Marathon Musing: 20 Miles Down, 6.2 to Go.

Funny story: Saturday afternoon I went out for my first 20 mile run ever. I managed to leave the house with no less than a dozen items, but about 1/4 mile from my trail, I realized I forgot to change out of my Chucks! Despite my blog name, running in Chucks is not something I want to do…especially not for 20 miles.

Here’s what I managed to bring with me:
Driver’s license, insurance card, $3 (just in case)
Water bottle to refill Camelbak
Clif shot blocks (strawberry flavored, and I’m still not on board with their weird texture.)
Clif Builder Bar
iPod and headphones (which I was successful in not crushing in my car door this time.)
Cell phone
and my Garmin (which, of course, was dead.)

Yes, all that stuff and I didn’t remember the one thing you really truly must have to run!  Leave it to me.

As for the run itself, it was definitely my hardest training run to date….like, ever I think.  The plan was to run my usual trail taking the 9.4 mile loop twice along with an extra 2 mile stretch.

About mile 11, I was back at my car to refill the Camelbak and grab my builder bar. I was definitely already tired at this point, but I wasn’t in any sort of pain though so I knew I needed to keep going and work through it.  After all, we have to be a little uncomfortable to get better right?  (Just say yes, please.)

The second time around the loop was definitely a struggle. The hills (which probably don’t even really qualify as hills in most other parts of the country) were extremely brutal. Around mile 16 I was really, really struggling. It also started drizzling which did not help the situation.  I was tired; I was sore; I was getting frustrated.  Despite all the struggles, I stayed mentally strong through the whole thing.  I never wanted to give up or cry or scream or quit.  I did end up walking most of the last mile, but I made sure to keep my walking pace up.  I finished the whole 20.25 miles in just over 4 hours.

20.25 miles of exhausted

I’m not sure what I’m more impressed by the fact that I ran 20 miles or the fact that I did it at an average pace of 12:30.

The real fun started when I got home and took my very first ice bath though!  In case you’re wondering, ice baths are REALLY FRICKIN COLD!  Also, while a 10 pound bag of ice may seem like a lot, it’s not nearly enough for a bathtub.  I climbed in wearing my running clothes and some softball socks and suffered out my 20 minutes while catching up on Facebook and Twitter.  Thankfully some entertaining Twitter conversations helped the time pass while my toes went numb with cold.

All in all, it was a successful weekend log run.  My quads hurt like hell and standing up from and sitting down on my chair will be a real joy today, but I’m proud of myself.