I took it a little easy this week and didn't worry too much about my paces for my speedwork and tempo runs. I wasn't too confident in completing today's scheduled 20 miler though. Didn't have ankle pain this week, it just never felt 100%. So I went out at 6am (with only 1 Gu - somehow, I used up my stash) and decided my 7:30 lap time was a good start, but I'd back off if needed. My goal was to just finish it this time. My 1st "20" for this training cycle was actually 18, but on trails at Paris Mtn. My 2nd one ended at 16 with pain. If I didn't make this one - I was sincerely thinking about skipping the Charlotte Full. Still dark of course and ~44°, but I knew it would get up to the mid 50's after 3 hours or so (and I was right) - and it was good weather for running. Settled into my pace and kept it for 15+ miles. Then it got more interesting (although I did watch a heron at the lake on and off for 45 minutes, eating fish, wading around and flying back and forth across the water). Last 5 miles dealt with a little lower back pain (that poor posture again), some ab soreness (ab work twice a week isn't enough I guess) and the heavy legs. Took a few more walk breaks the last few miles , but finished my 20 miler! 20.4 to be exact in 3:05. No complaints about the time - it's just as poorly as I was feeling - the next 6 miles would not be pleasant, and with hills to boot? ugh! Why am I even considering a 31 miler?
Charlotte is 5 full weeks away, so one 1/2 marathon next weekend, one more Long run (20 again) and then the taper begins. Guess I need to register for it before it's too late!
Anyway - so today's 20 miler brought me to 32 for the week, but the big threshold I passed was going over 1,000 miles for the year! Going back and calculating - I hit 952 last year. Had never really thought about yearly mileage until recently (running article or another blog maybe?), but I like that number. With my schedule - I hope for another 200 in the remaining weeks!