I would have to admit a few days before running my first 20 miler in over 11 years I had some doubt and fear of accomplishing such a run. According to my training schedule this was to be my first of five 20 miler runs and was to be run at a 7:30 pace. It's scary when you think of the distance and the pace. But, thanks to Brian, who emailed me earlier in the week, asked to run the 20 miler with me. The thought became less daunting because I realized that I would have someone to run with. He is also using the same training schedule to train for this coming October Columbus Marathon race.
This morning's temperature was 65 degrees and a light rain was falling down. Brian arrived at my house at 7:00 am. We started our run by heading down to the Cuyahoga Valley National Recreation Area onto the towpath trail.
Brian wore a Fuel Belt for his water and gel needs. I had 2 packets of gel on the waist band of my shorts. We stopped at the 6 mile marker for water and gel. We made it to the 10 mile turnaround in 1:11:31 which was about 3:29 faster than scheduled but it was mostly down hill and I think we were comfortable with the pace. On the return we had a couple other pit stops and managed to run the split in 1:12:30 for a total time of 2:24:01, which is a 7:12 per mile pace. Overall I felt pretty good. I think with the near ideal weather, water and gel supply, and good company the run afforded us a good confidence builder and a setup for continuing the remainder four 20 milers.