Thoughts from my first 20 miler

I’ve felt achy the past few days and there’s a good reason why. I ran 20 miles on Saturday. Two-zero.

The skies were clear and the sun shined bright, but the light winds were chilly as we ran into them.ย My neighbor Erin, ran the first four miles with me and it was great to catch up with her and talk about our husbands and a bible study group that we’re in. I especially enjoyed her company because it made my run extra special and less “uh oh, I have a long way to go.”

The plan was to run from my housing area to the other housing areas on the southern part of post and then weave my way through them (approx 10 miles) and then back home for the full 20. I ended up running through more of the unit areas after I ran in the housing area so I ran 16 miles before I decided it was time to start making my way home. At this point, I had to run 4 miles in a stronger headwind which made for a very cold time.

I wanted to stop so bad. So very bad. But, this was the point where I had to dig in. I thought about Shut Up and Run’s cousin Sherry, the Rouge Orleans teams, and anyone who wants to run and be free to move. I thought about the many times I’ve run just four miles and told myself I can run just four more miles. I thought about how happy I was to feel cold weather, because Louisiana will be stupid hot in a matter of weeks. And I kept moving.

When I finally got to 20 miles along the golf course trail, I called my husband and told him to come pick me up at the Shoppette where I would be scarfing down feeding myself with the healthiest things I can find at a military gas station/convenience store. Thank goodness all the Soldiers love their greek yogurt otherwise I would’ve had to justify Little Debbie’s Star Crunch as healthier than her Fudge Brownies. With my peach greek yogurt, I sat outside and began a stretch/feeding session. Note to self: don’t buy peach flavor again.

As psyched as I was to complete the miles and realize that no one is going to give me 20 miles, that I had to earn them, I was equally exhausted. I rested on the couch for the rest of the weekend and did a little bit of stretching on Monday.

When I was in the Army, I ran because it was expected of me. Although I ran faster than others around me, I still compared myself to those who were faster than me and thought I wasn’t good enough. I only began to enjoy running when I was out of the Army and understood how vital it is to my sense of well-being. Without it, I’d be a sleepy bathrobe floating along. I think all of this training for a marathon is something I’ve imposed on myself, but I’m glad I did because I am learning more about my limits. Really, this running thing is limitless.

Garmin

Wow! I did it!

Saturday night's fire and a barky puppy.

Get running, not rundown!

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14 responses to “Thoughts from my first 20 miler

  1. WOW!!! I am so impressed!! I dream of 20 miles… I haven’t been able to conquer my mental demons when running. Too often I submit to everything screaming at me to stop.
    Way to go!! You should be so proud of yourself! What an accomplishment! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. Great job on your 20 miler! I just decided I’m finally ready to commit to a full marathon. I’m dreading the 20 miler training run!

  3. I loved reading about your twenty-miler! It’s such an inspiration for me. Congrats on accomplishing this goal, and you’re well on your way to marathon greatness!

  4. Way go go on those 20 miles and enjoying the run!

  5. Wow! Congrats on a great run! I’ve never run 20 miles but imagine that it must be one of the best feelings having finished! Also, LOVE your cute garmin! I’ve never seen one like that!! I’m all for a little cute in the running world:)

  6. Was it Chobani? I’ve opened up the peach flavor on a few occassions and found mold.

    And WOOHOO for working through the cold and wind. I can’t imagine the type of will power it takes to make it through.

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