Sunday, April 24, 2011

Final 20 Miler Complete

This weekend the training schedule called for the final 20 miler of the training cycle.  Jenn and I had decided to sign up for The Cleveland 10 Miler for part of this training run.  Our plan was to run 10 miles before the race and then finish the last 10 on the course.  Dave, who is on a bit of an altered training plan, would be coming up from Columbus to join us for the last 10 miles.  Jenn and I exchanged several text messages early Saturday morning.  The main topic of the texts were the weather.  We went back and forth a bit about what we were going to do.  Jenn asked me if it was bad that she wanted to meet at 7 instead of our original plan of 6 since the weather was calling for the rain to stop by 7.  If we met at 7 we would be doing 5 miles before the race and 5 miles after the race.  I told her she had to suck it up because it could pour all 26.2 miles on May 15.  She said I was right and told me she would be on her way shortly.  When we got to our meeting place the rain had stopped and the weather was fantastic.  Since we got a later start than we had planned we decided to run 9 miles before the race and do the final mile at the end.  The first 9 miles went by quickly.  We ran a nice easy pace and Jenn even asked to run up a killer hill twice!  I was perfectly fine with that.  During the course of the first 9 miles we stopped back at our cars because we had gone out wearing long sleeves and we were hot so we quickly got all of our race stuff ready and I changed into a short sleeve shirt which was much better.  We did a final loop near the starting line to complete our first 9 miles. 
Rocking our running skirts after 9 miles

The plan was to meet Dave at the start line.  However, it was really crowded so I was concerned we wouldn't be able to find him.  I tried calling him but he didn't have his phone on him.  Jenn and I decided to walk over to the start line where I spotted my co-worker E.  We walked over to him and exchanged hugs.  He commented on our "Scottish Kilts".  We told E that they were our marathon outfits and we had gotten a lot of compliments on them during our first 9 miles!  Two minutes later another co-worker, Danielle, walked up to me and hugged me and told me we were crazy for running before the race.  I gave her a hug and thanked her and then out of nowhere Dave was walking right towards us.  We talked for a minute or so and then the race started.  Our plan was to run between 10:15-10:30 mile pace.  Our first mile came in under 10 minutes..oops...sorry guys, I am usually much better at controlling pace.  I was able to get us on the right pace during mile two.  I checked in with Jenn and she said she was feeling good.  Checked in with Dave and I got the same answer...although I think his exact answer was that he was fine.  Starting right around mile 3 (12 miles for us at this point) Jenn began to struggle.  I gave her the usual pep talks, tried to get her to focus on different colored shirts to catch up to, tagged out to Dave to try and boost her spirits.  Turns out Jenn wasn't feeling well from chugging water and gatorade and she ended up throwing up on the course a few times.  We were all still together at mile 5 and then Jenn was slowly dropping back.  Dave and I kept trying to keep her spirits up.  A few minutes later another runner on the course said Jodi?  I realized right away it was Kelsey from dailymile.  We had originally planned to meet up before the race but that didn't work out.  I am so glad she introduced herself on the course!  Then around mile 6 I had to decide what to do.  I told Dave I felt bad and I was thinking I needed to run ahead.  I asked him if he was coming with me to which he replied it depends how fast you are going to run.  I promptly told him I wasn't going to be going much faster than our current pace because my shoulder and legs were pretty much done by mile 13.  Reluctantly, I ran ahead and Dave came with me.  I am pretty sure we kept the same pace for the next 2 miles.  During the final 2 miles I actually told Dave I need ed to slow down because I looked at my watch and we were running sub 9 pace.  Dave ran ahead of me a little bit during the last two miles and I remember telling him I just wanted to finish.  My legs were done, my shoulder was done, and I was done.  I was so glad to see the finish line up ahead and I lengthened my stride to try and get to the line faster.  I crossed the line in 1:42:55 and promptly walked over to the side and proceed to completely bend in half.  I was hot, in pain, and tired.  Dave was very helpful and kind (thanks Dave).  He got me to walk and got me some water.  I have never felt the way I did yesterday after a run/race.  Dave even mentioned that he had never seen me that way after an event.  I am not sure why I felt so bad.  Maybe my body is ready for taper and it was trying to tell me to slow down.  I also told Dave that 19.07 (I had run back a few times to take Jenn water which explains the .07) was good enough for the day in my book.  I then told Dave I needed to go back out and get Jenn and he told me he would come with me.  Imagine our surprise when we started walking back out on the course and Jenn's name is being announced as she is crossing the finish line.  She was only 4 minutes behind us.  We all talked for a few minutes and I told Jenn that I thought 19.07 was good enough for the day.  She said she was going to finish out the 20 so she can say she did it.  Jenn, Dave, and I talked to some other runners and Jenn mentioned that she runs better alone because she doesn't like feeling like she is holding me back.  We also had a few pictures taken at this point.
Jenn, Kelsey, and I

Jenn, Dave, and I

 Once we took the pictures, I handed Dave my medal to hold and Jenn and I went off to finish up our run.  My watch hit 20 miles before Jenn's so we stopped back at the tent and Jenn said she was going to finish up her .07 and meet me back by the food.  I found Dave and we waited for Jenn.  I did eat some egg casserole but it wasn't sitting so well so I threw most of it out.  I then decided to try an apple and I immediately choked on the apple skin.  I regained my composure and Jenn snapped a picture of Dave and I.  
Dave and I.  Notice I'm still holding the evil apple

Jenn and I used yesterday's 20 miles as a dress rehearsal of sorts.  We have matching outfits for the marathon so we wanted to wear them during at least one training run before our 26.2.  I have to say I loved the skirt.  We ordered them from runningskirts and I highly recommend them.  The added bonus is I think I looked pretty cute out there today!
Rocking my running skirt

With our final 20 mile run behind us we headed our separate ways.  Jenn texted me and mentioned that she just needed to figure out how to clear her head when running with others.  She then mentioned that she just may have to ignore Dave and I and focus like she is on her own.  I replied back that after the way she killed the last four miles of the race, we had actually thought about that.  I then told her she could pretend we were invisible.  She said she felt bad for doing that and I told her not to feel bad and just run behind us and pretend we are imaginary and join us at the finish line.  She said pretending we are invisible sounded good and that running behind us and joining us at the finish sounded like a plan.  So we shall call this the "invisible running partners" race plan. 

I am so thankful that the final 20 mile training run is in the books.  I am looking forward to the taper and being at the start line of the Cleveland Marathon in 21 days!!

Keep running, you're simple the best, and you inpsire me!!  


  1. Great job yesterday...And its good you feel sore and not "great". If you felt perfect after 20 miles, then everyone would/could do it...
    3 weeks to go...Savour each day.

  2. Wow- good job Jodi - I had an awful 20 miler today too - I think it just happens sometimes. Enjoy your taper!

  3. Whoohooo on being ready to go! That outfit is totally adorable! Is that going to be your marathon outfit? I think it should be... just sayin'.

  4. I love the outfit! yay for finishing 20 miles :)

  5. @Dave- thanks for helping me through to the fnish and taking care of me post race.

    @Connie- I have to agree with you about sometimes having bad long runs. So glad this was the last 20 miler of the cycle! Great job getting 20 done in that rain yesterday!!

    @Rebecca- Thanks! Yes, it is the marathon outfit. Well, the actual marathon outfit has a tank top (like Jenn has in the pictures). I am hoping the weather will cooperate and I can wear the tank top that day. The skirt and socks will be at the Cleveland start line for sure!!

    @Michelle- Thank you so much!!

  6. I love that you all have each other to count on and run with (invisibly or not) both training and for race day! You are all going to do great and I'm so excited for you!!!

  7. WOW!!! I can't imagine doing 10 before a race - you guys are ROCKSTARS in my book. :)

  8. I love the running skirts! Now I know what you are wearing for the marathon so I will keep an eye out for you! Congrats on running so much before the race, I had to save mine for after the race.

  9. Nice job! Love the skirt too :) Have a great race!