20 More Miles Under the Old Belt

Shame on me, posting so late again!  Sometimes life just gets in the way, you know?

“Life,” in this case, isn’t my new blog Health Blog Helper, though I am even more excited about that today after the response to my first two posts got (thanks, in no small part, to Caitlin from Healthy Tipping Point).  No, the “life” I’m talking about today is the 20-mile run I did this morning, my next-to-last at that distance before the big day, only 33 days away.

The run went perfectly, which I really needed after feeling a little bit shaky about this whole BQ-thing recently.  I completed the run in 2:34:04, a 7:42 pace, just faster than the 7:45 I was aiming for.  This, you might recall, comes after an unsuccessful first attempt to run the 20 at a 7:45 pace.  I still got heavy legs during the final two miles or so today, but was able to maintain the 7:45, feeling much better all-around than last time.

My final 20-miler will be at 7:30 pace, which will be a big test.  And then to think that on October 4th, I’ll still need to be 15 seconds faster than that for 20 miles, not to mention the final 6.2!

So Matt, how’d you do it?

In my post on excuses, I mentioned the tendency to take credit for our good runs, but blame the bad ones on external factor.  So today I’m making a concerted effort to do the opposite.  My run went so well today because:

  • The temperature was below 70 degrees, perfect in my opinion.
  • Even though I only took two water stops, it was plenty because I didn’t sweat much.
  • I had great music and audiobooks to listen to.
  • I taped over my blister with foam prewrap and sports tape, creating a bionic foot of sorts, and it felt great the whole time.

I think the last one is so important.  As Pete from Chasing Geb informed me when I posted about the worst run of my life, stress can be the cause of premature fatigue.  The brain just gets worn out, and eventually gives up on sending out orders to the body.  On that run, the stress was of a grosser variety, but I think that when a blister is hurting you on every single step, it does a number on your brain, and therefore, your body.

Here’s a shot of my bionic foot, which I’m sure you just couldn’t live without seeing.  The white stuff is Blister Shield powder, not some weird fungus.

[bionic foot photo]

I just can’t believe this rig stayed in place the whole 20 miles!

The heat thing was surprising; I like to think that I’m a pretty good runner in the heat and that it doesn’t affect me much.  But man, what a difference.  This run was so comfortable, even—dare I say it— “relaxing”?

So there you go.  The new me.  No more excuses when things don’t go well, and sharing the love when they do.



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  1. holy crap – that 7:42 pace is AMAZING! you are seriously a machine. i have no doubts that you will be hanging out in Boston come next spring 🙂
    .-= Holly (The Healthy Everythingtarian)´s last blog ..How I Became an Everythingtarian =-.

  2. WOW- great job! Glad you had such a good run and that your blister didn’t bother you much. I can’t believe how cool it is….is fall really coming 🙁 ?
    .-= Erica´s last blog ..Corn Cakes & A Crab =-.

  3. Haha I’ve definitely rigged up something like that on my feet before…it’s really funny when I wear flip flops and people think I’ve just had surgery or something. Nope, just long runs! Congrats on the awesome run!
    .-= Susan´s last blog ..Shiny, pretty, and RED! =-.

  4. you are a speed demon. props!
    .-= janetha´s last blog ..you’re my boy, blue! =-.

  5. That sounds like a really great run. Congrats and I hope I won’t ever have to tape my foot up like that, but I will mentally file this post just in case!
    .-= Robin´s last blog ..Life is Almost Back to Normal =-.

  6. Make sure to credit yourself some, too!! I spent most of my time this summer with a homemade bandage like that on my foot, too–I had a nasty blister in the same place. But naturally, I am too stubborn to take time off!
    .-= Allie Katie´s last blog ..Birthday month and PETA! =-.

  7. Way to go Matt!!!! seriously amazing! 🙂

    You are so motivational and i love it, puts me in a good mood, and makes me so pumped to go on my run! 🙂
    .-= Lizzy´s last blog ..whole lotta new loot =-.

  8. Nice work Matt! That pace is awesome. Inspiring how determined you are. And so happy to hear your foot held up. We look forward to seeing you in Boston in 2010! I agree on the heat thing. When I run it it I feel ok, but what a difference now that its like 70 deg. and dry. Feels so good (granted I’m not anywhere near 20 miles in a stretch!) Already starting to dread what comes here in a couple of months…dark, cold, snowy runs. YUK! So much easier to get out there when its nice.

  9. Wow! Great job on the run! That is amazing!
    .-= Pam (Highway to Health)´s last blog ..Hiatus is over =-.

  10. I think I’m worse at sticking to something when all the conditions are perfect. I’m pretty sure I run faster etc when it’s rainy out or when I’m hurting… funny how the mind works like that.

    So glad that your “bionic foot” worked out well!
    .-= Sagan´s last blog ..Vegan Challenge kick-off =-.

  11. Glad to hear your blister didn’t bother you one bit during the entire run. Woohoo for an on-target 20 miler!
    .-= Mia {runs and rests}´s last blog ..Bus + TV = Running Inspiration =-.

  12. Awesome run. You are running strong. Don’t worry about the BQ, on race day just go out there and do what you have been doing in training.
    .-= diana´s last blog ..A Little Bit of Everything =-.

  13. what a great run! i’ll see you in boston 😉
    .-= Shannon´s last blog ..Crystal Lake Triathlon 2009 =-.

  14. excellent and speedy 20 miler! nice blister-rigging, hey whatever works 🙂

    i seem to be perpetually stressed out. i can’t seem to help it. i am just easily worked-up i guess over things i know (very well) i could easily ignore.
    .-= lindsay´s last blog ..august 2009 =-.

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