It is the longest run of the training season. Not quite sure how you prepare yourself to run 20 miles. Other than don't think about it. I bought myself a new water belt in the hopes that having something new would make me excited. It worked for about 30 minutes.
The weather was perfect, but we were running late. Waking up and making it downtown by 6:30am on a Sunday morning is not an easy task! And my need to hit the restroom one more time put us starting 5 minutes after the other 100+ runners who were doing their 20 miler too. I was off to a rip roaring start. I settled in after the first couple of miles and calmed a bit after I did have a few other runners in my view. At mile 6 I was feeling awesome. I had a fueling plan. I had my playlist playing. I can do this. The crowd thinned out around then with the half marathoners taking a different turn. Thats when people were sparse and the 10 minute restroom stop at Whole Foods for my running partner/husband put a serious cramp on the nice pace we had set. But we trudged on.
Around mile 10 an old man who hears us coming up behind him says "you're working too hard". "Excuse me?" I said. "You're working too hard. Just run it nice and easy." He was right. We really were working too hard and he had most likely heard me complaining. So I asked him how many he'd run. He said 2 a year since the 1980's. Dude was crazy. But he was also relaxed and enjoying himself, which I was not. We said goodbye and passed him. I thought to myself, I bet he cranks it past us later on. I was right.
The wheels started to fall off when we had to run 40 blocks down Classen. It's not a pretty road, there was a lot of traffic by this time, and usually around mile 14 I'm mentally done and physically hurting. And that day was no different. Those last 6 miles there was a lot of saying to myself "you can do this", there was some walking sprinkled in, but the bottom line is I made it 20 miles. And we treated ourselves to our new post training long run treat - whole foods hot coffee and something super indulgent from their bakery.
Now I can't imagine running 6.2 more than I did that day. So I'm honestly going to not think about it. And I'm going to hope the memory of that 20 miler is gone in 2 weeks when I have to run 26.2. Andy keeps reminding me if it was easy, everyone would do it. I'm so close. I'm going to Just Finish Strong. I am.