Yet Another Best Run Ever

I’m not sure what’s happened recently but I keep having amazing run after amazing run.   In 4 weeks I’ve had 3 of the best runs of my life.  Each run has been 16 miles which is longer than my typical 13 mile long run.  I’ve changed a few things but I don’t think these changes are significant enough to account for the dramatic performance improvement I’ve seen.

On Sunday April 26th I set out for another 16 mile run.  I was a bit mad when I left the house.  It was 60 degrees out and I was going to run shirtless.  I took Cassie out to the mailbox to get the newspaper and nearly froze solid when the wind hit me.  I went back in for a short sleeved shirt.  As I changed into my shirt I watched the temperature drop 6 degrees in about 10 minutes and the wind picked up.  Annoyed I took off my short sleeved shirt and put on a long sleeved shirt.  It was the right choice as I was confortable for pretty much the entire run.  I was also hungry so I downed a gel.  This was the first time I took a gel prior to running.

I felt good from the start.  I got a runner’s high at about mile 1.5 and it never went away.  I my fan club headquarters (my parent’s house) in 49 minutes.  Their house is 6.5 miles away and I usually take 52-54 minutes to get there.  After turning around the wind was in my face.  I didn’t let the wind bother me.  It was just a training run and I felt incredible.  I just pretended that there was no wind and kept running.  Once again I took a caffeinated gel.  This time I tried a Clif Double Espresso which contains 100 mg of caffeine.  I think I took this at about mile 9 or 10.

I couldn’t believe my eyes when I hit my next milestone (the 12.9 mile mark, the point where 5k remains).  My watch said 1:34.  That was close to my half marathon PR and I felt great and I knew I’d finish in under 2 hours.  I didn’t really think I had it in me to run 16 miles in under 2 hours, at least not without significant training.  Thrilled with my time and still feeling incredible I cranked up the tunes and pushed on through the last 5k.

When I reached my mailbox I stopped my stopwatch and literally threw my hands in the air and said, out loud, “Holy Crap!”  My stopwatch read 1:55.  Not only did I break 2 hours but I did it by a lot.  I also ran it faster and felt better than my best run ever which was just one week prior!

I don’t know what’s going on but I’m happy about this.  A few things are different:

  • I’ve been getting more and better sleep
  • I’ve increased my protein intake significantly
  • I stopped running in my Mizuno Wave Inspire sneakers in favor of my Mizuno Wave Elixir shoes
  • I started having caffeine in my gel
  • I stopped having caffeine completely in everyday life
  • I started track workouts (but I’ve only done one so that can’t be it)

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