Last Sunday I ran my first twenty-mile run! The twenty-miler is the longest one I had to run before the race, and was definitely my most dreaded run yet.
My partner, Kelcy, has some trouble with her foot which ended up delaying our run by a day. I had requested off the day from work assuming that the last thing I would want to do after running twenty-miles was stand around and talk to customers, but I didn’t mind having the day off to relax and hang out. That night around midnight, Kelcy texted me to tell me she couldn’t go the next day either though due to her foot.
Now, to fully understand the affects this had on me, you have to know one thing. The only reason why I’ve been able to do this at all is due to Kelcy. Running distances any longer then four or five miles has to be the most boring experience I have ever endured. I have tried the mental games- coaching yourself through runs trying to convince yourself you can do it- but they never seem to work. In the end, I almost always flake out on longer runs mid-way through and make up excuses for why I’m not able to do it all because I cannot mentally get over the boredom I am feeling.
So, when Kelcy texted me, I panicked a little about completing the run. There was no way that a twenty-mile run, sure to take me anywhere between five to five and a half hours, would end well if I was doing it by myself. I started freaking out and I mean seriously freaking out. I felt bad for my boyfriend as he tried to calm me down and encourage me, but I really couldn’t fathom running that long of a distance on my own.
Finally, my boyfriend came to a conclusion. “You should just listen to a book on tape!” Great idea, Evan. As it neared 1:00 a.m, we quickly downloaded a Dan Brown novel (much to Evan’s dismay, he hates Dan Brown) and I was off on my merry way set to wake up at 5 a.m to endure the longest run I have done yet.
The book on tape was honestly the key to me finishing the run. Half the time I wasn’t even processing the information being stated, but having a voice talking at me for the entire run was a good way to keep my mind from wandering to how tired I was. All in all, I was really proud of myself (despite the initial panic attack). My race pace stayed consistent and I never once felt like I should stop prematurely. My route was a little funky (seen in photo), but I wanted to stay close to home incase I was running late and needed to rush home to get ready for work.
Some highlights included becoming really scared in the beginning as I was listening to a description of hell and a group of kids were at the park yelling at me (who the hell is up that early hanging out at the park anyways?!), me finding $5 on the ground that I later used to buy a bottle of wine that night (mom taught me well), and the guy at mile 16 who played Eye-of-the-Tiger for me as I ran across the pier. All in all a pretty good run if I do say so myself.
This past week was a bit of a poor running week for myself- I did a four mile run two days after the twenty-mile and then haven’t ran since. With school starting and work being so busy, it’s hard to keep up with the schedule. Regardless I’m in week 14 now with only two weeks left to go and I’m getting so excited to stand at the starting line and run 26.2 miles… Wow, never thought I would say that back in June when I started!