The 20 mile hump

This morning I ran my first 20 miler of the training season. Actually I was schedule for 21 miles. No easing over this mental hump – we are diving right in! I haven’t run this far since Nov 2, 2008. I was anxious, nervous and excited all at the same time. Anxious that I wouldn’t finish strong; nervous I would feel like crap the entire run, as I did last week; excited to reach this distance for the first time…again.

It has become a tradition on the Run for the Memory team schedule. Today’s run was from Natick to the finish line in Boston. Like last week, a point to point run is so much easier to mentally get through. Brenna and I were running the furthest of the group and got dropped off first at the 8K mark on the course – right at the Ashland/Framingham town lines. It occurred to me then how much closer we were to the starting line than the finish at that point. And like it or not, we were running east!
From the first mile, I knew this week was going to be better than last week. And the fact that I did not need to look at my watch to see how close we were to the first water stop, confirmed that.
We ran the first half of the run at about an 8:20-8:25 pace. I felt good, but knew it was a little faster than I should be running today. At about mile 10, I decided to slow it down a tad. I let Brenna take off ahead of me – she’s going to have a great marathon this year – and joined another teammate and her friend for what ended up being the rest of the run. We averaged about 8:35 pace. Not significantly slower, but just enough so that I felt comfortable.
I finished with 21.35 miles at 8:30 pace. Over the hump and exactly where I wanted to land today.