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Begining of the end

Starting this week my training miles will decreaseslightly each of the next 3 weeks. I have reached taper time. My 20 miler yesterday was the beginning of
the end of training.

At the end of my run yesterday I described it as brutal. I originally planned on doing 22 but ended up at 20.2 miles. The reason for the shortage was heat.
Going in I knew it was going to be warm but I wasn’t expecting a 20 degree temperature climb in 3 ˝ hours. Yes it went from 58 degrees at the 6:30 start to 80 degrees when I ended at just after 10:00. At the end I
was certainly glad I endured the challenge of the day.

Today I look back at the run and I describe it as a great run. Despite the heat conditions I felt very good all day yesterday after the run. Today my body
feels very good. Legs are feeling quite normal and fresh. If it wasn’t 90 degrees I would be running again tonight. My confidence level went up from the day before I ran.

On Saturday I was a bit apprehensive all day. It was tough not to think about the run on Sunday morning. My thoughts were always going back to the problems that I have been having with my right shin. I had a very
difficult time sleeping Saturday night.

Finally after checking the time each time I woke up during the night, it was time to get up, 5:30 am. The plan was a quick breakfast, PB on toast and a banana.
Than go out and stash my Gatorades, baggies of ice and one small bottle of frozen water at the 8 mile mark and at the 16 mile mark. Once that was done I would get dressed, stretch and loosen up a bit. I wanted to be on the run at 6:30.

I would say the run was going pretty much to plan through the first 14 or so miles. There were no problems with legs or anything. I was hitting my miles
at a pace that I felt comfortable. It was an enjoying run through the country side which included seeing 3 whitetail deer along the way. The miles seemed to flow quite well.

It was between miles 14 and 15 when I started to feel the heat getting to me. Knowing that I had a baggie of ice which was now most likely ice water at 16, I
plugged along as best I could. My plan was to drink my last Gatorade that I had picked up at mile 8 and go on to 17. At 17 I was to turn back for home and grab a new supply of Gatorade to get me to 22 miles. I knew that the ice water would refresh me for a bit but I also knew it would not give me enough refreshment for the last six. I chose to turn back for the finish at 16. Given the heat factor I felt my body was using reserves and things that would be compatible with doing 22 on a cooler day.

The lesson I learned from Sunday’s run was to plan for heat better next time. I should have had ice/water maybe every four miles. During the marathon there are water stations every 2 miles. With that many opportunities to cool myself off, I feel comfortable with being able to handle heat during the marathon.

As of today I am feeling very good about being prepared both physically and mentally for Grandmas Marathon on June 17th. The key now is not to trip, fall, drop a bowling ball on my foot, etc..