say this: I have never done a 22 mile training run for a marathon. I’ve always thought I should but never did. I thought this was the weekend to remedy that situation.
Here’s the thing: This 20-miler has been hanging over my head for WEEKS. I was going to try for at least 2 of them but things kept getting in the way: like wanting to sleep in, lunch plans, stomach aches and well, just not wanting to spend 4 hours running alone on the weekend.
But this Saturday it was happening. I would get up when I wanted and go as slow as I wanted and there would be no rush because I had no plans until like 4 or 5. Perfect. It makes me feel better doing 22 miles instead of 20 because…it just seems so much darn closer to 26!
Let’s Do This
I started with a nice 6 miles on the treadmill reading my new People Magazine, devouring the details of Brad and Angelina’s wedding — yay! I knew getting a few miles out of the way first would help me with my out and back.
It was a beautiful day but I know how I get when I’m trying to run 10 miles in one direction. Seven seemed so much more do-able. Then, I realized, if I would just run 8 miles on my out and back, I’d end up with a total of 22 miles for the day. Seemed scary but I was in.
They always say…run slow on your long runs! I rarely listen but I couldn’t poop out so I went really slow. I was going at “talk pace” and reallllly focusing on running evenly on both sides. Ever since my back injury, I’ve got this weird thing where I run on my right side and then my right leg is super sore. So uphills, it was all on the left.
I also needed to do those first 6 miles on the treadmill because my Camelbak isn’t enough for 20 miles! I get SO thirst in the last five miles, I can’t get enough. Even running 16 miles, I ran out by the end! I have no clue why the Mt. Vernon Trail has literally NO water fountains. It must be some weird regulation but it’s terrible.
Food & Music
Pre-run, I ate toast with almond butter. During run, I had 3 margarita-flavored Shot Blocks from Clif and 1.5 Gus (Espresso Love & PB!)
Anyway, love my Camelbak Marathoner vest because it has plenty of pockets and I can carry all my stuff easily. I listened to Pandora (yes, I do pay the $5/month for unlimited because I hate those damn commercials!) pre-game hip hop station, then some Latin workout and then Rihanna….with about 4 miles left, I turned it off. It gets old after awhile!
Though of course my legs and feet were tired, I felt surprisingly strong even towards the end. I definitely could have finished out 4 more miles if I had too. I wore my Mizuno Sayonara 2’s this time, instead of the Altras…gotta say, Mizunos WAY better for long running, at least for this girl. I’m not sure if I have the right kind of Altras for long running so maybe that’s it.
Yes, I felt so accomplished after finishing that 22-miler but I wasn’t done yet. I made sure to go home and foam roll right away, as well as use The Stick. I didn’t have ice for an ice bath but I think I did okay. I also immediately had a glass of Cherry Limeade Nuun, a mini-chocolate protein shake and some salty chips! Nuun did send me free samples of cherry limeade and pink lemonade but I buy Nuun on my own regularly and LOVE those flavors! I continued drinking lots of water the rest of the day for a strong recovery. I never feel awesome after a run like that so that kind of sucks for my appetite but oh well.
Overall, I think it’s a good idea to do one 22-mile training run. If you want to finish strong in the marathon, rather than just “get through it,” it seems like a good idea, at least for me. I used to be strictly 20 miles but that’s because I just didn’t WANT to do the extra 2. I’m not the expert, I mean, I’m only doing ONE of these for training. I’ll get to that finish line in one piece though!
Where you at Marathoners? Do you do 22-mile training runs or stick with 20s? What are the benefits of doing 22’s or not? What did you run this weekend?