I completed my first 20 mile run of this marathon cycle on Saturday, and overall I was fairly happy with the results. It obviously wasn't a record breaker by any means, but I got through it relatively smoothly, at a nice relaxed pace. Minus the bathroom break I took at mile 9, the overall pace was 7:36, including water stops. However, 9 of the last 10 miles were at 7:23 average pace.
I was mostly pleased because I intentionally ran this one a little slower, trying to keep the pace around 7:30, which overall I basically did. The downside of the run was my legs got incredibly tired at mile 14 and I really had to focus on getting through it. It wasn't like "marathon hard", but definitely more difficult than it should have been. Also, for the first time in a long time I had some stomach issues. Not like "I gotta find a restroom STAT" or anything, just a little trouble settling my stomach from the beginning until the end of the run. I ate a little more than normal before the run and I'm certain that was the problem. Typically I'll just have a banana and a few dry steel cut oats. But this morning I ate a banana, Stinger wafer, about a cup of dry steel cut oats, two beet juice shots, and a gel immediately before the run. I just felt way too full right out of the chute.
But even with the minor stomach issues, I would give the run a solid B-, especially considering where I'm at right now. My legs are still not nearly strong enough for a marathon, my endurance is shotty at best, and I'm a little over race weight at about 178 - not heavy, by any standard, but I like to race at about 170-172. But it's so hard to lose weight in the winter. I'll keep working at it with more total body workouts, but it was definitely a good building block for the Phoenix Marathon at the end of February. Have a great weekend!
Be the one.