Week 13. I’ve been nervous about this day since I signed up for my marathon.
Today would be the longest I would run until I actually ran my full marathon. And, I was only running 20 miles. There’s still another 6.2 miles I’ll have to run come race day. I knew today I would know, mentally (and physically) if I was ready to run 26.2 miles.
Saturdays are normally my long run days, but we had other plans, so I used half a vacation day. Preston left to drop the kids off at school and daycare and headed to work, while I packed up my running gear. Four sweatbands (2 for my head and 2 for around my armband under my phone case), two sweatbands for my wrist, two 20 ounce bottles of water, one 60 ounce cup of water, 2 packages of Honey Stinger Organic Energy Chews, 1 package of electrolyte energy gel, phone, earbuds.
I pulled to the end of our addition and realized I’d forgotten my little pouch that attaches to my water bottle. It’s where I keep my key and my energy chews. I needed that. Ugh, already off to a bad start, but I tried not to let it get to me.
I pulled into the Walgreens parking lot, parked and started warming up. Then I had to pee. This felt like before I ran my half marathon, on race day. I was nervous. Good thing Walgreens was open.
Mile 1: I started out, not too fast, but not too slow. The temperature was amazing, 55 degrees. My perfect running weather. I finished the first mile in 10:06. I was starting to loosen up.
Mile 2: I didn’t feel slower, but I had slowed down a bit. Finishing it in 10:26
Mile 3: This is the mile I really start getting into the groove of things. Finishing in 10:16
Mile 4: I was going to stop around mile 4 for my first half of energy chews, but I felt pretty good. I waited until 4.5 and chomped down 5 chews, drank some water and continued on. Finishing in 10:14.
Mile 5: Right as I started running after the chews I saw a little dog barking and running up to me. Greeeat. Then I saw two kids. With no parents. In the road. “This your dog?” I had to actually stop three times and just stand there finally, so they could get up enough courage to pick up their dog and go inside. You’re welcome. Ugh, finished in 10:42.
Mile 6: I was back in my groove. I really like those energy chews. Even though they’re kinda big, they remind me of fruit snacks. They’re good and they really seem to give me a boost, if I don’t chase them with too much water.
Mile 7: I was really feeling this run. It was so nice. Finishing in 10:07
Mile 8: I finished in 10:02.
Mile 9: It was time for the next 6 chews. I was feeling pretty good. So I let myself walk a half a mile while I digested the chews and drank some water.
Mile 10: I finished in 10:01. Happy to be back at my car and nervous to try my new electrolyte gel.
Mile 11: It was a big packet. I finished my first bottle of water, so I poured 20 more ounces in. Changed my headbands and wristbands, so they weren’t sweaty. Put a new package of chews in my pouch. And I walked and slowly pushed the gel in my mouth. It was sweet and salty. I hate gels. But I made myself finish it and then I drank about 10 ounces of water. I walked around the Walgreens parking lot for the rest of the mile. Finishing in 15:21.
Mile 12: I was nervous to run after that gel. My stomach felt a little weird, but I thought I’d give it a try. I, luckily, got a nice burst of energy and ran on. Finishing in 10:22.
Mile 13: Went just as well as 12. I was excited to be at 13.1 and still feeling good. This is my first long run I got to 13.1 still feeling like running after. I finished in 10:23.
Mile 14: I was even able to run a bit faster in this mile. Which was awesome for me, it gave me a bit more confidence.
Mile 15: I knew I needed to eat a few more chews, I didn’t want to run out of energy. Things didn’t go so well after I had those chews. It was either too close to the gel (that was 4 miles ago though) or I drank too much water. I was not feeling well. I had a feeling something wasnt going to end well. I let myself walk for the entire mile. I wasn’t sure if I’d have to walk more. Finishing that mile in 15:41.
Mile 16: Then I started running. And I was shocked how fast I was running, but I also noticed I was running low on water. I headed back to my car to fill up. I was shocked when I finished that mile in 9:46! Holy cow, that’s faster than any of my other miles!
Mile 17: I stopped at my car, filled up and ran on. I was happy to finish in 10:47, even with stopping to fill up.
Mile 18: I started running out of juice. I knew had to finish so there was no quitting. I did let myself walk for a bit while I finished my chews. I was hoping for a burst of energy. I walked/ran mile 18 and finished in 12:15.
Mile 19: I got this crazy energy. I knew I only had 2 miles left so I just gave it my all. I went crazy and finished it in 9:43! Honestly, I have no idea how that happened.
Mile 20: I was tired, but, I was exactly one mile from my car. I just told myself the faster I ran this the faster I’d be done. And, I did my fastest mile of me very single mile! Finishing in 9:28. I scared two old ladies when I huffed past them, but I wanted to finish my 20 miles in less than 3 hours 40 seconds.
And I did! 3:36:58. A personal best I’m the most proud of! My feet were tired. My legs were kinda like jelly, but I didn’t care!
I sat down in my car, pulled my watch off, sat it on my leg, took a picture and sent it to Preston and my sister.