I ran 20 miles today! When I got to the end of the 7th mile I felt like speeding up. I pulled my earbuds out from my visor headband, put them in my ears and ran all but two of miles 8-19 between 8:30-9:00/mi pace - that's 10 miles at that faster pace.
I ran a lot of hills today. At first, I just ran with a medium effort, but by mile 8, I sped up them. It was hard, but it felt good and it made me happy to be running hard. That difficult running - that's going to make us stronger, faster.
I had a Gu gel/Gatorade plan that I had to change along the way, taking in less than I thought I would because I felt full. (I don't take those two at the same time - I take the gels with water.)
I felt some leg achiness in mile 11. I noticed that my hands were retaining water like they have one or two times before. I shook them out as I ran and then they didn't feel so tight and puffy. And then when I slowed down in mile 20, my legs ached, but overall I felt good on this run. And to write that about a 20 miler - happiness!
In the Hubble movie I saw last Friday, an astronaut talked about how stressful it would have been to focus on the 36 screws he had to unscrew with his bulky gloves while trying to stay steady out in space. That's why he focused on only one screw at a time. Today I usually focused on just 2 miles at a time. And sometimes I had happy thoughts about the 20, as in, "Wow, I'm really going to run 20 miles today!"
My average pace was 9:04/mi for the whole run and it took me 3 hours and 1 1/2 minutes. : )