I’m not due for a training update this week, but since a runner’s first 20 miler is known to be a milestone I thought I’d put together a post on it. There was nothing particularly eventful or exciting about it if you weren’t there, but here’s a recap.
When I woke up yesterday morning it was pouring out. The night before the forecast had the rain stopping much earlier, but I guess the front moved through a lot slower than predicted. I got up and got dressed and pulled together some extra clothes to change into post-run if it were to rain the whole time. Since it was going to be in the mid-high 50s (YES!) for the run, I decided to wear shorts, a tank top, and a Columbus racing Nike pullover that I could easily tie around my waist if it stopped raining. I ate my regular breakfast and headed out to meet my running group, hoping that the rain would let up. I don’t mind running in the rain, but torrential rain for a 3.5 hour training run didn’t sound very appealing.
We all gathered in the lobby of the high school meeting place to stay dry before the run and I think they delayed the group from starting for a little while in hopes that the rain would die down, but it didn’t. I opted to run with the 10:30s again and we set out in the pouring rain, but after about a mile it finally stopped. The long-sleeved shirt did a good job of keeping me dry and at the first water stop I tied it around my waist.
When we approached campus and passed under a bridge, one of our runners began the O-H cheer. It’s tradition to take a picture at the OSU ‘Shoe on the first 20 miler of the season, so we ran a circle around it and then cozied up for a picture.
At this point, we were about 5 miles in and the half marathon group was only doing 10 so it was time for them to turn back. We waved goodbye and I jokingly yelled, “We’re going on an adventure!”
The next few miles were uneventful, we chatted about OSU football for a while and then we reached a cross-road in the trail. We knew that staying straight would only get us 9 miles and we’d have to run past our starting point to get to 20, so we opted to turn left and run into downtown – we were going rogue! As part of this group, we are supposed to stay on the course since there is water stops set up. Given the cool temperatures and the fact that a lot of people had brought their own bottles, we all agreed we’d be okay heading downtown instead.
When we got to downtown, we hadn’t quite hit the 10 mile mark. We weren’t planning on circling the stadium on the way back since it would be much more crowded (game day!) so we had to hit 10.5 miles before heading back. Runner’s started calling out random directions and points to circle around. We decided to run a circle around COSI and while crossing a bridge to get there we came across this deer sculpture overlooking the water. It was really random so I asked the group if we could take a picture with it.
It was finally time to head back and we marveled at the fact that we were already half way done. I think our downtown adventure really broke up the monotony of the regular out-and-back and I’m really glad our coaches were willing to “break the rules” and let us all have a little fun. I think this kept everyone’s spirits up along with the breaking sun and beautiful fall-like weather.
As we approached the ‘Shoe on our way back, tailgaters were out and there was a lot of spirit on the trail as many were biking or walking their way to the stadium. Being a larger group, it was obvious we were on a training run and we got a lot of cheers and encouragement along the trail.
We neared our starting point and realized we were going to come up short on our mileage so we made the last minute decision to run past it and circle back around two of the school parking lots. It was our last bit of “going rogue” before finishing right in front of the school.
Not only was it my first time running 20 miles, it was my first week running a total of 50 miles. I felt really good during the run and my friend Katie & I led the group for the majority of the return. We’re not the best pacers and actually paced a little quick, so our group ended up with a negative split.
Afterward, I stopped by the grocery store to pick up a bag of ice. After a good stretching session and some breakfast, I hopped in the bathtub for an ice bath. This morning is even more beautiful than yesterday and I took the dogs for their regular morning walk (a little over a mile) in yoga pants and a fleece – it was perfect. My legs are fatigued as to be expected, but only minimally sore.
Just two more weeks of training until tapering and it looks like the cool morning temperatures may be here to stay. I am looking forward to enjoying the beautiful weather.