It's been said that if you are going to run marathons, you have to enjoy the training. That's true to a point. I love a long run...up to about 15 to 16 miles. But its the 20 mile training run that is the gold standard for marathon preparedness. I do from one to three 20 milers in preparation for a marathon. I've also been known to run a race to avoid having to do a 20 mile training run. My Las Vegas Marathon run was just such an avoidance run. Why? The last 5 miles start to hurt. The hamstrings and calves start to tighten and get sore. Oh, I can finish them, but it does hurt.
With the Disney Marathon coming up in just a day under 3 weeks, I knew I had to get out for a 20 miler in the next two weeks. Sunday is normally my long run day. However, this weekend was one in which I was up late on both Friday and Saturday nights. By Sunday morning, my body just said no to a long run. I was a slug all day. Luckily, I've learned to listen to my body and not try to run when run down. Monday morning, I vowed to get in a long run after work.
I arranged to meet a client at her condo around 4:30 PM. As I drive along Ft. Lauderdale Beach, I note the cool temperatures and a breeze. As my meeting drags on, I take a couple of glaces out the window like a dog eager to go outside. The meeting finally ends and I bolt home to change and get out the door.
Its one of those swirling wind nights. As I work my way south along A1a, I start thinking about whether I'll make it a 15 or 20 mile run. Better to knock out the 20 first and trim down mileage as I get closer to marathon day. So, I decide on the 20 as I head back north from 17th Street. I neglected to use body glide and was getting rubbed raw by my running shirt. So, off it goes. Of course, the winds shift and are now blasting directly into my face with the sand pelting my skin. Oh well, I figure I'll have the wind at my back for the last 5 miles. As I approach mile 14, I start to feel tension in my hamstrings. Adding to the fun is a condo sprinkler system whose water is blowing sideways with winds now blowing out of the east. Its like running through a car wash. During mile 16, I'm about blown off my feet by a strong wind again out of the east. However, I manage to stay on my feet and make it home. My last 20 miler before Disney is in the books. Now, I can enjoy this most wonderful time of the year. No, not Christmas. Taper time.