Tackling Twenty

Yesterday, I told you how scared I was for my long run. Well today, I write as someone with a new longest distance under my belt: 20.23 miles!

Here’s how it went down:

I woke up at 5:45am to eat breakfast. Typically, I don’t eat before I run, but I knew that I was going to be out there for a long time and would need the energy. I had toast with peanut butter and banana, since I know from experience that it sits well in my stomach.



After eating, I went back to bed! At 8am, my alarm went off and it was time to go.

I got dressed in the clothes I had laid out the night before and made sure to put on sunscreen. Then I grabbed my fuel, started up my watch, and headed out the door. As I stepped outside, I was feeling ready!

Starting my run...20mi to go!

Starting my run…20mi to go!

I felt good from the start and was excited as I hit the first few miles. In fact, I kept having to remind myself to slow down – I didn’t want to be miserable later because I went out too fast.

At about mile 6, I had a gu. I have avoided gu in the past because of the texture. Apparently, I just hadn’t found the right flavor. The chocolate outrage tastes exactly like chocolate frosting – only with caffeine. Delicious!



I also took a quick stop to use the bathroom at a nearby hotel. The next 8mi of the run were through neighborhoods, and I didn’t want to be stuck having to pee! That does not make running fun.

The next miles ticked by pretty uneventfully. I felt good and the weather was just right. I was especially happy when I hit the 10mi mark and could start counting down the miles I had left to go! I fueled with a shot blok at miles 10, 14, and 16, which kept my energy up.

At mile 17, I knew I was in the home stretch and started to get really excited. 17mi was more than I had ever run before, so it already felt like a win. I reminded myself that I had less than a 5k to go and that I just needed to keep moving. My body was getting sore at this point, but just fatigue – no pain.

I kept trekking towards home, and eventually my watch let out the glorious beep signaling that I had hit 20 miles! I was smiling uncontrollably at this point and am pretty sure that all the tailgating football fans thought I was nuts.

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I ran the final blocks to my house and then it was done. I had completed my long run. I headed inside for a long stretch, a shower and some lunch. Then I took a celebratory nap.

As I sit here writing, with my feet up and my compressions socks on, I feel an amazing sense of accomplishment. Three years ago I couldn’t run 20ft, let alone 20mi. Today I did it, and I didn’t even stop to walk!* It’s overwhelming and a great reminder of how, with time and hard work, I can do things I never would have thought possible.

Plus, now I finally feel like I might just be able to complete that marathon in November!

How do you celebrate a long run?

*Okay, I walked while eating my gel/shot bloks. But that’s due to fear of choking!