Sunday, September 28, 2014

20 Miles ✓

Yesterday, I had the weirdest run I have ever had.  Don't worry, though, it's probably not what you'd think.

You see, after last week's horrible crash and burn incident, I had very low expectations for this week's long run. Last week, I only had to run 18.  Yes, only 18.  This week I was moving on up to 20.  After the terrible wall I had hit last week at mile 16/17, I was dreading the 20 miles.  I knew that I would fall apart either at the same point as last week, or maybe even sooner because of the anticipation and whatnot.

Beautiful sunrise over the Blue Ridge Mountains on the way to Roanoke
Regardless, I suited up and we headed north to the Roanoke River Greenway for a new place to run to keep it fresh.  It was a beautiful, busy morning, and we headed off for part 1 of our 20 miler.  We decided to chop our run in half so we could meet our running posse in the middle because they were going to run there too, just later that day.  So, 1 mile in, I panicked, realizing that we had left our GU and Huma in the car, even though we were just going to probably eat it when we hit the halfway mark back at the car anyway, but I was freaking out, so my lovely husband ran all the way back then came to catch up to me with our sustenance, which ended up giving him 22.1 miles.  Show off.

Halfway selfie!

A group shot... sorry it's crooked, but I was running

Some of the hills we encountered
Anyway, I made it through the first 10 miles, no problems besides the moderate anxiety of forgetting something for my run and then being in a new strange place.  We met up with our friends, and they were nice enough to slow down for me for the first few miles.  After some serious hills on the way out and some serious hills on the way back on the second half of our run, I realized that I was going to do it.  I kept running and running, and before I knew it, I had hit mile 17, still running.  Then I came to mile 18, still running.  Mile 19 flew past me and before I knew it, my watch beeped at 20.  I couldn't believe it... it was so weird!  I had completed the entire distance.  The distance that I have been dreading for 12 weeks of my training.... done.

And not only was it done, but I had met my goal.  I really try to not set time goals for my long runs because I'm really trying to up the distance, not the speed, but I still had a general number in my mind floating around.  I wanted to maintain less than a 13 minute per mile pace, which put me at finishing at anything less than 4 hours and 20 minutes.  Well I certainly did.  I finished at 4:17:53!!!!!!  Not only did I not hit a physical or emotional wall, but I managed to finish in the time that I wanted.
Post-run shenanigans

I have a friend who is training for a marathon as well, and I really like what she posted one day on Facebook:

I totally like it except for the fact that she is THAT AWESOME.  Regardless, here is your food for thought this week.  It has been inspiring me for the past few weeks, and these words will continue to inspire me throughout my training, I'm sure.

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