11 things: Long run edition

With respect to the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, I wanted to move today's 11 things post up a day. It didn't feel right to do a silly post for tomorrow. I also am going out of the norm of my 11 things concept and making it a post about running. Today's 20-mile run was full of observations and thoughts, some serious, some not so serious. Without further delay, here is this month's 11 things a day early. long runs, training1. To all my friends who made the obvious statement about it being dark at 5:30 a.m. when I started my run, guess what? It was, in fact, very dark. The sun came up as scheduled.

2. I saw a deer poop for the first time ever. (It was still dark then. And she had the audacity to do this in front of her two kids, me and Duke.)

3. Two families were setting up their yard sales before 6 a.m. (In the dark.)

4. Someone in the middle of Bedford has a rooster. It was confused because it was doing its wake-up call before the sun was even thinking about coming up.

5. This may have been the most even-split long run ever -- the second half was just 57 seconds faster than the first (dark) half. I wasn't out there for speed today, but I'm happy with the (slow) consistency. Plus in the second half I walked a few hills, so I'll take whatever negative split I can get.

6. Three GUs are better than two for this distance. That's a very important lesson I've taken from previous bad runs.

7. I was really struggling in the middle miles. All of a sudden I got to mile 14 and I thought about stopping and walking home. I turned to Twitter for motivation. About a dozen tweets rolled in giving me some inspiration. I went from having my slowest mile at mile 14, to my fastest mile at mile 17.

8. 20 miles in Bedford is really hard. I know that from last year, but I was reminded of that today at nearly every turn. It's so freakin' hilly here that it makes it easy to drop F bombs at the sight of another hill. I think I may have offended some old ladies today.

9. I have a new favorite running song. It's slow, but it's easy to sing along to. And here is where I give you the parental advisory to not click on THIS LINK if you get easily offended by Ben Folds doing covers of Dr. Dre songs. This might have played when I ran my fastest mile today. And I may have hit repeat a few times. And I may have offended old ladies again.

10. Post-run I had a chocolate milk, a watered-down Gatorade and an egg and turkey burger sandwich. Good stuff. I've increased my protein intake this summer pre- and post-long runs and it seems to help me recover faster. Next run I'm finding that rooster and eating him for breakfast.

11. In more seriousness, though, I want to say that I had fun. And that's what matters more than anything else. Even if it was dark.

long runs, elevation, running