20-mile run on the greenbelt and canal

I woke up early today. It was time for my long run. My lower left back had just a little strain but I decided to go for it after stretching my glutes, hammies and calf muscles. I started the run at 92nd and Shea on the greenbelt. It was around 60 degrees with a light easterly breeze. Conditions for running were quite perfect!

I have started eating Gatorade Endurance carb energy chews lately on my long runs. I was carrying 3 packets (12 chews) in my tri-top back pocket. The plan was to eat 4 or 5 chews every 50 minutes and then eat the leftovers as needed in the last 45 minutes.

The first few miles are just a bit downhill. I ran briskly and smoothly through the greenbelt and on to the canal just south of Indian Bend and Hayden. Tons of people were out biking, running, skating and walking their dogs. A variety of ducks and other water-birds frolicked in the water. Coots, Canada Geese, Mallards and even Widgeons were grazing in the grass by the lake. It was thoroughly fun. I reached oldtown Scottsdale for my first mini-break in about 56 minutes. I had already consumed 2 gels on the way and had 3 more along with some water when I stopped for about a minute.

I continued on the Canal at about the same pace and cadence. The wind was gently blowing on my back pushing me along. My second mini-break came right outside OHSO where Saucony had setup a booth for shoe demos. I had some refreshingly cold water as I turned around. I had run 10 miles and was now on my way back. Now the wind was against me and the sun was starting to beat down on me.

After another mini-break for water and a few more gels in oldtown Scottsdale, I continued east and eventually north on the canal. The heat had started to slow me down just a bit, but I was still managing a relatively brisk 8:15 pace. After running for 17 miles, I had consumed all my gels and the temperature was now in the 70s. The route had begun to climb gently back to my starting point. After running for 2 hours and 30 minutes, I stopped to drink some water and ran the final two miles at a slower pace.

All in all, I ran 20 miles in just over two hours and 45 minutes for a pace of 8:17 per mile.

I took a long nap in the afternoon.

Tonight India plays Pakistan in the world cup. The match is going on right now. India is batting. So far, it looks like the match is tilted slightly in India’s favor with Virat Kolhi and Shikhar Dhawan going strong at the crease. A lot more game is left though…

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