Today was my last 20+ mile run for my Walt Disney World Marathon training. It was a wet, muddy, and sloppy run due to the storms here in Memphis yesterday, but the temperature was in the fifties, so there was nothing to complain about there. Today’s run marks the furthest distance that I have run yet, and remarkably, the run was not longest duration that I have run. It feels good to notice progress, even if it is small. But since this was my last 20 miler until race day, I thought it would be prudent to assess the good and the bad from the run to assist me at Disney.
- My wall definitely is between miles 16 and 18. I know some people claim that the wall is at 20 miles, but for me, this is not the case. Every run that I have reached this plateau has drastically changed during this mileage. Now, I must combat it.
- When I hit the wall, I need to deviate from my “Barney Stinson All Rise” playlist. Instead, it seems that some variation of 80’s power ballads, Seal (Kiss From a Rose specifically), Darius Rucker (Hootie!!!), and songs of similar stature. These are songs that are not adrenaline boosters, but rather songs that you sing along with and put you in different place mentally, which is huge.
- 20 mile runs in my neighbor are BORING! It wears on you as you plod along. I cannot wait to be at Disney so there are spectators, cast members, and characters to cheer me along. I think that I chose wisely by picking WDW Marathon to be my first. There is going to be so much going on throughout the race. Also, the adrenaline boost of actually running a race will be nice as well.
- Gatorade, or a similar drink are important on these longer distances. I almost exclusively drink water on my runs, but today I tried some Gatorade and it was a life saver. The electrolytes and change in taste palate was crucial to aiding my run.
- Running with a CamelBak now will pay dividends later. I use a CamelBak for my longs runs so I have plenty of water throughout the run. This adds some weight and adjusts my posture slightly. Today, when I grabbed a bottle of Gatorade around mile 18, I dropped off my CamelBak at the house and felt better over my last few miles.
- Susan bought me some new shoes for the race and I after the added mileage today, I think that they will be ready for race day. She opted for the Asics Nimbus, a shoe that I listed in my runner’s Christmas list a few weeks ago (I will explore what all I received from the list for Christmas and my birthday as well later this week). She actually has a plan for what I should wear on race day, but more on that in the upcoming weeks. I now have 35 miles on the shoes and will have a little over 50 on them by race day. Actually, once I hit 50, I am putting them away until the marathon.
- The race is only three weeks away, and I cannot wait! This time of year leads to a running funk, but as I was eclipsing mile 22, it began to sink in that the race is rapidly approaching. These long runs are going to serve a purpose, and my mental state, which faltered today, will be perfect on race day.
- My Nike+ watch will not make it for the entire run if I do not charge it properly prior to the race. Today I got the low battery warning, but I know that it was not fully charged. I will do what I need to in three weeks to charge the watch.
- It is a good thing that I ran these miles today because I am now at my parents’ house, and my mom has quite a few Christmas treats to enjoy. She has some chocolate oatmeal no bake cookies, a homemade pecan pie, and her famous German cheesecake! The 4,000 plus calories that I burned today will be consumed before bed tonight!
- These little lessons that I learn during the runs are just as important as the building of mileage. Knowledge of how your body will react and just what it feels like to run 20+ miles. Prepping for all facets of the run will strengthen the run.
It is hard to believe that race day is only three weeks away! In fact, exactly in three weeks from right now, Susan and I will be enjoying a steak in Canada at Epcot. That sounds like a great post marathon meal to me!
To all my fellow Disney runners, I hope this last week of long runs went well for you and you are prepped for the big day.