Twenty Miles is Never Easy

Today I finished my fourth 20 mile marathon training run.

That didn’t make it any easier than the previous 3. Over the next few months I’ll run several more long runs of more than 20 miles as I finish preparing for Savannah and start preparing for Harbison. I’m pretty sure that in January I’ll still say that 20 miles is never easy.

Even though I felt nervous about this run in the days leading up to it I felt a sense calm last night and this morning. I was ready to conquer this run.

I knew things were looking good when I woke up thoroughly refreshed and not at all sleepy. I felt great the whole way over and definitely ready to start.

Granted, my body still needed a half mile to a mile to warm up but once I did I fell into an easy rhythm that I was able to maintain for the remaining 19 miles.

I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop. (Yes, I know that’s exceedingly cliche in on a running blog.) I kept waiting for the “magical” I-feel-great feeling that comes around mile 6 to disappear and turn into a “how many more to go”? That’s been the usual pattern of my long runs lately.

Not today.

The run didn’t feel hard until a little after mile 16. Even then I was able to maintain the same pace I’d been running and even log a 9:35 final mile. Without a doubt, today’s run was the best 20 miler I’ve run yet. (I say “yet” because Lord willing there will be many more to come in my running career.)

I even wondered if this was my fastest 20 miler ever; it certainly felt like it. When I finished I took a picture of my Garmin and tweeted it.
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That caption is incorrect.

I discovered that when you run as long as I did today certain things stop working. For me? my brain and my coordination

The whole run I thought that I ran my 18 miler two weeks ago in 3:26:xx. If I’d been able to think about it I would realize how ridiculous that would be. 🙂

Still, my average pace was 12 seconds faster and I felt so much better. Even though the one 20 miler I ran of New River training was faster I know that this one was better. (That 20 miler included a half marathon that I didn’t mean to race but…I’m way too competitive to back off.)

I don’t think I’ve ever felt this pumped about a long run before. It feels like I’m finally getting my speed back and just in time, only a month out from the marathon!

Up next? iRecycle Half Marathon (It’s supposed to be really small. Maybe if I have a good day I could age group place. 😉 )

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9 Comments

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9 responses to “Twenty Miles is Never Easy

  1. Woo hoo for an awesome 20 miler! And though it is the best one (yet!), I too knwo there are plenty more good ones to come. Even if they never get easy. 🙂 You rock, Jeni!

  2. Hi! I am a new reader to your blog. I am a fellow (though slower) runner from Asheville, NC. Yesterday my friends and I ran our 22miler on the Swamp Rabbit trail and I could have sworn it was you who I saw run by. Now I know it was! You looked strong and great by the way, and I love your blog!

    • Thank you so much for the kind words! I am certainly a frequent Swamp Rabbit Trail runner though after Savannah I’ll be on the trails almost exclusively getting ready for the Harbison 50k. Did we pass each other twice? I remember passing somebody who waved/smiled twice. If that was you I remember who you are! Great job on you own 22 miler! Btw…I ran the Asheville Half a few weeks ago and loved it! You live in a really cool city. 🙂

      Sent from my iPad

      • I should have waved! But I felt like a gomer waiving to someone “I know,” but who doesn’t know me 🙂 By chance, do you remember running by a pack of 5 ladies all wearing hot pink tops and black bottoms? I was the one up front in the capri tights. And, it was actually your post about the Asheville Half that first got me reading your blog! Can’t wait to hear more about your journey; 50K sounds so SCARY…but intensely rewarding. I’m having fun living it vicariously through you. Till next time!

      • I do remember that group! I’m the same way about waving or saying hi to people I know just through dailymile or through blogs. Of course, I’m also really bad about recognizing people from their profile pics. 🙂 #runnerproblems I’m definitely excitedly scared about the 50k…eek! Until next time!

        Sent from my iPhone

  3. Pingback: Savannah Rock n Roll Marathon Training Week 12 | Stepping Out

  4. Pingback: Savannah Rock n Roll Marathon Training | Stepping Out

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