That 20 rocked!

Saturday’s run. What to say about Saturday’s run? It was pure awesome.

Set the alarm for 4:20 to meet my a friend at 5:00 to start our 20, with plans to swing back to our starting point a couple of times to pick up others along the way. I clearly messed up on the alarm because after a little bit of insomnia, I finally gave in to looking at the clock. Crap–4:52! Threw myself together, ran out the door and managed to get there by about 5:12 or so.

Happily, that was the only low point of the day, because things just got better. You know how you always have one really good long run in a training cycle? This was mine. I just felt great the whole way. I finished it off feeling like another six would have been easy. I know I’m not at my “normal” speed, but I can say I don’t ever recall a 20 feeling this easy before. Just like it’s sometimes hard to figure out why a long run can be really bad, I’m not quite sure what made this run great, but I have a few theories.

For one, I think finding my mid-foot strike and being fairly adjusted to it now makes long runs much less taxing than when I was a heel striker. I’ve noticed all along this training cycle that I recover SO much faster than I ever used to, and now I think it is paying off during the runs as well. My legs just don’t fatigue like they did with the old form.

Another thing I did differently today was take one extra gel, simply because of the way we set up our loops. I usually take one around every six miles, but today did the

Yes, I did wear my pink compression socks all day, even under my boots Sat. evening

first at five miles, the second at 11 miles, and then one last one at 16 miles. In the past I might have just skipped that last one with only four miles to go. Maybe I do better with gels closer together?

I don’t know, but whatever clicked Saturday, I’ll take it. Nothing better than a confidence builder as far as I’m concerned!

Who else had a good one this weekend?

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  1. says

    Congrats! That’s great! Those types of runs are such good confidence boosters. I’ll always remember my best long runs – I felt so strong; it was very reassuring. Glad you had a good one. PS Love that you wore the compression socks under boots, haha! I’ve been looking for pink ones but can’t find them in stores, guess I’ll have to order online.
    Kara recently posted..Sickness and First Place FakeoutMy Profile

  2. says

    Great job on the run! I know you didn’t want to have to pull out of your swim but it sounds like your body is more than ready for your next big race. Personally, I’d take running over swimming any day, but that’s because I flail around in the water like a fish caught in a net.

    I, too, feel a difference as I’ve transitioned to flatter shoes that encourage a midfoot strike. Playing around in Vibrams from time to time helps a lot, too. I felt like my calves were about to blow up after a recent trail race (ran in Brooks Pure Flow) but a few days after the event all aches disappeared. Way to go with your running and keep it up!

  3. says

    I hate it when I oversleep too, but glad that the rest of your day turned out great. I ran my last 19 miler yesterday and it was awesome. I was easily able to maintain my 7:20 MP for 10 miles and even kept on having to tell myself to slow down. Bring on the 22 and 24 milers!
    Tasha @ Healthy Diva recently posted..Blur of a week….My Profile

  4. says

    YES! This is great news. Sounds like the mid-footing is really working for you, and it’s interesting that you find you recover more quickly. Boston, here you come!
    Shut Up and Run recently posted..Lost DogMy Profile

  5. says

    Sounds like a heavenly run! If I were cuter (and younger) I would be the poster girl for compression. I completely believe in it’s magical powers to keep me going and going and going!
    shelly recently posted..Apples to ApplesMy Profile

  6. says

    LOVE the neon pink compression socks under your boots….

    Congrats on a fab 20 miler…it’s amazing how some runs just feel incredible and it sounds like this was one of them.

    I really enjoy hearing about your transformation to midfoot, because this is a topic that I’ve been very curious about. Tappan tried to make this transition when he was training for a marathon in 2010 and he developed an achilles tendon issue that is STILL bothering him…so I’m a little hesitant to make the switch because I’ve heard that switching can increase your chance of achilles issues. But I think it’s safe to say that everyone’s body reacts differently and perhaps it would work just great for me!

  7. says

    What HUGE confidence boost! I love when things go right! Makes you feel like no matter what that you’re ready on race! I’m like you though, I do better when I GU close. I usually take them every 4 miles.

  8. says

    Wow – SO glad you had a good, confidence building run! I finally had a swim like that – felt like I could have gone for-ev-ah…but the kids had to be picked up from the Child Care! Ha!! Have a super week. :)
    Andrea recently posted..Dental Bad Swimming GoodMy Profile

  9. says

    You may be on to something with the mid-foot strike/quick recovery deal. I swear, it takes me 1/2 the time to recover from my long runs now that I have a different foot strike.

    Happy you had a solid 20-miler!
    Allison Johnson recently posted..I’m Not DeadMy Profile

  10. says

    Yay! I am so glad your long run went so well. It is great that everything is feeling good (and such a confidence booster too I know!) I gel every five miles and that works well for me, but i know it is trial and error and that everyone is different. Great job though!!!
    I did my long run today and it was a great one too. Yay!
    Erin Henderson recently posted..Find your inner SupermanMy Profile

  11. says

    I had one of my strongest runs/races last year where I accidentally started taking my gels early…hmm…maybe we’re on to something!
    Julie recently posted..FloppiesMy Profile

  12. says

    oh great news!! so happy for you. I bet this is fantastic for your running spirit!
    this weekend…long run was crappy…too hot, heavy legs…sore legs…
    but Saturday was good…I got a brand new 5K PR….
    5K are hell by the way…
    Caroline recently posted..Dairy Ayres 5K Race RecapMy Profile

  13. says

    Completely awesome! Love it when I get in a good run. My run was only 9 mi on Saturday, but it was fantastic! Maybe it was something in the air…or maybe we are just incredible! (I’ll go with the later)
    Vieve recently posted..Brown EyesMy Profile

  14. says

    That is so great that you had a great 20 miles! I had a good 6 mile run on Saturday where my pace actually picked up some.

  15. says

    I hate mornings like that when you’re running behind before you even start. Way to get that adrenalin flowing.

    So good to hear that the new running form is working so well for you. It makes a lot of sense that it’s less energy-expensive. When you heel strike you’re effectively putting on the brakes with every stride and having to generate momentum all over again. While I’m doing just mini runs I’ve been thinking a lot about form and this would be the best time to make changes.
    Char recently posted..Poo and Ugly Birthday CakesMy Profile

  16. says

    Don’t you just love it when a run feels great!? I have to admit, now my great runs are usually 5-10 miles, but I did have a couple of longer runs where I just felt like a rock star afterward. Unfortunately, my 20 miler was not rock star worthy, but it was not horrible! I love your socks! Why not wear them everywhere!?
    Kyria recently posted..Sick LeaveMy Profile

  17. says

    I also had a great run! I was supposed to run 12, but took and accidental detour, and ended up running 16. Felt great! I think the GUs helped, too :)

  18. says

    Funny you mention that the “good long run” does seem to be true.
    Those are the runs that give you confidence.

    Alas, the runs that are a total disaster and you feel like crap do the opposite 😉

    If we are lucky, the good one comes after the bad one in the training build-up. 8)
    Paul recently posted..Weekly recap: 8 weeks to EugeneMy Profile

  19. says

    Hmm is anyone else encountering problems with the pictures on this blog loading?
    I’m trying to figure out if its a problem on my end or if it’s the blog.
    Any feed-back would be greatly appreciated.
    Linda recently posted..LindaMy Profile