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How to Accidentally Run 22 Miles

Sunday’s run schedule was 7 miles with “intro to hills”, so we met at the corner of Gretna Green and Montana in Brentwood. My initial plan was to do 17 miles (my last long run before the Austin Marathon), because the previous day, I ran 3, to total out a 20 mile weekend. Now, about that title of this blog post – how did I accidentally run 22 miles? I didn’t plan a run route beforehand. I wasn’t really paying attention to my Garmin watch either – OOPS! Learn from me – don’t do that!

The practice spot was pretty close to my house, so I just ran there. Then the next 7 miles were a Brentwood Golf Course Loop (3 something miles), followed my hill intervals. What does that mean? Franklin St, just a little past the start of the run loop, was a pretty decent hill. We had to do hill repeats, 0:90 first time at easy pace, 0:60 second time at a moderate pace, then 0:30 at full speed. After each climb was a recovery downhill, then after the set of 3, a mile loop around the neighborhood. Repeat the set of 3 for 3 times. Whew! I was SPENT! At that point, I wasn’t sure if I should continue my long run.

I knew I had to complete a long run before Austin or else I’d be struggling during that marathon (even though I don’t plan on PRing it), so I just said F it, let’s do it. Fortunately, one of my coaches is training for the American River 50 Ultramarathon, so he had to knock out a 3 hour run. I agreed to run the first few miles with him. From Brentwood, we took a nice scenic route through the tree-lined neighborhood of Santa Monica, heading west to Ocean. Felt really great the whole time, averaging a 8:45-9:00 min pace, slightly downhill. We had good conversation about running, triathlons, travel and all that good stuff. I was supposed to split and turn at the Santa Monica Pier, but I felt so good, I decided to keep running towards Venice. Time flies when you’re having fun and the pace was just right that I guess I was at my cruising speed. I was only paying attention to major markers along the Boardwalk, not really paying attention to my watch. That was a big mistake, because once we hit the Venice Pier, I decided to head back north, while my coach continued south. Uh oh… I was at 16 at that point, and I was maybe 5+ miles away from home. I had no other choice but to run back.

By the end of it all, I was exactly at 22 miles. I was dehydrated because the last few miles before home didn’t have any stores or water fountains. I did my stretches infront of my place real quick, then rushed to my kitchen to chow down on my Hollybar recovery nutrition, and drank to refuel my electrolytes! I think I scarfed down my food/drinks in less than 30 seconds! I cooked some food immediately after, and I was done with that in no time either! Done and done! I guess I’m ready for the Austin Marathon in 2 weeks!

I only had time to get a little powernap before I had to go to my teammate Travis’ Superbowl fundraiser in Eagle Rock. Nonstop action! It was a Korean BBQ buffet, so you know I was all over that! 3 rounds of food to be exact. It was really fun, but I was struggling to stay awake. I pretty much stayed in the same spot, mainly because I was so tired. I didn’t want to move to a couch because of fears of possibly falling asleep! It was an awesome way to end a full weekend of training, after a full week of no training because of work.