Tears came to my eyes this morning as I watched my Garmin turn to 20 miles and knew I had accomplished something that very few people will ever even attempt.
20 miles? Did I really just run 20 miles? Hell yeah I did and I am going to rock that 26.2 miles in three weeks!!
Before the 20 miles and before the sun rose, my alarm went off at 5:00am and I prepared for my very long run by loading up with the best fuel I know of.
A Bagel, Naturally Nutty Vanilla Almond Butter & a Small Apple. This is always a no fail combo for me, I know it will keep me energized without bringing me down.
I arrived at Blue Jacket Park right before 6:00am and met up with my Team in Training group. Our coach handed us glow in the dark bracelets so she could see us on the trail.
Technically everyone was suppose to just run 12 miles this morning and do 20 next week. However next Saturday I will be in San Antonio for work and will be unable to find the time to run 20 miles. Instead I opted to run the distance this morning which meant I would be running along side the team for the first 12 and then venturing off on my own for the remaining 8.
In order to build up the 12 mile distance from our location we were instructed loop around Lake Baldwin 4 times! 4 times? Ughh… I hate going around and around like a hamster in a wheel, but since I did not know the area very well I stuck with it and completed the 2.5 mile loop 4 times.
Running the loop was a bit of a bore. Each loop I concentrated on my pace and the music in my head to get me through it. I was keeping a fairly decent 9:30 pace and even though my legs wanted to go faster I kept reminding them of the 20 miles ahead and got them to slow down.
After I completed the 4 loops I popped two Strawberry Shot Bloks in my mouth and headed to my car where a little surprise was waiting for me.
That’s right! Derek came to my rescue so that I wouldn’t have to run the final 8 miles alone! He was so sweet to meet me at 8:00am to rollerblade while I ran. The longest he had ever rollerbladed was 4 or 5 miles so this was a first for him too!
We set off to find some shaded roads in the neighborhoods surrounding the park. We managed to eat up 4 or 5 miles mingling our way through. The shade was a welcomed addition to the run and the possibility of getting lost distracted me from how much farther there was left to go.
This is actually the point where my legs started to ache, but I pushed on through trying not to think about it.
We decided around mile 16 to head back to the park and make one final loop around the lake to make it to the big 2-0. This would be my 5th time of the day circling the lake, but I knew it would give me the perfect amount of miles I needed so I pushed on.
I started to feel weak at this point and began chewing on these Energy Sports Beans.
I don’t like Jelly Beans, but these were free and sitting in my pantry. I was pleasantly surprised that they didn’t taste like Jelly Beans at all – or maybe I was just dillusional at this point? – they were very chewy and yummy.
After the beans I realized my camelbak was out of water! With less then 3 miles left this turned into a 100% mental thing. I kept thinking how nice water would be at this point and how it seemed like forever until I was going to get any. I started freaking out until I remembered the dog park on the corner had a water fountain in it.
I sent Derek ahead on the rollerblades to fill up his gatorade bottle with water. I felt so much better after had that first thirst quenching swig. I had less then 2 miles left and was out of excuses, I was going to finish this run!
The final stretch was tough. I kept shouting out the distance increments…. 1.5 miles left… 1.25 miles left… 1 mile left. What do distance runners do with out a Garmin?!?!
The last mile was the hardest – I was in pain, I was tired and I had to just keep pushing through. Derek was great. He kept telling me I had this and started asking what animal I was looking forward to seeing most at the San Diego Zoo. I told him I really wanted to see the Pandas!
Finally I rounded the last corner and my Garmin beeped. *20 Miles!* It said 20 miles! I had to bend over and cry. I could not believe what I had just done. I ran 20 miles! I just can’t stop saying it!!
Total Distance: 20.00 miles
Total Time: 03:13:15
Average Pace: 9:46
Average Heart Rate: 168
Total Calories Burned: 1957
We walked back to my car and I immediately had to stretch out my legs.
They were TIGHT! Actually they still feel tight!
I had a Pear waiting for me in the car that I immediately devoured.
Derek and I had errand to run before heading back so I didn’t get to my apartment until an hour after my run. At this point I was experiencing that same weak, shaky feeling I had last week after my 18 miler. It’s odd because I did not feel hungry, but my body needed proper fueling ASAP or I was going to faint.
Inside I had
- 1 cup Original Coconut Milk
- 1 package Hemp Chocolate Protein Powder
- Peanut Butter
This actually made 2 glasses. I had one and shared the other with Derek who had to add sugar to his…lol
With the Protein Smoothie I had 1/2 cup Meghann’s Running Mix and 1/2 cup Kashi Go Lean.
This was exactly what I needed. It was just enough to make that awful weak, shaky feeling go away and not feel like I over stuffed myself. I am sure the true long run hunger will come along later and I will be sure to listen to it.
Right now all I want to do is lay out by the pool and celebrate my Sister’s birthday this evening. It’s going to be a great Saturday!