I know you've all been wondering how those long runs of mine went. I'm proud to say I got 3 out of 4 of them done, which is nothing short of a miracle given how much Chicago weather sucks and how low my motivation has been lately.
LR #1 - A 16 miler I got in about 3 weeks ago. It was COLD and WINDY. I'm so freaking tired of the cold. If there's one thing I've discovered living up here in the great tundra of the Midwest, it's how much I loathe winter running. It's just not for me. I hate every part of it. I did this run on an out-and-back course with the out being magical and the back sucking the big one. Can you guess which one was into the wind? I averaged about 9:45 per mile, which I thought was pretty flipping fantastic.
LR #2 - An 18 miler that was ever so slightly more enjoyable than the previous 16 miler, even though looking back on my Garmin stats, it said it was 34 degrees (good God my perspective of 'pleasant' weather has been morphed into something sick). Again, I did this run on an out-and-back, but a different one (variety is the spice of life). The snow had just melted on the crushed limestone trail and I felt like I was running on wet sand the whole time. I picked Crazy Face up for the last 3 miles. I averaged 10:09/mile, which considering the sand I was running on, isn't too shabby.
LR #3 - The elusive 20 miler… this run was hands down the most terrifying run I've ever had the pleasure of experiencing. Again, I chose an out-and-back path, except this time I had to drive to the start, which was in a forest preserve (read: middle of nowhere). The weather was quite delightful to start out with- 50s and sunny. But things quickly took a turn for the worse. The further out I got, the cloudier it became. As I neared mile 8, I had this awful feeling that I needed to turn around. I pulled out my phone to look at the radar, and then I saw it: my impending doom. The wind picked up, it got dark, and thunder started rumbling. My sunny (dare I say happy) 20 miler turned into a 'sprint for my life back to my car so I don't die from a lightning strike' run. Here, have some Garmin stats!
Mile 11 is when I saw the first flashes, mile 12 is where I hid underneath an overpass contemplating if I was going to call David to come pick me up. Mile 13-14 was me trying to 'tough it out' and mile 15 was me basically running for dear life and screaming every time a crack of lightning flashed through the sky.
After 5 excruciating miles (hello speed training!) I found cover in the visitor's center of the forest preserve. I wasn't sure if I wanted to cry, vomit, or pee my shorts. It's a strange feeling being out in the middle of nowhere, in a thunderstorm, knowing that there is no safe place to take cover. One I'd really love to never repeat. I returned soaking wet, but I was safe. And more so, I found cover just in time before the hail came down.
|Look closely, you'll see those evil balls of ice on the ground behind me|
I waited the storm out before I ventured out to my car. At that point, I was too emotionally frayed to finish the last five miles outside (stop judging me), so I drove home and finished them on the treadmill. They were not a pleasant 5 miles, but they got done.
Overall pace for these 20 miles- 10:15/mile.
So there you go. I've built a decent base for this marathon, but I've only been able to get three decent long runs in. I really have no idea what to expect on marathon day, other than the standard pain and torment of running a marathon.