20 Miles Down, 20 to Go!

Sneaking in a blog post on a quiet Friday afternoon from work because I’m going out to dinner tonight and don’t want to psych myself out by writing much tomorrow!

I had a GREAT run this morning. Okay, actually it was a super challenging run, but in a good way. I was on the treadmill for the first time since mid-August (yes, I remember exactly when I had the run because it was right after my very first PT assessment), and I’d kind of been craving a treadmill run in a weird way. For one thing, I will have quality time with the entire Lakefront trail during my 20-miler on Sunday (that’s the hope, at least!), and I wanted to keep the views fresh. For another, it was raining and especially dark out this morning, so the treadmill was an easy fix. And finally, running on the treadmill challenges me in a way that trail running doesn’t – maybe it’s because you don’t have the chance to slow down and adjust your pace unless you’re manually playing around with the buttons, or maybe it’s the angle your running takes, but whatever it is, I always find it harder to run on the treadmill.

The reason I recall my last TM run so vividly is because it hurt. As soon as I put my foot down in my first running step it immediately triggered my injury. So I knew going into it this morning that that might happen again. But I wanted to see.

Usually I run on the treadmill at a 1.5 incline – I read at least a decade ago that that’s a good incline to mimic a real road, rather than zero incline, but during my last TM run I remember it hurt less when I lowered the incline. So this morning when I got started I set it at my normal warm-up speed and my normal incline, intending on decreasing it if need be. I did make it awhile on 1.5 but ultimately brought it down to 1.0 – fine with me. Happily I was able to increase the speed, so that was good!

Pain-wise I’d say it took some effort to get going but then somewhere past the first mile I realized I really didn’t have any pain. I know I’d been adjusting my gait at first but after I got going I think it was back to normal. I noticed I had very little pain in my hip flexors today, so maybe that means the treadmill angle was a benefit to me. Effort-wise…it definitely took some self-encouragment to keep going! Several times I thought about just wrapping up with walking but I was bound and determined to prove to myself that I could do all of my mid-week miles and get back on track with training, so somehow I stuck with it. At a few points I even increased the speed a little more and/or ran an extra minute. I felt GREAT when I was done – and relieved!

Today I’ve been feeling good too – I’m limping less when I first get up after sitting down awhile and I have very little pain. All good stuff. On my lunch break I went over to a running store to pick up my bib for Sunday – CARA considers the 20-miler a real dress rehearsal for the full marathon, bibs and all! I’ll get a finisher t-shirt at the end (assuming I finish!). And free beer and an extra session with my PT guy. ๐Ÿ™‚

As of this very minute I’d say I’m…90% nervous and 10% excited. I expect this time tomorrow it’ll be more like 95/5. And on Sunday morning…100% nervous.

Tomorrow is a rest day and I plan on doing just that – I’d like to go downtown to the Garmin store to buy my fancy running watch, so we’ll see! I told myself it was a weight loss incentive – I’m still 3 lbs from my marathon goal weight (which is like a million lbs more than regular runners but a good number for me!), but I think I deserve a treat. ๐Ÿ™‚ The watch will let me set my 5:1 run/walk ratio and will track my pace, overall time, and distance. So this means I don’t have to run with my app on and burn out my phone battery. I want that battery all charged up in case I need to Uber home on Sunday!!!!!

Will write again after HOPEFULLY finishing 20 miles on Sunday…and…cue the tummy ache!

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