The Chances

How a 250+ Pound Couch Potato Got Healthy

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Long Run - 20 miles

20 miles! I'm surprised myself, actually, but I finished it.

I planned the whole thing ahead of time. I cached 5 water bottles along the route every 2-3 miles, similar to how the Avenue of Giants Marathon will be: Lytle Road, the end of the bike route, where Acacia turns into Pass Rd., 2 miles from there, and 4 miles. I also carried Cytomax in my Ultimate Direction bottle, and another Cytomax packet in my fanny pack.

Just before the first water cache, I had to use the restroom. I didn't expect that, because I went before running! Luckily there's a gracious amount of trees along the path, so I did my duty.

As I passed Lytle Rd., I didn't need any water. I stopped at the end of the bike path to drink, and noticed a new, unopened bottle of Gatorade G2 nearby. Apparently someone had the same idea! I thought it was pretty cool.

When I approached Butte House Road, there was a little league park with a game going on, so they let me use the restroom again.

At the edge of town, I drank more water, and did the same at 8 miles, and again at the turnaround at 10. I also took the opportunity at 10 miles to mix the packet of Cytomax.

The hills were crazy! After I came off them, my quads were having issues and on the way back, I ended up drinking most of the water I cached, and stopping way too many times.

The last two miles were really difficult. I ended up walking half of the last two miles, but was able to run the last quarter mile. The way I see it, I don't have any need to walk through a finish, least of all my first marathon! So I pushed myself to finish running instead of walking.

Mile 1: 10:02.18
Mile 2: 10:24.16
Mile 3: 10:18.49
Mile 4: 10:42.24
Mile 5: 11:07.42
Mile 6: 10:53.83
Mile 7: 11:09.46
Mile 8: 12:11.04
Mile 9: 12:33.44
Mile 10: 12:22.78
Mile 11: 10:38.48
Mile 12: 11:24.21
Mile 13: 16:37.52
Mile 14: 13:52.62
Mile 15: 12:54.38
Mile 16: 15:09.57
Mile 17: 14:22.28
Mile 18: 13:01.73
Mile 19: 18:33.73
Mile 20: 11:21.64

20 miles, 4:09:41, 2671 calories burned

Incidentally, if you look at the map, it shows less than 20 miles. I noticed towards the end of the run that if you have auto-pause turned on, if you immediately start walking instead of running, the Garmin doesn't pick up the fact that you're in motion again and actually stays paused until you run! It also doesn't count that distance, so by the end of it, the Garmin ended up a little over a quarter mile off. It had to have been over 20 miles, because at the turnaround point I was at 10.08 miles.

Remember I mentioned the hills were difficult?

Finally, a rendering from Google Earth.

OK, so what did I learn? Did I have any observations?

- Caching water is the way to go! Unlike last week's simple 10-miler, I wasn't dehydrated.
- Cytomax in the water bottle was a great call as well, so kudos to Rob Christian for that one. Not only was it giving electrolytes, but it tasted good, too.
- I really like the flavor of Accel Gel, but I'm still not sure I can tell the gels are doing much for me.

How will I be able to improve for the marathon?

- While there are hills, they aren't nearly as bad as these ones in the Sutter Buttes were.
- Normally I run three days a week: Tuesday, Thursday, & Saturday. This week, I ran 4 miles Thursday, 8 miles Friday, and 20 today. I won't be running subsequent days prior to the marathon.
- While I'm going to walk through water stops, or walking if fatigued, I'm not stopping like I did todtay. Not on your life.
- Remove the average pace on the Garmin!
- Turn off auto-pause on the Garmin!

So now I get to rest. Thank goodness! The taper starts next week.


Chad in the AZ Desert said...

Great job with the 20-miler. Enjoy your taper.

turtlescanrun said...

Once again great job on your long run, I enjoyed your running vlog.