Guys, I ran 22 miles!
This run was a HUGE milestone for me, both physically and mentally. After I struggled with the 20-mile run, I really wasn’t sure if I’d be able to do a marathon. Physically, I just didn’t know if my body was capable. Quitting just wasn’t an option, however. I’ve come this far; if I quit at this point, I knew I’d be so disappointed in myself and I’d always wonder “what if”. Therefore, I had to figure out a way to do this. To finish without it completely sucking.
I had several people tell me that I needed to slow down and do shorter intervals, like 30:30 (30 seconds running/30 seconds walking). I was so reluctant. I’m already slow – I need to slow down even more? But I figured what do I have to lose? I had to try something; otherwise, I honestly wasn’t sure if I could endure for 26.2 miles. So last week during my 10-mile run, I tried the 30:30 intervals and they worked really well; in fact, my pace didn’t slow down at all. I felt really good the entire run.
But that was only 10 miles. 22 miles is a different monster.
The other issue that I was having: the 22-mile run was scheduled during our family vacation. I knew there was no way I would be able (or want to) run 22 miles while I was on vacation and so I decided to run it 5 days early, before we left on vacation.
So yesterday I headed out on an unseasonably cool morning (47 degrees). Armed with a new running playlist on Spotify, I did 30:30 intervals. After the first couple of miles, I knew I was looking at around 5 hours to complete the run, based on my pace. I didn’t let it discourage me. I was determined.
Other than a bit of foot and glute soreness around mile 15, my legs felt good. I had an energy gel every 45 minutes and I hydrated well, even though I didn’t feel thirsty. I didn’t hit the dreaded wall. When I finished, the thought of running 4.2 additional miles didn’t make me want to cry.
Today, the day after, I’m still basking in an afterglow. You would have thought I’d run an actual marathon. It was just such an incredible victory for me. I’m not scared of the marathon anymore. I know I can do this.