twinlakesI extended my distance on the LoBo Trail this morning.  Twin Lakes lie 10 miles from my front door.  I actually used to live very near these two ponds when I first moved to Boulder 24 years ago and never entered the park.  I can’t believe that.  It’s an incredible setting with two small lakes, I’d call them ponds, with trails entering from various streets.  Trails circle each lake.  You could easily get in several miles with a little figure eight route.  I’d guess each one is a half to three quarters of a mile in circumference.

Tough run today.  Not because it was 20 miles, but because my legs hadn’t recovered from the previous evening’s 8 mile run.  I was hurting from my first step and wasn’t confident I’d go longer than 8 or 10 miles.  The weather was cool this morning and that helped. I bonked on the return though and started walking some spots after 15 miles.  I ran a minute per mile slower pace than last weekend’s 18 mile run.  Mostly due to the walking, otherwise I was maybe 30 seconds slower overall.

I don’t think it matters given the goal.  Part of the reason you get in really long runs before a marathon is to prepare mentally.  I don’t need that because I have marathon experience.  Shoot, I ran the Austin Marathon after mostly training with 3 and 4 mile runs.  Not that I ran it well, but I don’t need the mental fortitude.  Running for 3.5 hours though is excellent preparation.  I don’t believe the training pace matters much.  Hope not because I want to run faster in the actual event.  It’s a great question, but I feel like running for a certain amount of time is more important than covering a specific distance.  The distance would help mentally, but I don’t need that.

I’m a little disappointed I had to walk some after 15 miles, but my special powers of rationalization have even made that a positive.  My legs were so fatigued this morning that the entire run felt like the final 6 miles of a marathon.  Running this morning felt like it does after hitting the wall.  So I definitely worked on my mental toughness.  I was so tired afterward that stepping over the curb was a challenge.  Climbing my front porch steps was like hiking up a 14er.  I even collided with a biker.  I don’t think she was looking but my synapses were firing too slow to get out of her way.  We avoided injury – she was biking nearly as slow as I was running – but we both came to a dead stop with me nearly busting her bike basket.  This was at 11 miles.  I knew then I wasn’t going to make it home without a little walking.

I was able to practice eating and drinking today.  I ate a bag of Honey Stinger Energy Chews, 9 Hammer Endurolytes and I emptied my Camelbak of its HEED sports drink.  This was made easier by walking.  I practiced this last weekend too on my 18 mile run.  I struggle eating and drinking while running.  It likely just takes practice.  Based on my fatigue today I think I also need to focus more on overall nutrition throughout the day and week.  Time to start storing some carbs.  I’ll start Tuesday.  I have to fast Monday for my colonoscopy.