First 20 (of 4!) of the cycle

Saturday I ran my first 20 miler of this training cycle. I feel like a 20 miler is something that is worth chatting about. I am running more 20 milers than I have ever run in a training cycle, but I am feeling ready for this.

So I woke up on Saturday morning super early. J and I were going up to Columbus for the night to finish up our beer brewing, and I did not want a 20 miler to get in the way of our day. So my alarm went off at 4:30, and I got dressed and headed downstairs to have breakfast. I chose to skip coffee this morning because I just felt like it was a good plan. I did do run gum, but I skipped coffee since I didn't want to destroy my stomach before 20 miles. Not that coffee destroys my stomach necessarily, but it does make me have to poop (#runnerprobs) and I would rather just go, and be done.

By 6 am, I was out the door. I set up a water bottle and two gels on the ground near my mailbox. I had plans to do several out and back runs coming back through my house to refuel.
I started from my house and headed to 10 mile first. The neighborhoods over there were the home to my first 8 miles. I just ran out and up and down side streets until I got to 4 miles, and then followed that path (up and down the same side streets) back to my house. At 8 miles, I took a gel and went to the bathroom, drank a sip of water and headed back out for my second 8 mile loop.

This time I headed out for the back 9 of the golf course planning on doing another 4 miles out and back. I was feeling pretty good, and obviously now it was past 7 am, so the sun was out. It was not crazy hot, in fact, the temperature was still pretty nice, and I was running.
As you can see from above, while I started off slowly and conservatively, I started to feel good as time went on, and steadily made strides in my pace, but still trying to stay in my range for long runs. When I feel great, I want to take advantage, but I still have 9 weeks of training that I need to knock out, so I have to make sure to stay within range for myself. 
I think that the best part of my pacing was the fact that my fastest mile of the day was the last mile. And as I walked up to my house I was feeling good. I am so happy to have had a good run.


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