Sunday was the longest run of my training plan. Meghan created a great plan for me to follow and my current three week cycle has me at my highest mileage yet. My alternating long runs are distances 20, 22, and 20 miles. When she was writing the plan for me in Philly and hers for Marine Corps. I remember her saying that she had planned a 22 mile run in there for herself, but wanted to know if I wanted to stick to just 20’s or make that extra push to 22… to help me decide she said, “If you can run 20 miles you can run 22.”
She was right but man it hurt. Last week after my 20 in Aruba I was swimming, up on my feet and not feeling sore at all. I knew another week in the 20s would be tough but I honestly thought “how bad could two more be.” I’ll answer that… bad. I’ve read so many blogs and articles about the proverbial “wall at mile 20.” They say at 20 your body is essentially crashing to some degree and all the hard work you’ve done up until that point has been a 20 mile warm-up for a 6.2 mile race. I never really got that until Sunday. And, the thing is people ask me how long a marathon is and I say 26.2… that if I can get to 20 it’s “just 6 more.” But then I thought of the distance going the other way… that I’m going to be “only 4 more away” from 30. When I think of a marathon as “4 miles till 30” rather than “6 more to 20” it is such a mind trip… well, a mind f*ck, pardon my French. It’s just something that seems so crazy… crazy I guess until you actually do it.
I still can’t believe the things you can teach your body to do.