So, as you know, my attempt to run 20 miles on Saturday went awry for a multitude of reasons. But, by the time Sunday rolled around, I was ready to run.
The plan was simple. I was going to head out at 6 a.m. for the first 4.5 miles. At 6:45ish, I was going to stop back at J's parents to pick him up for the next 11. Then, at mile 15.5-16, we would run past the house again. J would stop and I would finish the rest of my 20. Easy peasy.
I woke up around 5:45 (waking up Dizzle and Doodle in the process) and got dressed, ate a Clif Bar and gathered my gear. Promptly at 6, I headed out. AND.IT.WAS.WONDERFUL.
The temperature was 54 degrees when I walked out the door. And in case you haven't been paying attention, that's about 20 degrees cooler than anything I have run in since early May. Anyway, feeling energized by the weather and the rest day on Saturday, I decided that I would run a little faster than my usual long run pace. Nothing super fast or challenging. Just whatever my legs were up for. When I got back to the house to pick up J, I realized that I was averaging just above "Super Dream Goal" Marathon Pace. Sweet.
Then J and I headed out. (Aren't we cute?)
I let J set the pace. I was hoping for about an 11:30 average, which is about 30 seconds slower than my 15+ mile long run pace and about 30 seconds faster than J's long run pace. We started together, but for most of the run, we ran near each other, not with each other. I was about 30 feet in front of him. I was hoping that running just ahead of him would push him to catch me. (I know, I'm a mean wife). He didn't, but he held his pace quite well, finishing with an average of 11:50 for the 11 miles (over a minute faster than his current half marathon PR pace).
When we got back, I left J (he had to get ready for the Red Sox game) and finished the last 4.2 miles of the run. Again, I decided to push the pace a little. I felt good and averaged 9:30 from miles 16-20. And the icing on the cake ... mile 20 was my fastest of the day at 9:13. Basically, it was the best 20 miler I have ever run.
And see that smile? It's more than just a "thank God I'm done" smile. It's also a "thank God for perfect runs" smile.