My First 20 Miler and I’m Feeling…

20 miles! Yay! Now I’m pooped…let’s take a nap.

ALIVE!!!  Blessed!  Grateful! 

Finally, an amazing run. My spirits are up and excitement for the marathon is steaming hot.  I needed this run. The good Lord, 5 gels, roughly 75 oz of liquid and sheer determination pulled me through.  I’ve never felt so amazed after a run. One of those moments where you ask yourself, “Did I really just do that?!”  I decided to take it by 5’s…5,10,15,20.  For some reason 4 sets of 5 miles seemed much more doable than 20.  Maybe it’s the mental game. But it worked!  I ran the first 10 very conservatively and two miles on the trail were pretty slow but the last 6 miles or so I tried to speed up a tiny bit.  Last mile was the fastest. Felt good about that because I really worked hard to pace myself better. Usually I’m trying too hard in the beginning and burn out too quickly.  So this time I took it easy and finished STRONG!! This weather has been a huge advantage too.  Cooler and cloudy skies. But the last 5 or so miles Mr. Golden sun decided to shine down on me. And whoa nelly was I disgusting!  I mean I was some kinda stink!
As usual I used the Cliff Bar Energy Gels, 3 mochas and 2 raspberry flavored and had to refill the water bottle 3 times!  Thank God for the Lowes along the bike path and the town’s water fountains or I may not have made it.  I ran it all the way through with the exception of the water refill pit stop and a brief walk up courthouse hill…but I mean c’mon that hill is ridiculous!  My thoughts were, run up this and die or walk half of it and finish the run alive.  I did try a fuel belt of sorts (from Walmart. It was only $7 and now I see why…) but it kept knocking me in the back so I just threw it off in the beginning (later returned the useless thing) and went with the ‘ol water bottle and refilled as needed.  Still debating about using it during the marathon… as I read the event’s details it looks like there will be plenty of aid stations.  Any experience or thoughts on that?
And thus far I have no pains or aches!  Especially compared to the last long run…
Anyway, there were lots of runners, walkers and bikers out today so that helped the time pass.  I always like to take an ear bud out and greet those I’m passing (or those who pass me). The two greetings that really stood out today were:

1.) Two older women who were power walking, I mean buddy they were getting it on!  Took me forever to catch up to them.  So when I finally passed them I greeted them with, “you ladies are about walking faster than I can run!”  I turned around to smile and they high-fived each other.  Priceless!!

2.) A couple with a toddler in the stroller greeting me “good morning” in the cutest little voice.
Now that makes 20 miles worth the journey.

Now I get to go eat the house.  And nap.  :~)

Happy (&Blessed) Running!


5 thoughts on “My First 20 Miler and I’m Feeling…

  1. An amazing accomplishment Jessica..well done! I too tend to break my longer runs up into chunks…usually I break it up not so much by mileage as I do by the various segments of the course I end up selecting. It just makes it easier to take these one step at a time.

    This should be a huge confidence booster for you, and it sounds like you are dialing in the on-the-run nutrition and hydration angles.

    Fantastic Run !!!

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