I ran 20 miles with my friend Leticia! She is fantastic. She has come back from injury and put up stellar numbers on her runs, especially long runs. When she asked me to join, I was scared. Scared I couldn't keep up, scared my fueling or my stretching would get in the way. I was scared for silly reasons, but reasons that all runners who run with partners or groups have; running your own run. I'm so glad to say we did great, made a fabulous team, and completed 20 miles!!!
I had made this mad gangster route on Google maps and said hey, this seems like 20 miles! Kids, don't try this at home. This was a GENERAL estimate which we tweaked ;-D We ran the East side of the Central Park loop, ran a full loop of the reservoir in between, and exited the park toward the West Side Highway on 72nd Street.
We ran up the West Side Highway to the George Washington Bridge. I was *SO* excited to see this lighthouse! I've seen many a picture of it, and I felt a fabulous sense of accomplishment as I traded photo taking duties with another (random) runner. SHOUT OUT TO TEAM FOR KIDS! They were doing their 20 mile group training run on the same route, and boy, did they encourage us! I think they thought we were in the group, but even when we outed ourselves as non-members they were still super positive and friendly. LOVE RUNNERS!
As we left the George Washington Bridge, things started to get real. Like really real. Cramping (In my butt:? WHAT?!), fatigue, grumbling tummy (I took 2 gus within 4 miles!), the thought of running 7 more miles, the sun, everything. It was a mental battle. Leticia took the lead and I followed right behind her. We ran in silence until we were ready to exit the highway for the last 1.5 miles on the outskirts of Central Park toward our train station.
Finally, at long last, we finished 20 miles!!! Watch time: 20.23 miles in 3:40:20, 10:54/mile. There is a bit of a discrepancy, as we ran the whole way together, and Leticia's watch ended up being .25 behind mine?! Garmin, what's up with THAT?! Anyway, I finished with her...well, behind her. She found some end-of-the-run speed that my mental breakdown of hearing the beep and seeing the Garmin record 20 miles couldn't quite keep up with. Leticia, you're a tough runner and I was pushed so hard by you! THANKS!!!
Oh, last year's time? Last year's solo one and only 20 miler was 3:45, so that's great improvement!!! It was in October on a perfect day. Today was oddly humid, I was cold sweaty, which was really odd.
Overall feeling: confident. Even though the end was a bit rough, I had my friend by my side. Race day is a whole new ball game, filled with tons of energy, tons of spectators, lower humidity and cooler temps. I'm EXCITED.
Oh yes, and the apple scented candle I bought yesterday? WORKS LIKE A CHARM. Happy first day of fall!!!
42 days until the ING NYC MARATHON!!!