The Long Twenty

I’m closing in on those last few weeks of marathon training.  It’s funny, I feel like the weeks have drug on but at the same time it’s hard for me to believe this is week #14/18. Most of the hard work is done.  I just have one 20-22 miler left (tomorrow!) then it will be time to taper. Yay!

I have mentioned before that I was doing this training solo. I completed all my long runs with just me, myself, & I. I would be lying if I said I enjoyed it. And to be totally honest I have been dreading my weekend runs. So much so that this past weekend I did 13 miles on the treadmill.  We go to my inlaws house every Sunday to watch the Bengals game and my mother in law owns a dinosaur of a treadmill. I chose that over running outside just so I could have some company. It wasn’t as bad as it sounds, and that’s coming form the girl who hates the ‘mill.

Two weeks ago I ran 20 miles. It was tough, not physically but mentally.  I thought running a 5 mile loop 4 times would make it easier,  but I was wrong. After running two loops I went home to refill my water and eat some gels. As I was heading back out to finish the second half I decided to change up the route. I figured the change of scenery would help. Once I got to mile 14 I was ready to be done. My mom had called and I stopped to talk to her. I needed someone to tell me to keep going.

I broke the last  6 miles into 2 mile increments. Smaller goals work better for me. I met Andy at mile 18 and he gave me another pep talk. The last 2 were probably the hardest. At one point I stopped to sit on a curb and questioned why I was doing this, could I finish training, and would race day be the same. I let that negative voice beat me down. I was so relieved when my Garmin beeped at 20 miles.

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I tried my best to push through the negative thoughts. It was probably my hardest run yet. 20 miles is no easy task and not having someone to push me made it that much more challenging. And since I’m being real here I will also share that with all my stops this took me 4 hours. It was draining.  I give credit to those of you trained alone! I’ve learned I’m better with a group. 

I didn’t want to go through those same feelings for my second 20 miler so I’m meeting up with my old group tomorrow.  I can not wait! It feels good to be excited about a run again. 

You wouldn’t think training would affect you emotions. It’s funny how one week you feel like you can’t do it, and then you have an awesome run the next week and your motivation is back.  I’m feeling much better about my race than I was two weeks ago!

*If you made it through this lengthy post, thank you. It feels good to share my honest thoughts.

Have you had a terrible long run? Who else has a long run this weekend?  Anyone running Chicago? If so, good luck!

 

5 thoughts on “The Long Twenty

  1. I can’t imagine doing a solo run that long! I prefer solo running, but since I’m training for a half, it’s not nearly as challenging. My half is actually tomorrow here on middle TN!

  2. I’ve been marathon training solo as well and slowly driving myself absolutely crazy. I can’t even tell you how many times I stopped on my 17-miler last weekend and questioned why I’m doing this. From now on, it’s group runs for me for the long ones!

  3. If I can make it through a spring half marathon post-injury, I’m debating a 2014 marathon. This post makes me think it may be in my best interest to join a training group. I don’t know that I’d mentally make it during some of those runs solo. Thanks for sharing! It really does give me perspective. More power to you!

  4. Whoops, typed too fast 😉 It was a cruel summer meaning dark runs so had to run with hubby but SO PROUD of you for training solo that’ll only help you on race day!

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