I ran 20 miles on Saturday. It was hard.
Now before you roll your eyes and say something about how obvious that last sentence was, hear me out. I've been running for almost three and a half years by now. I'm not a great runner. But I've learned how to just keep going. (Oh, and don't think this whole 20-miler thing is normal. I only do this once a year, so no, I'm not crazy.)
So running 20 miles is something you work up to over a few months. 8-miler, 10-miler, 12-miler, 14-miler, 10-miler, 16-miler, 10-miler, 18-miler, 10-miler, 20-miler, 10-miler, marathon. Or something to that effect (everyone does something slightly different). It's true--once you run over 3 miles, the rest really isn't that much of a difference. When you get into the high mileage like 16-, 18-, and 20-milers, you will inevitably feel it in the last few miles. Note those key words: in the last few miles. This is normally true, except when you're having a bad running day.
I had a bad running day. I would have to say that the entire 20 miles was hard. I was exhausted. My only goal was to run the whole thing. Maybe it's like having a baby. You're not so much concerned with how your hair looks or comparing your contraction "splits" to your previous pregnancy or getting a pushing time PR (or maybe you are). Instead, you're most likely just concerned with getting the baby out. The most important thing sometimes is just finishing.
I finished. Luckily Kaylynn, Maren, and Deirdre were there to give me encouragement. Oh, and the homeless guy playing music at mile 18. That helped a lot.
We all have our bad tennis days, our bad golf days, our bad singing days, our bad hair days, our bad boss days. I had a bad running day. But I don't regret it at all. I finished, I spent time with friends, I enjoyed the outdoors, I almost ran over a canadian goose or two, and I didn't walk any of the last 5 miles (my goal for the day).
Although, for the first time ever, I ended up with sausage feet. Last night, after a weekend of walking around and 6 hours of sitting at a table writing a paper, I looked down and exclaimed, "Christian! I have pregnant feet!" We spent the next few minutes admiring my round, shapeless feet. Lesson learned--after running 20 miles, spend the majority of the next two days with your feet up or you'll end up with sausage feet.
3 years ago