This past Sunday marked the longest training run I will do before the Chicago Marathon. On Sunday morning I ran 22 miles, again, with Jeremy on my side. I don't think anyone has more belief in my abilities than Jeremy. I get anxiety and usually struggle to fall asleep the night before a long run. I actually allowed myself (and Jeremy) to sleep in, and started my run shortly after 6:30AM, as opposed to 5:00AM--the usual. It was so beautiful. The temperature was about 51 degrees. It didn't start warming up much until around 9:00ish, and I was nearing the finish by then. This was the best I've felt on a training run. I ran confidently, and comfortably for the first 20 miles.
Our journey took us down the greenway (bike path), which I did not realize started so close to home! We jumped on the greenway near the metrodome, and ran all the way to St. Louis Park. From there we turned around and headed to Lake Calhoun. We circled Calhoun, and then made our way to Lake Harriet and around. Then back to finish Calhoun and get back on the greenway to head home! The cooler temps helped immensely. I believe the cool weather even tricked me into feeling as if I didn't need liquids. Turns out, that's not true.
There were so many people out doing their runs. Big packs of runners, individuals, and friends, chatting their way, step by step. On our way back, we saw a biker who was laying on the pavement, with a bunch of friends surrounding him. He looked unconscious. I'm not sure what happened, and wasn't sure what to do. I didn't think it was appropriate to stop, given he had so many people around him, and I could hear the ambulance buzzing, so I knew help was on its way. So we continued on our path, but it definitely gave me a prayer focus as we passed the incident.
At mile 20 I really started to struggle. I'm not sure if it was because I ran out of powerade, but my body really started cramping, I just struggled with those last 2 miles. But soon enough, we were back on campus, and the 22 mile run was over! It took me 2 hours, and 57 minutes, which equates to an 8:04/pace. I actually think I ran faster--my watch went a little crazy with all the bridges on the greenway.
When we got home, I enjoyed a nice chocolate smoothie and iced my knees for about 10 minutes (no ice bath this time, folks)!
Now I have the City of the Lakes 25k on Sunday--15.5 miles. This will be an accurate assessment of how I'm going to do at Chicago. I have a lot of mental toughness when Jeremy is by my side--we'll see how it goes on Sunday when he's NOT by my side. The one thing I know is this: When I'm weak, it is HE that makes me strong!