Sometimes running buddies are the only thing that get me through my long runs.
Knowing that I was meeting Megan and Jax five miles into my 20 mile run on Friday morning, motivated me to get out the door, despite the fact that my legs felt like bricks and the weather was crappy.
When I started the run, it was so humid, you could actually see the moisture in the air. That, combine with my heavy legs, made for a slow 20 mile slog.
I ran the first 4.5 miles listening to my music and trying to keep my spirits up. I was feeling and moving so slowly. I kept telling myself to just get to Megan and Jax and things would get easier.
Megan and Jax were so happy and upbeat that they instantly brightened my mood. Sure my legs still felt like crap, but when you’re running along with friends, it’s easier to keep your legs moving a little faster, and conversation helps distract from the discomfort.
Sure enough, as I looked at Garmin, I saw my speed was picking up. The fact that we were running the next five miles downhill probably helped that too.
Jax split off after 11 miles, and Megan and I pushed on to knock out the next five miles back uphill. That’s the bad thing about out and backs. The downhills are great, but then you have to turn around and run back up them.
Running five miles uphill is not fun. At all. Especially because at the point the sun had come out, and it was getting hot.
We made a pit stop to fill up our water bottles somewhere around mile 12, and by the time we got to mile 16, I had nearly drained the whole thing.
By mile 17, everything hurt. My hips were tight, my quads were miserable and I was seriously questioning how I was going to finish this run. I just wanted to walk. Megan suggested we stop for a quick stretch break, which helped a bunch.
At that point, I was so, so sick of running and I just wanted to get home, so I put my head down and powered through the rest of the miles. It wasn’t pretty, but I got it done.
Slower than last week, but I don’t even care.
I was a hot and sweaty mess by the time I finished.
I think you could literally wring the sweat out of my shirt. I’ve never been so happy to get in an ice bath to cool down.
Even though it wasn’t the best run ever, I’m glad that I now have two 20 milers under my belt as part of this training cycle. Usually, I only do one 20 miler per marathon training cycle, but this time I wanted to step it up just a bit, so I have two 20 milers and a 22 on my schedule. I have a cutback week this week and then 22 next week and then it’s taper time.
I’m so ready for the race to be here!