This is what I look like shortly after running twenty miles.  Thought I’d crowdsource for opinions on what I look like, because my family thinks I look near death after some of these big runs.  I think I look fine.  Felt near death though for awhile.  Probably more accurate to say I crawled twenty miles.  I didn’t wear a watch but figure I averaged an 8:30 minute pace the first ten miles, and maybe 9:30 on the return.

Part of the reason it was so tough was that I ran a fast ten miler Friday afternoon.  Felt like I averaged 8 minute miles yesterday, which is fast for me.  I seriously think I might have found my speed after teaching Ellie strides and sprints for three days.  Might lose it as I increase my mileage, but hopefully not.  I have enough recovery days in this marathon training plan, I hope to be able to maintain some speed on short mileage days.

I enjoy training for a marathon.  It’s an awesome project.  Days like today allow me to test my limits.  I learned today that I am not ready for a full marathon.  Not sure I could have taken one additional step past twenty miles.  Experience tells me that nine weeks from now, I’ll be able to tack on an additional six miles.  Only four more training runs twenty miles or longer.  There will be one super tough, high-mileage week; otherwise I’m starting to plateau.  Completed 68 miles this week.  Next week is 76.  That will be the most until another four weeks when I target 90.  I’m still on track with my plan.