No more 20-milers, if I don't want to do them. I accomplished one today (sort of surprised me: first, that I made it for 20 miles, and second, that it wasn't half bad.) If I make the Austin Marathon my last one, I'll never have to run a 20-mile training run again.
Austin will give me 24 marathons. I might have to do one more to round it up to 25.
The 20 miles took me 4 hours, including stops at traffic lights, stretch breaks, and a horrendous (horrendous) pit stop. I knew there was a gas station a quarter-mile ahead but I also became mightily aware I wasn't going to make it that far. I dove down into a culvert. I was in view of houses' second-story windows but didn't see anyone peeking as I anxiously kept scanning them. The stop itself took a long time, complete with cramping. Sorry so graphic, but runners will relate.
My Achilles tendons and hips started to hurt at mile 8, and I took 2 aspirins and 2 X-strength Tylenol, and the pain never got any worse. When all that wore off after my finish, I took two Aleve. I am such a pain-pill junkie...
My Timex Ironman watch battery has taken 5 years of licking and quit ticking. So I had no lap counter or any way to stop timing at pauses, only my total time.
I ran/walked a 2-mile/2-minute pattern, drinking water every 2 miles and taking a gel and a salt tablet every 4. This worked so well I think I'll use it as my marathon strategy in 3 weeks.
Anyway.... my 20-miler is over. I set out to do 16-18 and not only ended up doing 20, I ran an extra .2 to simulate that demonic .2 after passing mile 26 on race day. If I don't want to I never have to do another 20-miler. I may be done with marathoning.
But I've said that before.