And today....was my first 20 miler of this marathon cycle! I carbed up yesterday with bagels and linguini alle vongole (One of my favorites!). I also packed two strawberry banana GUs in my shorts and a couple of dollars for Gatorade in my hydration belt last night so I wouldn't forget in the morning.
I was out the door by 6:45am. I wanted to take it slow, about a 9:30 pace. I hit Mile 1 at 7:40 - oops. I took it down a couple of notches and headed north. I ran through Hempstead where I saw a disturbingly large possum lying on the double yellow lines of President Street. Cars were whizzing by him, I tried not to look for fear that he might go >POP<. I continued through Garden City where I hit the 5 mile mark around 47:xx. I passed through Mineola and New Hyde Park, then finally entered Manhasset via Shelter Rock Road. The road inclines steadily for a couple of miles followed by a nice downhill to the King Kullen parking lot. This marks ten miles (Hit somewhere around 1:35 ). I stopped in and bought a Gatorade to wash down the first GU. The first ten miles were nice and easy. Mile 11 on the way back was the toughest and probably slowest.
I saw an elderly woman attempting to cross Shelter Rock Road where she shouldn't. Although this street has a 35 mile per hour speed limit, many cars push 50-55 (Cops love to give out speeding tickets along this route. I know this from experience, unfortunately). I tried to caution this woman from becoming roadkill, but she became belligerent and insisted she crossed here "all the time". Really? The handful of "old money estates" have been replaced by gated communities. Did this lady go "gated community hopping" all the time? Because there's no place else to go on either side of the road. Anyway, after she got testy, I decided I was going to let her tempt fate. I had a 20 miler to complete, after all. I looked over my shoulder to see that she survived the cross.
I ate my second GU between Mile 15 and 16.
I prepared myself for a bloody scene when approaching President Street on my return. I kept looking for the possum, but he was gone. He must have been playing possum when I saw him earlier. There were no signs of him anywhere. That was a relief. I'm not a fan of these nasty looking critters, but I'm less of a fan of dead ones.
The skies were overcast throughout the run and the last mile it rained lightly. Perfect conditions. I got back home in 3:01:59. This is a 9:06 pace. Too fast. I need to slow it down about 30 seconds next time. Long, slow runs are the key to a successful marathon. The whole point is to get your body used to being out there on your feet for an extended period of time. Speed work runs are for speed.
The best part of these long runs is when they're over and I can enjoy a nice, fat glass of chocolate milk. The recovery drink of champions!
Can I get a "yum!"?