the 20 mile run

one thing i love about training is the undeniable results of hard work. train hard = get faster. train harder- run easier. PR PR PR

on saturday, after getting back from a wedding super late the night prior, i woke up and decided to get my 20 mile run out of the way. the past two weeks have been largely dedicated to being in my sisters wedding, and then my best friend’s wedding- and as amazing and fun as both of these events were, i really wanted to get back on my schedule.

long run breakfast ritual

  • beet juice
  • oatmeal with hot water, chia seeds, a sprinkle of vegan chocolate protein powder
  • coffee

i was nervous about this run because this is ‘the big one’. the longest distance in my training. There’s something about a twenty mile run that to me, separates runners from marathon runners. it is when you tap into the mental training to keep fighting when things hurt, and to shut out negative thoughts.

i am so happy with how this run went!

apart from my hip (which, i guess is injured…) aching, i felt really okay for the duration of this run. Miles 1-9 really flew by, and only during 17-20 was i really watching to clock looking to be done. I ran at a 9:45 pace, which i’m happy with, and i knew i had another 10k in me when i was done.

while running i was thinking about how much i hated running when i very first started exercising. i was 17 and had joined New York Sports Club (the membership was my birthday present), I went dutifully 6 days a week- pounding out minimum 50 minutes of cardio, and alternating upper and lower body. I lost a lot of weight, and fell in love with the post workout high. but i hated running. it hurt everything. it felt SO wrong. i would ‘run’ for twenty minutes. convinced that because i hated it so much, it had to be good for me. i was certain every minute of torture was shaving off unwanted inches. i watched long legged girls gliding out mile after mile, and i thought for sure if i could get these twenty minutes down, my legs would not only grow longer, but probably be tan and effortlessly hairless.

getting through those twenty minute sessions was all mental. i would break it into five minute intervals, a very (VERY) slow warmup, and then, “the hard part” for five minutes (at a pace i would now consider a jog), followed by “the easier part” for five minutes (still at the slow pace, but mentally i knew it was the final five for effort), and finally a cool down for five minutes. so. basically, it was a super easy workout, that was extremely difficult to get through. but. i made it manageable. i found a way to communicate it to my brain in small bits so it wasn’t insurmountable. and it’s not totally unlike the way i break down a twenty mile run now.

towards mile 18, when i was pushing pretty hard to stay on pace, i was close to crying, which is something that happens sometimes when I’m running. its overwhelming when i have these moments of ‘oh man i really can do more than i ever knew i was capable of’.

it feels good to feel good again. the doubts still linger. i am worried about my hip (looking for a orthopedic dr…) and i am worried about my energy level (depleted, totally tired). but i am really happy, and really proud of my effort so far.

three more weeks til chicago. i am getting there.

 

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