Change for a 20…

Two tens? Four fives? Some singles? How do you change a 20. 

When it’s ultra training, and it’s hot out, you don’t just run a 20-miler. Unless you don’t mind looking like a Sherpa and toting along tons of water and supplies. 

Me? I’d rather take the chance to simulate race day conditions, set up an aid station and loop it. 

My original plan was four-fives. Four different 5-mile routes to help allieviate the boredom. 

But after the second one, and experiencing way more traffic than there should be at 8am on a Sunday morning, plans changed. 

It became 2 fives and 10 singles. Yep, the second half of my run was repeats of my 1 mile – mostly shady, sidewalked and sometimes sprinklered – street. And ya know, it was perfect. 

While I’m sure some of my neighbors were like “how many times is this girl coming by” the repeats didn’t bother me. Especially as I hit mile 14 and started walking 1/4 mile of each loop. As a cooling strategy and to let me drink / fuel. 

Because, as I reminded myself, you don’t have to finish fast, you just have to finish. 

And I know, if last year’s 50k taught me anything, its that there will be walking. And I am totally okay with this.  So may as well practice it. 

Ultras, timed ultras especially, are not a race so much as an endurance event. I’m not there to beat anyone but myself. And that’s part of why I enjoy them.  I train smart, which means knowing an accepting my own limitations. And preparing accordingly. 

So, as hot and gross as I was by the time I finished, I actually still felt pretty good. Nothing hurt (love compression socks), I was well hydrated and fueled and I was still smiling. 

Of course, having a chance to go through those magic sprinklers the last two miles totally helped. 🙂 Even if another runner told me it was “cheating”. My response to him was “I’m 18 miles in. I’ve earned it” which got me a thumbs up in reply. Lol

So, while I still have one more really long run in two weeks, as one more “dress rehearsal”, at this moment I’m feeling pretty race ready. And also glad my race is at night (because the sun was the hardest part of my training). 

So what I learned on Sunday’s run is:

  • change is good
  • flexibility is important
  • shade and sidewalk beats sunny roads
  • lemon tailwind is yummy
  • sprinklers rule!

Happy Monday my friends. And happy running!

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