Tuesday, September 08, 2009

23-miler

After psyching myself out up for the big 37K/23mi run, I hit the sack early on Saturday for the 5am wake-up call. When I woke up Sunday morning, I was actually really excited to hit the streets and finish off my last long run before taper.

We started at the Running Room store in town, but soon found ourselves running along quite country roads. There was some humidity in the air, but the temperature was pretty comfortable. It was a true blessing having the sun behind us the entire way.

We chatted and took in the scenery as the miles ticked by, many of us trying not to think too much about how many more we had to go.

Before long we arrived at our first water stop around 20K, where three of our comrades (tapering for the Montreal Marathon next weekend) were decked out in costumes and playing music. We paused for a moment to indulge in an assortment of fresh fruit, chocolate, candy, water, gatorade and even beer! (I stuck to water, gatorade and fruit.)

And then we were back on the road! The time was passing pretty quickly and I was feeling good. I was taking eload Zone Caps every half hour and Gu Chomps or Gels every hour. (The fresh oranges went down much easier!)

Soon enough we hit our next aid station at 31K, conveniently located at the top of a rather steep climb. I enjoyed more cold water and fruit and decided to ditch my Nathan Intensity Hydration Pack at the van (emptying what was left in the bladder on my head first). I grabbed a bottle of water to carry for the remaining 6K and enjoyed the freedom of not carrying an extra few pounds on my back.

Over the next few kilometres, my legs really started to hurt. My energy level was good and I was still chatting away with the few people I was running with (our pace group of 12 had divided into several small groups by this point), but my legs were trashed. I felt every step through my ankles, knees, quads and hips. I even caught myself doing more of a marathon shuffle than a run at one point. We took a few extra short walk breaks, tried to shake it out and just kept moving.

It certainly didn't help that we faced a veritable mountain to climb around the 20-mile mark. As you can see, the route had not exactly been flat up until that point either! (The Toronto Waterfront Marathon is FLAT!)




It was a battle to keep going, but I knew we were almost there. And finally, we made it.

37K - 23mi
3:53:59
6:19/KM - 10:10/mi


Coach stood at the end of his driveway (the finish line for our destination run) holding an Easy Button which we all got to press as we finished. "That was easy!"



I sprayed my legs with ice cold water from the hose for several minutes (good alternative to an ice bath), stretched passed out in the grass for a while and indulged in all kinds of post-run goodies.

Other tidbits:

• This was my longest training run ever. Last year I maxed out at 35K.

• With this run I also wrapped up my highest weekly mileage ever, at 81K/50mi. Taking this info consideration, I am thrilled with how well my legs held up.

• I wore my new MPG skirt on the run, and it was perfect: light, comfortable and no issues. I'll definitely be wearing it on race day.

• I also put my new Drymax socks to the ultimate test. Full review coming soon, but it looks like these bad boys will also be joining me on September 27th.

• IT'S TIME TO TAPER!

***

It was another early morning on Monday as hubby ran the Oakville Half Marathon. I'll let you know how he did and share some photos tomorrow - this post is long enough!

I hope everyone had a great long weekend!

42 comments:

Saface Macdonald said...

Excellent job! You have accomplished so much up to this point and worked SO HARD. Marathon redemption WILL be yours!

Lacey Nicole said...

CONGRATS!!! on everything! 50 miles, longest training run, a great run!!!!!!! way to go!!!!! i am going to run a 22 miler i think and cap there. hopefully :)

alriiigggght to your hubs! can't wait to hear about it.

oh -- do you think it's easier to carry a waterbottle versus the backpack???? i do NOT have a hydration system down yet..

J said...

Great job on the run! With all those hills you will think the marathon is a piece of cake!

Shannon said...

Awesome job! Love that ya'll finished at the coach's driveway and hit the Easy button! That's fun. :)

Mark said...

That run looks net uphill!! Way to go! Taper time!! Congrats on the 50! That's a lot of miles!!

Morgan said...

GOOD JOB GIRL! Congrats on the mileage and the run! I LOVE the Easy button idea! LOL!

Lisa Slow-n-Steady said...

good job. enjoy the taper!!

(i have to add that i'm envious of the elevation chart. my house is at close to 5000ft above sea level. your elevation is 220??? So much oxygen.....I'm jealous!)

Road Warrior said...

Woo hoo, Marlene! Sounds like you're all sorts of ready for the marathon. The time for the run was excellent. You've gotten so much faster since your last marathon. Wow!

Amanda said...

Congrats Marlene on an awesome run. That's so neat that you have a group to run with and even have aid stations, like in a race. Nice job!

Marky Mark said...

That's awesome! You clearly are psychologically and physically ready for STWM, which is flat, and really not that much longer than you went on Sunday. Enjoy a well deserved taper.

Mel -Tall Mom on the Run said...

"Marathon Shuffle" that is GREAT!! Gotta love the HILL/Mountain at mile 20, UGH!!! So proud of you lady, amazing what can be done when you keep your mind and body focussed.

FYI looked at your hubby's half pictures on FB, AWESOME!! Love that he wears yellow. Now what BRIGHT color will you be wearing come M day?

Hugs and congrats!

Jenn said...

Congrats! That's just fantastic!!

Jamie said...

Congrats on the awesome long run! You did great! Those hills would have done me in for sure.

Runner Leana said...

Sounds like an excellent long run! Way to push past those tired legs. Just remember that you could do it in training if that same feeling hits you on your race. Sounds like you are in great shape for your marathon!!

X-Country2 said...

Wow, that's a heck of a training run. Great job! (I need a set up like that with the food and entertainment and support.)

TNTcoach Ken said...

Wow, even found time to stretch on the grass! Ha, sounds like a true 23 miles training run. I do question wearing the new stuff but it worked out for you.

Denise said...

GREAT job!! And perfect pace for a run that long. You did it!! Now enjoy the taper!

Laura said...

Congrats...wow I still can't imagine being able to do that.

Heather said...

NICE JOB! Way to get it done, and happy taper!

lindsay said...

ok, wrong mental image when you "emptied the bladder on your head". lol. nice job on the long run!! way to get it done and push yourself. i love the friends who were out with their water stop to support you guys. it's all gravy from here - enjoy your taper time!!

B.o.B. said...

Congrats girl! You did it! You are ready for that taper. Can't wait for the sock review. (I love the Easy button idea!)

Badgergirl said...

Nice job on the run! Enjoy the taper!

trialsoftraining said...

"time to taper!" Yessss! GOOD STUFF!!! 23 miles, 50+ mile week and you're still alive?! you'll do GREAT on the 27th! :)

cath said...

hi. sounds like a great run...exhilirating finishing a big one! have fun on the 'taper ride'....you've worked for it!

RunToFinish said...

you did it, woot woot!!! Oh I love my drymax socks, they are the BEST

D10 said...

Enjoy taper!! Excellent job on the 23 miler. I like the idea of pushing the easy button at the end, very cute. have a great week.

The Happy Runner said...

Awesome job! I love that you got to press the easy button :-)

And, I'm glad the drymax socks worked. I love 'em!

Gotta Run..Gotta Ride said...

Now that is some peak just before your taper. YOU EARNED IT!!!! Love the "easy Button" at the end. Nothing will stop you now.

Relentless Forward Motion.

great way to plug a few product reviews. Always good to know.

Jason said...

Great job, the hardest part is now over. You are ready for a great PR

Mama said...

Great job on that run! My legs would be trashed too with those kind of hills.

Enjoy your taper.

MCM Mama

Marci said...

Good job on the run, enjoy your taper!

Marci said...
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AZ said...

Great job on the run. I always think the weeks before and after a marathon are the best, taper and then rest. Enjoy yours.

joyRuN said...

Nice pace on that HUGE run!

Have an excellent taper :)

Nicole said...

AWESOME!! You're a rockstar, girl! Enjoy the taper...you deserve it!!

Toni said...

Great job! What a hard long run with those hills!

Fair Weather Runner said...

well i have to comment again on an amazing job on the 23 miler. and also thank you again for converting K's to miles. seriously i have to think SO hard when you post mileage in K's... clearly i'm not a math wiz ;)

macnic said...

Wonderful job! You are right to be glad the sun was behind you; we ran into it on Sunday AM and it was HOT in Oakville.

Have fun with the taper!

aron said...

AMAZING job girl!!! you totally rocked that HILLY run and that week! congrats on the 50 mile week and yayyyyy taper!

I Run for Fun said...

Those are some hills you conquered...awesome job! You've worked so hard...now good luck tapering.

EndorphinBuzz said...

That is awesome, both the friends dressing up and playing music for you and the pretty good time on such a long training run. You will do well at the race.

Irish Cream said...

AMAZING job, girl! 23-miles is VERY impressive! Hooray for getting it done and being in taper! Ha, I think my favorite part of this is the easy button at the end--hilarious!