Sunday, August 28, 2011

20 Miles and Thoughts on Long Runs

So I ran 20 miles yesterday. It was pretty cool. I actually wasn't all that worried about the run beforehand or during it. Despite the 80*+ weather and killer humidity I never felt "bad" during the run. Never wanted to quit. Actually had a lot of fun since I was running with two people who had never done a 20 mile training run before! It was neat to experience your 'first time' again through someone else's eyes...

I just can't believe how far I've come. These long distance runs (18+ miles) really do seem to just be a matter of experience. I did a quick lookback of where I came from with these long runs and it was actually pretty neat...

My first 18 miler...

I remember I had a panic attack and had to walk more than a mile of this run. I think the only reason I wrote "I feel super :D" on my dailymile is I was trying to convince myself that. The truth is I injured my knee on this run and it completely knocked out my first marathon (which was supposed to be the Chicago marathon on 10-10-10). Instead of running a marathon on 10-10-10 I was in bed crying. Not cool. That didn't make me like the number 18 very much...

Second 18 Miler...

This one was miles better than the first one and more than 6 months later (training for ANOTHER first marathon. Although I had a weird foot cramping thing going on and I was super worried about being an idiot and hurting myself AGAIN. I was hoping it was not deja-vu from the last 18 miler. Good news is that it wasn't. My foot was just cramping. Massage and ice and it was fine in a few days...

First 20 miler (ended up being 21 due to different route)
This run was probably one of the best runs of my life. I felt strong the entire time, had no real aches/pains/issues like the other long runs, and I just felt amazing. I wish I had just had this as my 'long run' before the marathon because i would have gone into the marathon with a hell of a lot more confidence. Instead.... I did another 20+ miler....

First 22 Miler...
Turns out i sprained my calf on mile 2 of this one. Mile TWO and I still ran 20 more. This is Lauren being hard headed and stubborn. It really did feel like deja vu with the my first 18 miler because just like i felt myself injure my knee in the 18 miler and still finished when I shoudln't have, I FELT my calf strain but didn't stop. This resulted in 2 weeks of complete rest within the month before my marathon and really killed my confidence. TWO weeks off.... however. I still finished my marathon in good spirits :D So, for those of you who have to take time off, it doesn't stop your ability to finish!

"Last' Long Run before marathon

This was my last long run before my taper for my first marathon and it was joyous simply because a.) my calf had healed remarkedly and b.) I got to taper after this ;). I was super tired because i did this coming off 2 weeks of complete rest, but happy everything was good :D

So all in all I'm glad these long distance runs are getting easier. It's been a rocky road. I've learned...
1. Pack plenty of food
2. If you feel a sharp pain, stop... there's always another long run
3. Some long runs just suck, some don't. Be thankful for both becuase the crappy ones make you realize how awesome the non-crappy ones are.

That's all :)


  1. I might have to use this idea when I go back the Land of High Mileage. Probably won't run another 18-miler until January, but then it's two 18-milers in three weeks. I might need a bit of motivation by that point.

    It's all just experience really. You have to have enough of these runs under your belt to compare them, to figure out what works, what doesn't and also to give you confidence. You can't NOT have confidence in yourself when preparing for an 18-miler when you've done them several times before.

  2. Yay! Taper time. Then you get to race! Woooohooo!

  3. Thanks LB! And yeah I really really do think it's all about experience!

    And Lisa, not at taper time yet, we have 2 more 20 milers to go! But thanks :)

  4. I totally loved reading this...I am currently doing my PR distances as I head into my first this was extremely encouraging and motivating. Thanks :)