Monday, March 24, 2014

Marathon Monday: Inside thoughts on a long run

This past weekend I completed my last long run before the marathon. I ran the 20 miles with my training group from Fleet Feet. I love running long runs with the group. Marathon training is hard and sometimes more of a mental than a physical battle.When it gets tough it is nice to have someone there to  help you push through. This week the course was split up into 3 parts a 8 mile loop, a 4 mile loop and a 8 mile loop. Including bathroom breaks and refueling the run was around 4 hours. I ran for the length of 2 movies or 4 Game of Thrones episodes or even the time it takes to drive to Wilmington and back. That is a long time!!

This last long run really helped me feel ready for the marathon. I know that my body is capable of running 26.2 miles. I know that for me the fight on race day is going to be a mental battle. To show you exactly what I mean here is a little snapshot of  my thoughts during long runs. I don't speak for all runners with these thoughts. I know for many it is true joy every step on the way. For me that is just not the case. I love running. There are always bad daysat the start but by the end I am always glad I ran.

Miles 1-4: Getting in the groove.  Man my legs are tight, I should have stretched last night. Is there something in my shoes? My laces don't feel tied right. I would be completely okay with cutting this run short. Catch up with everyone in my group about their week to distract myself.

Miles 4-12: Feeling great. Mile 4 already? I'm feeling amazing I wish I could run all day! Look at the beautiful sunrise. I am so happy I chose to run today! Enjoy the beautiful houses downtown.

Mile 13: Half marathon status. Alright, I just ran a half marathon.. only 7 more miles to go. Oh but on race day it will be another 13 more miles. Ugh. Just focus on these 7 miles one mile at a time. Maybe some fuel will help- enjoy 1/2 a pack of margarita shot blocks to distract myself. Man those are delicious I would love a margarita after this. Chat with the group about fueling tips and race experiences. Thankful that at least I'm not alone.

Miles 14-16: Grumpy pants. Why does everything hurt? I can feel my blister getting bigger with every step. Lets focus on relaxing one body part at a time starting at my head. Do this several times until I get distracted by pedestrians, traffic and construction. Feign happiness and wave to the track team running by campus and several individuals doing the walk of shame. Fake it to you make it right? Quietly recall college days because I am too embarrassed to share it with the group. Now onto the traffic, what in the world is up with all the loud cars? I feel like I get startled every few minutes my a  loud engine. Someone yells loudly at the truck and makes me feel better. Dear drivers please watch out! I really don't want to stop this crosswalk please be nice and see us. Every time we stop it hurts exponentially more to start again. The heat of the day has started and I start to get nauseous every time we stop. Convince the group to seek shade under the trees and it helps a bit.

Mile 17: Unstoppable. 3 more miles to go, I can do this. Announce loudly less than a 5k to go! A lot of the pain has started to subside. I am going to be able to finish this!

Mile 18-19: Time slows down. I think my GPS may be broken because these are the slowest miles of my life. Am I even moving forward?  Really I should be at 19 miles by now. These hills are horrible. Why are there so many hills? Just don't look at the watch again and follow the person in front of you. I glance at my watch 30 seconds later... oh man this sucks. Start singing "Happy" in my head to distract myself.

Mile 20: Finish Strong. One more mile, one more mile. Pick up the pace a bit. It feels quicker to me but know it is really just a faster jog.  Thank goodness I did not stop at mile 4 because now I feel great. I remember again that this is why I run. The huge feeling of accomplishment knowing you can achieve whatever you put your mind to.



  1. I really like this breakdown of how you feeling throughout the run! I'm glad you are going to be able to fulfill this dream--- I know you were disappointed that it didn't happen last year, but girl, you are AMAZING for keeping going like you did!

  2. I don't think I could applaud you enough for training for a full- your long run is my ultimate goal! (Scratch that- seven miles less than that long run is my goal... You go girl!)


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