Our 20 mile route this weekend turned out to be less than 20. According to Sean's Garmin, which is quite accurate, we ran 19.17 miles. I would have kept on going if it wasn't for the cramps in my calves that were setting in. 19.17 is good enough for me.
The run itself was quite good. I felt great for 17 miles of it. My breathing wasn't labored, my heart rate was low, and my legs felt strong--until my calves started cramping. It never completely cramped up, but every few minutes a pang would announce itself. I was able to maintain a strong pace, but I altered my running stride, picking my feet up more and trying to use my calves less. I use my calves the most when I run, which I should not according to the Chi Running. I read a little of Chi Running at a book store last night and it said that the calves aren't an important part of endurance running. I guess I need to use my glutes more to propel me. I'll try working on that.
Anyway, when I varied my stride to put less stress on my calves, my hamstrings quickly fatigued. I don't think I slowed down at all, though, but I certainly was not moving faster. I crossed the finish line in 3:07, which is great even at 19.17 miles. Factor in the time I spent stopping to find out how other runners were doing, and I probably ran it in three hours or less. The stopping and starting I was doing probably didn't help with my calves, but I should have taken my second salt packet earlier. We'll file this under lessons learned for the marathon.
I guess I've battered my legs enough that the 20 miler didn't leave me feeling sore at all. There was some soreness the day after in my calves, but I felt great. My first time doing a 20 miler I was just about incapacitated. In any case, I'm glad that I wasn't sore at all because a few hours later I did a lot of standing at Rory's benefit concert. It was terrific. He did a great job organizing it and he had a slew of great prizes from record labels, clothing companies and publishers. I won the Sub Pop Records prize, a bunch of CD's and a Sub Pop shirt. Not bad for $20 in raffle tickets.
Space Mtn played, well, one of them, followed by Sean and Tim Kane, and Let's Go Sailing closed it off with a nifty set. The Wire is the cleanest club I've been to. Sparklingly so.
The Shins' new CD was included in my prize package so I've been listening to it in my car. I liked it before, but it sounds so much better in my car. In fact, I think most CD's sound better when played in my car. My car has become the ideal listening venue for me. iPods, as much as I love them, just don't do service to an album at times.