We came up to Crown Point for Glenn’s dads 60th birthday this weekend and didn’t want to have to deal with the 20 miles we were scheduled to do while we were here, so Friday afternoon/early evening we got it done. Glenn took a half day so he could get started at 1:30, I took off from work at 2:00 and we both got the run in seperatley. When I started my 20, Glenn only had 12 miles to go…. was I jealous? Yes!
Although we were running different routes, we managed to run into eachother when I was on mile 3.5 and he was on mile 15. I felt hopeless. 16.5 miles to go? My feet already hurt, how am I going to pull this off? I get on the toe path at mile 5ish and the path is snow covered so I have to focus on my steps and also turn off my ipod, because it is deserted and I want to be aware of what’s going on around me. The change of ground and no music made that stretch go by fast and then I’m off the next next stretch of the run.
For me, I always have to think of my long runs in sections or stretches. For every neighborhood area or different type of ground or whatever, if I think about it pieces, it breaks down the 20 and makes it seem managable. If I think about the entirety of the run, from where I start to where I finish, I am in big trouble. Let’s be honest, 20 miles is an insanley long distance to run, if you let your mind go to that place where you think of the whole thing you are doomed for a terrible mind battle.
At mile 13 I was feeling pretty good and decided to pick it up for two reasons:
1. At that stretch I was on the monon from 86th down to 49th (that’s a 5 mile stretch) and it was pretty deserted so I wanted to get off it.
2. I wanted to try to run the 2nd half of the run faster than the first, because ideally that is what I want to do in the marathon. (I think my fastest 2nd half was in St. Louis last year and it was still 13 minutes slower than the first.)
I wasn’t really timing myself, but I am sure I ran the 2nd half faster…. I actually think the last 3 I ran the fastest. It feels so good to finish strong.
So the loop that I ran was a 17 mile loop, so as I hopped off the monon at 49th, I had to run right past Guilford, look at my house, think about Glenn and Cadence chillin on the couch, all showered and rested waiting for me to get back…. and keep running for 3 more miles. I ran our usual 3.2 mile loop we call the meridian kessler loop to get the final 3 miles in. It is so funny how that 3.2 miles can seem like it takes forever when I go out to just get a quick run in. When you add it to the end of a 17 mile run, it could really do two things:
1. seem really short, which thankfully it did… I can’t believe that measly little loop is an actual “run” to us on easy, non marathon training days.
2. If you are having a bad 20 mile run, that last 3.2 could seem like an eternty and you could dwell on the fact that sometimes that loop is all you do, without the 17 miles in front of it… how can you possibly run it now?
So, I went into the run yesterday with a bad attitude for sure… I had worked only 6 hours that day, but still it was Friday and Friday’s after work are tough to get motivated to run. 7 miles into the run though things got better and I mentally and physically conquered what I had been dreading all week. What is so strange is that everytime I have to do a 20 mile run, I get nervous and a bit anxious, like what if I can’t complete it? Although I have ran 6 marathons and probably done at least 25 – 20 mile runs in my life, I still get nervous. I really need to work on not dreading the run. Why should I chose to do something on such a regular basis that I actually dread? That makes no sense. Sometimes, yes it can be miserably hard. Last weeks 18 on the treadmill was terribly boring and painful, and when I finished I couldn’t think of any reason I do this to myself. BUT, after yesterday’s 20, I felt so empowered. It was hard to get started and it was lingering in the back of my mind all day like a weight, but the feeling after the run was worth every bit of work I had to put into it. Anytime my mind when to a negative place, I just kept repeating, “you are a strong, powerful, fast runner” and it worked.