Is that a Fish Head?

On Sunday August 5th John and I ran a 20+ mile run.  Our training plan called for 20 miles but we hoped to add a few more.  The previous week we had intended to run 18 but completed 19.  Significantly more than 20 miles was not to be.   It was a really tough run but we completed it.  In many ways we fared better than the previous 19 mile run.  In some ways I fared worse.
Due to our schedules we ran in the evening.  We started the run at about 5 PM.  It was partly cloudy and the temperature was in the low 80s.  Overall it didn’t seem that bad.  We did encounter a bit of sunshine for the first hour or so but the sun retreated behind clouds offering us some additional relief.  The temperature didn’t back off much however.  By the end of the run it was still 78 in the shade.  We were still running after 8 PM and it usually cools down more by then.

Learning from last week we packed more water.  John was really smart about this and I wasn’t as smart.  John bought more bottles for his fuel belt and we stashed our extra bottles at our turn around points.  We ran a course I’m calling the Rowe 20+.  We started with a short loop around my parent’s house and then ran the Rowe Quarter 3 times.  We stashed our extra water near my mailbox and in John’s jeep in my parent’s driveway.

I made a conscious effort to drink early and drink often.  I think that I did not drink often enough and that I should have had more water and/or sports drink with me.  Near the end I started to conserve which is the last thing I want to do when running long distances.  Luckily, once again, John came through and provided me with extra water.  John’s my “running  mom.”  He brings way more supplies than I think are necessary but often that proves very handy.

At one point I saw something shiny on the side of the road (ooh shiny!).  The more I looked at it the more it looked like a severed fish head.  I asked John “Is that a fish head?”  He seriously considered it.  It turned out to be a silvery chunk of metal, perhaps a piece of an exhaust system.  This wasn’t late in the run so our brains were still working pretty well.  Far more interesting was the burnt out trailer of an 18 wheeler.  The bends and holes in the trailer made some amazing optical effects that made it look like it wasn’t a rectangle and  made it look like there were holes in the sides when there were non.  Again this was witnessed very early in the run.  We weren’t crazy (yet).

We finished 3:33:23 seconds after starting.  Our average pace was about 10:29.  I was very happy to complete this run although I must admit to being slightly disappointed that it was so difficult.  While training for the 2007 Disney Marathon I had a lot of trouble with the 20 mile training runs.  I hoped that they would be significantly easier this time.  They are still extremely difficult for me.  On the other hand I’m proud to have completed another 20+ mile run.  This was only the fifth time in my life I’ve run 20 miles or more.

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