Before today, longest long run was 16 miles. Even though the 10% rule says I should only be running 18 miles (17.6 to be exact) I decided to try for 20. I said to mysef, you've run 20 before it should be no problem. My wife needed the car in the morning so I could not drive to Saddle River Park, instead I hopped on one of those jitneys that go along Route 4 and got off at Fort Lee. I arranged with Dailyrunner to meet at the red lighhouse under the George Washington Bridge at 7:30. I started across the bridge at 7:00, when I got across, nature called so I went into the bus terminal to take care business. I met up with DR and we started down the West Side. I've always enjoyed this run. There are some parts, especially in upper Manhattan where it's so peaceful and serene.
The early miles went by quickly, a little too quickly. I said to DR that we need to slow down otherwise I won't be to finish the distance. My my Garmin hit 10 miles (around 24th St.), we turned around and headed back uptown. DR left me at 47th St so I was on my own for a while. somewhere in the 70s I see my buddy JH who had just started his run at 96th St.. He turned around and kept me company until somewhere in the 130s or 140s. At this point, the GWB was getting closer and closer and I started to think about the hills that were just a mile or so ahead.
I had to conquer 3 pretty steep hills in order to get back on to the GWB. The first was the hill going to up the Washington Heights portion of the West Greenway. Second was the hill from 18st & Plaza Lafayette (at the base of Riverside Drive) up to Fort Washington Avenue. Lat was the ramp at the bottom of 178th up the Bridge. I did get some words of encouragement from local business owners when I trudging up 181st. Once I got to the top of the bridge, I knew I had the run in the bag. I didn't finish as strong as I would have liked (my last mile was 9:16) but after getting up those hills without walking, I was thrilled that I was able to cover the distance. I finished the run in 2:59:39 (8:56/mile). According to MotionBased, I ran 20.73 which comes out to a 8:39 mile. Splits and other details can be found here: 1st 20 miler of NJM training cycle
Have a great week of running!